Brooklyn rapper and [sLUms] collective founder MIKE returns with his new album Weight of the World, released exactly one year from his critically-acclaimed Tears of Joy full-length. His latest effort was released independently through his own 10k label and premiered with last month’s “Nothin 2 Say (Never Forget)” visual.
To coincide with the 16-track, 35 minute project, MIKE has also dropped off a new music video for the seventh song on the album, “what’s home?” featuring production from Rob Chambers. A good portion of Weight of the World is self-produced under MIKE’s pseudonym DJ Blackpower while he also taps Darryl Johnson, Reed-Lee and KeiyaA for some assistance in the instrumental department. Earl Sweatshirt rounds out the record with “allstar” and revealed that he wrote and recorded it in less than 24 hours before the album dropped. His verse starts off with, “I shot the sheriff, don’t expect to get no calls from ‘em/ Tell the deputy he next, remember Jigga got Chrisette/ And say you ‘Lost One’.” Earl goes on to deliver bars that nod to the Flint water crisis and personal willpower. MIKE also enlists UK rapper Jadasea for “da screets”.
— thebe kgositsile (@earlxsweat) June 21, 2020
Weight of the World furthers MIKE’s consistent output through emotional, grainy samples that inject soul and thoughtfulness into every song. The fact that the majority of these instrumentals come from him makes it all the more impressive and personal. He kicks off the album with “love supremacy” where he opens up about his mother’s passing. “What a ugly past/ Help me stay above the madness/ Watch my brother’s back/ The enemy can come to stab him/ Took another slash/ Lookin’ for my mother’s casket/ For it to come to that, vision when it comes to lackin’/ I got my mother’s laugh/ Grinnin’ through a bunch of bad sh*t.”
In the insular and hazy world of his latest offering, where demons lurk around every corner, MIKE balance the weight of loss with the light of love. To listen to him work through it all is an inherently meaningful experience, especially when MIKE showcases his chops as a growing producer. He’s just 21 years old, but his introspection and nuance has propelled him to a place wise beyond his years. Watch MIKE’s “what’s home?” music video above and stream the full project below. You can purchase his new album via Bandcamp today.
In more music news, Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist joined HYPEBEAST to give an oral history on their new album Alfredo for the feature “Freddie Gibbs’ Name Holds Weight”.