MIKE — Weight of the World — Album Review

Hip-Hop | Rap | Experimental

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

The newest album from the alternative Hip-Hop extraordinaire Michael Jordan Bonema, more widely known as MIKE, was unfortunately yet another album slipping under my personal radar for a little while. And while this album had arrived towards the end of June, I was too oblivious of this albums existence at the time to give it the mention that it deserves. Therefore, I wish to redeem myself now with a review of this still relatively new album.

Despite my lack of knowledge of the album’s release, I indeed was aware of the pseudo-teaser that was “Nothin’ 2 Say (Never Forget)”. And I say “pseudo teaser”, as that track gets quite the revamp in the final cut of the album, and is renamed to make it the title track of the album instead.

But even more previously to all of that, MIKE was an artist that I was lucky enough to discover when browsing through some suggested albums when I was still in the workplace of my full-time job. One of the albums I sifted through was MIKE’s debut album, 2017’s May God Bless Your Hustle, and I liked what I heard.

That debut brought it to my attention instantly that MIKE had quickly mastered the trademark lo-fi and experimental style of rap that artists such as Earl Sweatshirt are well-known for (which really made me grin when I discovered that the closing track of Weight of the World features Earl Sweatshirt himself), and as one might expect, had all of the quirky production to boot.

With Weight of the World still only being the second MIKE album that I’ve listened to beginning to end (despite him having a few at this point), I am pleased to write that it follows suit in pretty much all respects, and listeners are blessed with a brand new set of surreal and enchanting instrumentals, which MIKE’s deep and often slurred vocals really help to push further in terms of atmosphere.

Lyrically, Weight of the World, as its title may suggest, carries all of the topical coverings of mental struggle that every solid rap album has. And along with the rest of what’s been pumped into this album’s creation, really helped it feel like a whimsical experience.

In terms of how much I liked each track individually, this album definitely gave me a similar impression to how I felt about Ivan Ave’s latest album Double Goodbyes, which was released back in April. That being that this album’s tracklist definitely makes its impact mostly with quantity.

I refrain from saying “quantity over quality” as that is a gross disrespect to just how enjoyable the vast majority of these tracks are. But what I need to clarify, is that the way that this album is structured, is done so in a way in which each track comes as a short, sweet, and punchy little experience that listeners will get slapped with before the next track begins. To paint a picture of this, Weight of the World carries with it a total of 16 tracks, but despite this, is only 35 minutes in total. In short, I feel that this definitely helped the album stay exciting every step of the way.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience that was MIKE’s Weight of the World, and feel that it really encapsulate everything that is great about the alternative rap style. The super creative production, MIKE’s own effortlessly cool vocals, and the efficient structuring are a holy trinity that make the likes of this album truly memorable.

Favourite Tracks: Delicate | Weight of the World* | Da Screets | Allstar

Least Favourite Track: Iz U Stupid

10k

8/10

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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