MIKE is a quintessential old soul. The 24-year-old artist’s wisdom is evident in both his calm delivery and measured questioning. Known for introspective, subtly profound rhymes that explore grief, family, and identity, and melt over muffled, soul-seasoned samples, MIKE’s signature sound returns matured and healthy on his eighth album Beware of the Monkey.
The beloved rapper has come a long way from making waves in underground hip-hop circles with the [sLUms] collective formed in New York in 2015. Since, he’s released numerous critically celebrated albums, earned Pitchfork’s Best New Music accolade twice, and toured with artists like Blood Orange, Earl Sweatshirt, and Freddie Gibbs.
“Through the city I can’t do too much looking up,” MIKE raps on “nuthin i can do is wrng”, the first single from his forthcoming self-produced record. The line is emblematic of what the album as a whole signifies for MIKE. As his career flourishes, his inner world demands nurturing. Following the longest gap MIKE has taken since recent projects, the new record displays the intuitive musician’s eclipse into a new cycle. Beware of the Monkey finds the most confident and determined MIKE to date, as he shifts from an adolescent poet to a masterful interdisciplinary artist.