Image via MIKE/YouTube
Donald Morrison wants to know why most people’s music discovery peaks in high school.
MIKE – “Stop Worry!” feat. Sister Nancy
“Stop Worry!” by MIKE opens with an impassioned riff from Sister Nancy, a legendary Jamaican dancehall DJ who instructs the listener, MIKE, or both honestly, to wake up. In the video, MIKE is literally waking up and rolling out of bed before he begins rapping, which fits well with MIKE’s lackadaisical style, already sounding as if he’s coming to after a long nap. The production by dj blackpower is synth-heavy and soothing. It feels like a slight step forward for MIKE both in terms of accessibility and overall scope, and is proof once again that he’s making some of the most interesting rap music in a very oversaturated genre.
Bandmanrill and Fetty Wap – “You Don’t Know My Name”
I probably shouldn’t be telling any of you about “You Don’t Know My Name” by Bandmanrill and Fetty Wap. The first collaboration from the two New Jersey rappers was uploaded on Worldstarhiphop for maybe a day or two this week before being removed from Youtube by Sony Music Entertainment Records, likely over the usage of an uncleared Alicia Keys sample. Luckily for us, someone has reuploaded the original song and video, although of a much grainer and bootlegged quality. It’s classic New Jersey club rap built around an iconic sample and with Fetty Wap ditching the autotune and really rapping. It’s a surprising collaboration between New Jersey’s last real rap superstar and the artist currently primed to be the next. Fetty Wap molds his flow to fit in better with club sound to great effect and Bandmanrill continues to do what he does best, maintaining an assertive bounce in the face of sweeter and sweeter R&B samples.
Jugg Harden feat. Babyfxce E and YSR Gramz – “Michigan Flow”
Detroit’s Jugg Harden seems to have found a theme. This week he followed up his last single, “BabyTron Flow,” with his latest, “Michigan Flow,” featuring Babyfxce E and YSR Gramz. The three Michigan rappers spend less than two minutes trading short verses in the same back-and-forth fashion popularized by Rio Da Yung OG, RMC Mike, YN Jay and Louie Ray, and that works just fine for me. “Since I don’t really want to do a song with you I need $11,000, find out where the opps live and buy a place down 11 houses.” Babyfxce E says. He’s one of the more exciting artists coming out of Flint, Michigan in recent months, adding a youthful take on the style perfected by the aforementioned Flint rap giants.
909memphis – Mixed Feelings 2
POW contributor Lucas Foster had a singular taste and an unbelievably prescient ear when it came to discovering new artists from the depths of the internet. Although Lucas passed away, I can still feel his spirit through some of the artists he championed most, like Wifigawd and the Nashville-based 909memphis, who’s newest project is a major step forward for an artist constantly geared toward growth. Mixed Feelings 2 leans into a more pop country-infused soundscape, with 909memphis using autotuned melodies to sing about being misunderstood despite his strong convictions. “Not The Same” and “Off Days” are each standout songs that I could easily imagine hearing on the radio.
Drakeo The Ruler – “Diddy Bop” feat. Ralfy The Plug
Big Sad 1900 and Uce Lee – “Get This Message”
One of the final music videos Drakeo The Ruler shot was released on what would have been the artists 29th birthday this past week. “Diddy Bop” featuring Ralfy The Plug, was originally on their 2021 collab album, Cold Day in Hell. “My neck Crunk dancing and my wrist doing the Diddy Bop,” Ralfy says. Drakeo handles the chorus in a classically gory style, saying “I knew he was no longer when I saw his nerves hanging out.” The video shows the two brothers rapping and dancing alongside one another in bittersweet fashion. I hope it’s not the last posthumous Drakeo in the vault, but it’s not a terribly bad epilogue if it is.
Big Sad 1900 and Uce Lee also released a video this week for a song originally released in 2021. “Get This Message” was originally on the rapper-producer-duo’s City on Fire project from November of that year. The song is good enough to get the video treatment and I hope it introduces new audiences to one of the most consistent rappers coming out of LA.
Emptying the Chamber