The astute observation that MIKE sounds like Earl Sweatshirt is so played out it might as well be written as, "MIKE SoUNds JuST LikE EArL." But I'm not going to lie, if you like Earl Sweatshirt's music, you're probably going to like this guy.
At just 20 years old, the fresh face of experimental hip-hop has shown he isn't afraid to show a directness in the way he approaches depression and anxiety that is refreshing in the industry. His sound lives in a glitchy 8-bit world of soul singers and dusty drums, with heavy influences from Earl and MF DOOM. The end result for the artist who also draws influences from his upbringing (both in the UK and the Bronx), is a flat-voiced but meticulous wordsmith who paints depression and anxiety in some muted but very real colours.
"ROTTWEILLER" doesn't add any new paint to the rapper's palette; it's another black, white, and grey canvas of depression. The video of MIKE riding in the backseat of a London taxi is shot completely in black and white. Somehow the production of the song sounds like it was also recorded in black and white, with a hazy lo-fi sample that feels like it's been cut up by a blind sushi chef and a drum that sounds like it doesn't even want to live to see the next day.
If you think you're going to find any warmth in MIKE's delivery, you're going to be searching for a while. MIKE delivers this thing like he's giving the introductory lecture to a first-year chemistry course in university. The hope in his lyrics is so muted you might miss it. But it's there.
This mix of monotonous delivery, depression-laden lyrics, and withdrawn production is an acquired taste; and some might find the mixture is reminiscent of tuna on pizza. To others, it's the discovery of adding bacon to their potato and leek soup.
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