NY rapper MIKE has quietly been having a landmark year in the underground hip-hop scene, with his stunningly introspective project May God Bless Your Hustle, and he has returned with a resonant-in-its-simplicity music video for Wait for Me, off of his new EP By the Water.
The song is backed with a beat that takes equal influence from the sounds of cloud rap and jazz rap, but cannot be wholly tied to either as it carries its own dour and borderline-funerary quality that evokes the same sort of personal unease that often manifests itself in MIKE’s lyrics. MIKE spends the concise duration of the track tackling his own internal and external struggles as he struggles to figure out life as a “6’3 black boy [judged] off appearance” and questions whether his heart or his reflection in a puddle is colder. MIKE’s lyrics carry a sombre and personal tone, one that veers away from melodrama and instead resonates with the insecurities we as humans are prone to having.
MIKE’s honesty and forward-thinking production (that takes the ethereal quality of cloud rap to newly evocative heights) has made him a figure worthy of carrying the mantle of underground and abstract hip hop, and one who we should only expect more-and-more quality material from in years to come.