Album Review | MIKE – Weight of the World

This album was released on June 21st this year. MIKE is pretty much at the forefront of the current wave of underground lo-fi Hip Hop. He’s the most popular member of the influential [sLUms]. crew. I prefer a lot of MIKE’s earlier work to his more recent material, but his tears of joy project from last year was pretty great. He released a very mediocre collaborative EP with Jadasea entitled Old Earth in February, so I’m hoping this’ll be a lot better than that. I actually loved the production from DJ Blackpower on that project, but the rapping ruined it for me. I think I’m gonna enjoy this a lot though. I seriously doubt I’ll be losing my mind over it like music Twitter does with every MIKE project, but I’m sure there’ll be at least a handful of songs here that I really love. Every song is self produced, except where noted.

1. Love Supremacy

The production on this track isn’t really anything special to me personally, but it’s not bad. It’s just not a particularly interesting instrumental in my opinion. The actual rapping from MIKE is what makes the song enjoyable.
Watch my brother’s back, the enemy ain’t come to stab him
I took another slash, lookin’ for my mother’s casket
For it to come to that, vision when to come for lackin’
I got my mother’s laugh, grinnin’ through a bunch of bad shit
The song sounds very rough around the edges, but that can be said for pretty much every track on the project. In terms of structure, this song is super skeletal. It’s just one verse with some groans of “uhhhhh” on the intro and outro, which I suppose are the closest thing MIKE has to a signature ad-lib at this point. The song isn’t as enjoyable to me as it initially was on my first listen, but I definitely still like it. The actual verse is very good. The track just isn’t super interesting to me as a whole. It’s good though.

2. Alert*

The beat on this track was far more entertaining to me than the preceding instrumental at first, but this one is just as repetitive, so it gets pretty old by the time the track is over. It’s not bad though. MIKE’s delivery on this track is kinda frustrating to me. I think the verse itself is really great, but he’s pretty much mumbling during certain parts, so it’s more difficult to understand than it needs to be. That’s thankfully only an issue during specific parts of the verse though. Most of it isn’t too difficult to understand.
I know some niggas that’ll do it, I don’t need to hurt you
Take some bendin’ and some choosin’ to complete a circle
This ain’t pleadin’ words, it’s truths that I needed heard
Used to feed the birds, the mute couldn’t be as verbal
I kinda wish the verse was longer because the song ends up feeling very skeletal, but I actually think I enjoyed it more than the opening song. I think the production and rapping here is a step up from that track. It’s still not amazing or anything, but I definitely like it. It’s a good song.

3. Coat of Many Colors co-produced by Darryl Johnson

This is the first song on the project that I just don’t really care for at all. I like the production a lot, but MIKE’s repetitive delivery frankly annoyed the shit outta me here. I don’t know why his voice was so irritating to me, but it was almost like background noise ruining a good beat. Maybe if the quality of his voice was more clear I’d appreciate it more because it is pretty difficult to hear what he’s saying. He might as well be speaking a different language because his verse is borderline unintelligible to me. It’s kind of ironic that people will use the pejorative “mumble rap” term for artists like Lil Pump, and then turn a blind eye to this. I don’t think this track is bad at all, but I didn’t really enjoy it personally. I seriously doubt that MIKE will ever release the instrumentals for this album, but I hope he does because I’d like to have this beat in my library without his vocals. The song is just okay to me overall.

4. Never Thought (Tribute)

I’m never gonna listen to this track again, but it felt more like an interlude than anything. The beat in the background is kinda cool, but the weird speech from what sounds like an old African dude didn’t interest me at all. I’m sure this holds some significance to MIKE, but it felt like a waste of time to me as a listener.

5. 222 produced by KeiyaA

The album starts to get much more entertaining at this point for me personally. I think this track has one of the best beats on the whole album to be honest. It’s a super gorgeous instrumental. The production is really the main aspect of the song that I enjoy to be honest. I think the verse is very well written, but MIKE’s vocal delivery is still pretty annoying to me here.
Had to hit the curb, papa told me hit the churches
Thinkin’ got me hurt, got me emptyin’ the bourbon
It don’t quench the thirst, but my belly feel the burnin’
Everything I earned, I was the one they not concerned with
The whole track is just 95 seconds long, so there’s not much to dig into here. I do like it a lot though. Like I kinda mentioned before, this track is a lot more enjoyable to me than the first three songs. MIKE’s delivery is sonically unpleasant to me, but I really liked his writing, and I love KeiyaA’s production here. This track is dope.

6. More Gifts

I’m not sure what the sample in this song is, but it sounds like some 80s Pop or something. Now that I think about it, a lot of DJ Blackpower’s production sounds pretty Vaporwave-ish to me. I’m not sure if it’s just this project in particular or if it usually sounds like that. I haven’t really thought about it until now. I’m guessing that’s why I prefer the beats that came from other producers on this project. His instrumentals aren’t bad here though. This one is pretty solid. MIKE’s voice thankfully didn’t annoy me at all on this track either. I think his verse here is great.
To each his own, we earn what we get
We keep determined, we bleed alone through virtue and stress
To be assertive, can seem to hold a purse through the strength
To be of service, a leacher in your circle again
I like this track even more than the preceding one to be honest. I think MIKE killed this shit. Again, his verse is super short, and all of the songs have pretty much had the exact same structure up to this point, but this is my favorite one. It’s dope.

