Sometimes, simplicity is the best thing about a musician’s style. The ability to form an entire journey with very progressive, but minimal instrumental layering is a new lane and one that only few artists can achieve correctly. MIKE from New York is a rare, subtle instrumentalist and lyricist that shows potential to have a substantial future in music.
Relatable, classy, and entertaining, MIKE is able to capture a distinct style on his project, MAY GOD BLESS YOUR HUSTLE. He spits over broken beats and rhymes through cracked mirrors that reflect his ability of graceful, and emotionally investing hip-hop that relies on the distortion of soul samples and shifting pitches of piano riffs to form the backbone of the instrumentation. His deep, but gentle voice is rested over the frantic minded rhymes that describe growing up and the paranoia of becoming truly lost within one’s own mind.
The massive sixteen-track set on MAY GOD BLESS YOUR HUSTLE is continually rewarding as MIKE shifts through various levels of energy, while maintaining a constant sense of broken styling on his production. It is reflective through that sectioned city sense of New York as Letter Racer reigns over with MIKE at street level. MIKE twists his wordplay to direct in a smooth, concurrent flow of laid-back ability where “Somebody Please” opens MAY GOD BLESS YOUR HUSTLE with a heavy focus on the strange, but vivid. At the halfway mark, MIKE unleashes his voice over the intense, but distorted vocal instrumental that carries little percussion. It is ambitious, but reflects heavily on incredibly strong production that floats MIKE through the clouded journey.
MAY GOD BLESS YOUR HUSTLE feels weighted, but releasing at the same time. In a manner of expression, MIKE takes strides toward the deep end of atmospheric sound that relies on the echoes and busted pianos of yesteryear. He is original, fresh, and a re-twist on the style of hip-hop. His instrumentals are strong enough to stand without his backing, but adding his vocals to the already engaging and shifting tracks is layering that feels necessary when placed. Feeling more as an album than a project of collective songs, MAY GOD BLESS YOUR HUSTLE is adventurous, but keeps a roadmap that easy to be understood and followed through.
Especially as MIKE moves into the final moments with “Years/Alone” where the lo-fi sound is something that has been done before, but the high energy output is something crisp on an old favorite. His entire project feels as if it was co-produced or at least given some insight from Earl Sweatshirt as the soulful instrumentation that is constantly chopped and then displayed is similar to his newer unreleased music that follows a similar style. MIKE is insightful, but never displays himself as above the city as he makes certain to remind the listener of his background in New York and the come up from the overwhelming city.
MAY GOD BLESS YOUR HUSTLE has quickly become a rainy day that consistently is returned to for the way it can capture that dark, frozen sense of cold, nearly lost instrumentation. MIKE is a simple name, but his music follows a similar suite that is graceful, classy, and continually substantial.