Mike G - "1PM"
Sometimes a little simplicity can go a long way. When Mike G dropped his little mind trip vid titled "1PM" last week, it was well received on the internets. Perhaps it was the hypnotically smooth sonic backdrop crafted by Mike's fellow Odd Future member Syd tha Kyd. Maybe it was Mike's stream of consciousness, where he muddles over fame, past times, and living the dream over the woozy soundscape. Whatever the reason, the video and track are simple yet fresh. It's hard to deny Odd Future's reach when arguably every member is a talented musician in their own right. While any OFWGKTA follower can attest to the fact that Mike G's had some bars from the beginning, "1PM" displays in obvious growth in the young wordsmith's flow. Now we all know who's got next in the camp. - Kathy Iandoli (@kath3000)
Rich Kidd - "I'd Be Lying"
Rich Kidd's "I'd Be Lying" is the rare Hip Hop track that feels like a privilege to listen to. The Toronto producer / emcee allows us to take a sideline seat as he takes stock of emotions like depression, loneliness, anger and heartbreak. These are feelings that haunt many of us but since they are rarely copped to in public, hearing someone - especially an artist from a genre known for its braggadocio and tough facades - be so forthcoming about his demons makes for a jarring experience. Rich Kidd rhyming about running out of time, not living up to expectations and living in a dark solitary place - "I tell myself a lot of shit that I like to hear / 'cause no one's around to cheer me up in my plight / try to fight the depression / fuck an antidepressant..." - affected me the same way as The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Suicidal Thoughts," Cage's "In Stoney Lodge," and Scarface recounting his days as a child in the psych-ward at Houston International Hospital. Using 16 bars to work through mental instability, self-hatred, failed relationships and the pain of empty pockets is way more empowering than flashing a wad of cash or flaunting an arsenal. Artistic expression should be therapeutic and pretending to be someone you're not defeats the entire purpose and ultimately cheats the audience that has given you their time. Rich Kidd shows he understands this by sticking with the truth and asking the same question that we've asked ourslves over and over, "Why the fuck it gotta hurt like this?" -Michael Sheehan
Sy Ari Da Kid - "Angels Calling"
A good friend passed along some recent tracks from Atlanta, Georgia emcee Sy Ari Da Kid. In a week where Run The Jewels aside, few things stuck to my ribs, it was pleasant to hear a fresh face combine lyricism with heartfelt subject matters. "Angels Calling" is an appropriate introduction to somebody who will be making a lot of noise in the months ahead. — Jake Paine (@Citizen__Paine)