7. What’s Home 1/2 produced by Rbchmbrs

This is the first major highlight on the album for me. The first part of the song isn’t really that different from anything else on the album up to this point. The beat still sounds pretty Vaporwave-ish, even though it isn’t produced by DJ Blackpower. I guess MIKE’s flow feels a bit more aggressive than it does on any of the preceding material, but aside from that this is pretty much more of the same. What makes the song stand out is the switch up that occurs around the halfway point. The second beat here is really awesome to me. The switch up is very abrupt and almost feels like a completely separate song, but I still appreciated it. I feel like MIKE has one of his best flows on the whole album here too.
Before COVID, I been in the yard
Gettin’ older and sick of the harm
When I’m sober, it kill the regard
I be over it, chillin’ regardless
He’s not doing anything super different from what he usually does here. The main reason I enjoyed this one so much more is that I just like the beat and rapping more than I usually do. This shit is dope as hell to me.

8. Delicate

This is another big highlight for me. It has another one of my favorite beats on the project. This one feels more melodic and emotional than most of the others to me. MIKE’s writing here is kind of amazing too. Once again, his delivery is a little annoying to me, but everything else about the song is too good for me to really be bothered by that.
The puddle was growin’ bigger, was touchin’ my toes
My struggle was dope, the image was underexposed
Had to come back on these feelings to come for your soul
Like all the angst for every minute I wasn’t alone
I’m on this planet for a mission, they buzzin’ me home
So I can’t panic when this grimace is somethin’ we owed
Yeah, grab it ’cause the glitter is tougher than gold
I really jacked the other system and nothing the most
His writing just feels a lot more poignant here. Again, the song structure here is virtually identical to that of every other track here. I just think the production and writing here is better. This shit is dope as hell, and probably my favorite track to be honest.

9. No, No

My opinion of this song is pretty much identical to that of almost every preceding song. The production is pretty cool, and I really like the lyrics, but MIKE’s sloppy, drunk-sounding delivery isn’t very appealing to me. It’s definitely not a big enough issue to ruin the song for me though. I still really like this.
Started pickin’ up these habits at an early age
Gettin’ faded in the madness just to cure the pain
All the times I felt the stabbin’ on my vertebrae
My brother said if it’s static, just a word away
City shady with a passion, what we heard today
But try to take me out this planet, out this world of hate
I took the stage and I was damaged, my determined ways
And took my lady to a casket out the pearly gates
Once again, the entire song is pretty much just one verse, so there’s not much to discuss here. It’s just a super well-written verse with a nice beat and an intentionally unpolished delivery. I fuck with it; it’s dope.

10. Plans

This is the last major highlight on the album for me. Most of what I said about Delicate also applies to this song. I really love the melodic instrumental, even though it still sounds Vaporwave-ish. The verse from MIKE is pretty dope, although his vocals are really buried in the mix, so it’s kinda hard to understand some of it.
I’m a lover with regret, I never picked the hate
Askin’ God to still protect you from my shitty ways
The city mud is why we wrestlers from when we wait
I try to jot and try to flex, I try to pick my brains
At this point on the album I pretty much knew what to expect from every single song, so it kinda stopped being exciting, but I still think this track stands out just because the production is more enjoyable than it is on a lot of the other songs. I think this one is dope as hell.

11. Get Rich Quick Schemes produced by KeiyaA

This song has another one of the coolest instrumentals on the project. I’m personally just not crazy about the way MIKE rapped over it. Once again, it’s mainly just due to his delivery and flow. I don’t think it’s bad at all, but I feel like this would’ve sounded way better if he didn’t rap like he was inebriated or half asleep. The actual lyricism here is really dope though.
Takin’ trains west to Pacific, I should try the mail
I think he only pressed to live ’cause he might die in hell
I guess it kinda hurt
When God tell you if you feel it, it’s behind the braille
Time you left for the experience, forgot the wealth
The only thing that I inherited was blockin’ help
It’s part of pops’ concern
Remember cringin’ at the mirror, I was not myself
I guess the DIY aesthetic is a signature element of MIKE’s style at this point. I’m not crazy about that aspect of his music personally, but it’s not a dealbreaker at all. I think this song is really dope.

12. Trail of Tears produced by KeiyaA

Out of all the beats KeiyaA provided for this album, this is easily my least favorite, but it’s not bad. This is the shortest song on the project unless you count the Never Thought tribute. The verse from MIKE is pretty good, although it doesn’t particularly stand out from any of the other performances he gives on this album.
I feel the fire overcoming fear
Alone it’s lighter I know prior I had wanted care
Mending ties, you niggas wired to the puppeteer
Big Mikey, know the god behind a bunch of tears
The song has the exact same structure that pretty much every other track has. If you don’t like the beat or the verse then nothing’s gonna save this for you. I’m not crazy about the beat personally, but I do kinda like it to some extent, and I think the verse is dope. I like the song overall. I think it’s pretty good.

