Being a writer for some time, you come to expect your inbox filled with new music submissions or impractical prophecies on the future of music, and the importance of one song. Normally, these messages go unanswered or even unopened. To sit down, read, and listen to every track would take a lifetime; hampering your ability to do the actual job that is required of you—to write. However, every once in a while, there is that email that's so out there, with content so original and different that you have to take a peek. It was through this weeding out process that I stumbled across ILoveMakonnen for the first time, and after much deliberation became a fan of one of the oddest acts coming from Atlanta.
Initially, the only thought that crossed my mind was how do you pronounce his name. The "I Love" part is simple enough, but that whole "Makonnen" threw me for a loop. It sounds like some sort of trap Pokemon, a cuddly water type for sure. Then, continuing to follow my instincts, I clicked the play button on the YouTube link embedded inside the text box; totally unaware of what was to come next and how unusual my listening habits were to become. First I felt relieved when I heard the signature tags of Sonny Digital and Metro Boomin, but suddenly, a shrill wailing blasted through my speakers.
It was and continues to be unlike anything I have heard from the A; an equal mix of J J Fish and Bowie, over some of the strangest trap production Digital, Boomin, and FKi can cook up. He doesn't try to hit the highs that Young Thug seems to waltz through, although he valiantly attempts to hold notes for seconds too long, and turn every song into a ballad.
Definitely not for everybody, to be honest originally I thought this was for nobody. I was offended, how could someone send me this nonsense. When I clicked the EP download button, I was fuming. When my friend and I were partying to "Club Goes Up On Tuesday" and "I Don't Sell Molly No More" on our way to get Tacos, I hated life.
Two weeks later, I have conceded this battle and have opened up to the idea of being an ILoveMakonnen supporter. As I have said earlier, he isn't for everyone, clearly I am a sucker for weird music. His self titled EP contains seven tracks, each stranger than the next. "Too Much" might be one of the hardest songs to enjoy, which is a shame since it comes first: meaning most people will probably give up there.
I still don't know how to phonetically vocalize his name, nevertheless, I do know you should keep an eye out for Makonnen's music. Hopefully, he isn't going to become a novelty act or a funny memory we have in the future. If he fleshes out his sound, Makonnen can be a future leader in the avant garde movement stirring in Atlanta.