13. Weight of the Word*

I’m not sure if this is the title track and he just made a typo by leaving out the L, or if that was intentional, but I guess it doesn’t matter. The song itself if pretty much just nothin2say (Never Forget), but with a tacked on intro over another instrumental. I already covered nothin2say in one of my Best Singles of the Week posts, so I’ll just cover the new part of the song, and copy and paste my thoughts on the rest of the track below since my opinion hasn’t changed. The intro is actually my favorite part of the song now. I like this beat a lot more than the other one, and I prefer MIKE’s flow here too.
What’s the verdict on the street? Who deserve the crown?
We took the service out the sea
Nowadays I stumble off the scene and disperse some crowd
Say a prayer before I sleep
Only wake another peep and never chirping sounds
I drink the bourbon with my teeth
Feel like my heart is doing leaps the way the hurt would drown
I’m only diving when it’s deep
I’ve seen a lot of people say this is their favorite track on the album, but it doesn’t really stand out to me personally. I definitely like it a lot, but it’s not one of my favorites. Maybe it’s because this is pretty much the only track on the album with an actual hook. It’s also the longest song on the project by a pretty wide margin. Anyway, while the song isn’t one of my favorites, I do think it is very good, and I’m really glad he decided to add the new intro. This shit is dope.
This new single came with the announcement of a new project from MIKE entitled Weight of the World, which is scheduled for release on June 21st, so that should be good. He released something called OLD EARTH back in February, but I didn’t really care for it personally. The production was awesome, but the rapping ruined it for me. This new song right here is kind of a reverse of that situation. I definitely like this more though. The production isn’t bad here, but I wouldn’t really say that I like it personally. The rapping is thankfully good enough to make this song worth returning to for me. His writing is just as great as it’s always been, particularly on the hook.
Sometimes I’d rather just be wrong than to settle with it
I know my mama sang that song, so I’ll never forget
And you still grievin’ over mom, no I’ll never forget
When I needed you, you gone, but you said we was friends
Again, the production isn’t bad at all. I just don’t really care for it that much. MIKE did a great job here though. This shit is dope.

14. Iz U Stupid co-produced by redlee

This is one of the weirder songs on the album. I actually think this beat is amazing; it’s genuinely my favorite instrumental on the project. What prevents this from being a highlight is MIKE’s actual performance. I have no idea what the fuck he was doing here. His flow was cool, but almost every line is unintelligible because he’s literally mumbling under his breath. If the beat wasn’t so good I probably wouldn’t like this song at all. The production is fire though, so I fuck with this. It’s pretty good.

15. Da Screets featuring Jadasea

This is easily my least favorite song on the album. I really do not like this Jadasea guy at all. I like the production on this song a lot, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get into Jadasea, and MIKE’s performance here wasn’t any better to be honest. A lot of what I said about the preceding track applies to this one. MIKE is borderline unintelligible here. The only thing preventing me from calling this a bad song is the production. I think the beat is very pretty. Much like that Old Earth project, the dope instrumental was ruined by the rapping from MIKE & Jadasea. I think this is incredibly mediocre.

16. Allstar featuring Earl Sweatshirt

MIKE thankfully ended this project on a relatively high note. This song has another one of my favorite instrumentals on the album, and both of the verses here are pretty nice. I wasn’t crazy about MIKE’s delivery or flow, but his writing was very good, and I actually think this song has one of the best Earl Sweatshirt verses I’ve heard in a long ass time. His flow doesn’t sound anywhere near as sloppy as it has on his more recent work, and he actually sounds awake for once.
I’m finished tryna ruin what I started
I’m through it, tryna barter for remorse, sabotagin’
Steppin’ with a chip on my shoulder, don’t chomp it
Water spillin’ out the Flint faucet, toxic
The one aspect of this song that I really dislike is the manner in which it ends. It’s distractingly abrupt. I’m sure it was probably intentional, but to be honest, it doesn’t sound intentional. It sounds like he just didn’t have any idea of how to end it, so he just stopped it in the middle and was like “ok, it’s over.” It’s obviously not a huge issue, but I’d be remiss for not mentioning it. Overall, I think it’s a dope track.

This is another pretty good album from MIKE. It’s honestly exactly what I expected. It’s not very unique in the grand scheme of his discography. It’s more of what he’s been doing. Almost every single song follows the exact same formula. I’m glad it’s nothing like that OLD EARTH project, but this isn’t gonna convert any nonbelievers since he isn’t doing anything new here. I’m not really sure if I’m gonna wanna cover any of his future material because it’s becoming very predictable at this point, and he’s not really an artist I get excited about, but we’ll see how I feel the next time around. This project is far from his best work in my opinion, but it’s also nowhere near his worst, so I guess it’d sit comfortably in the middle of his discography if I were to rank it. It’s just a bunch of well written verses over glitchy beats. It’s not really the most memorable release of the year, but I definitely enjoyed it. I think it’s pretty dope.


SCORE: 76 (B)