Band/Artist Profile Concert Preview

Concert Preview: MIKE

Abstract hip-hop artist MIKE is set to play at Cat’s Cradle this upcoming Wednesday, May 22. This concert serves as one of the final shows for his “Somebody Fine Me Trouble” tour.

I’ve only been to one other hip-hop concert prior to this, that being Death Grips at The Ritz back in August of last year. Death Grips similarily being a well-respected band in the underground pushing the boundary of abstract hip-hop. I’m not here to talk about them though. Instead, I want to focus on a couple of the standout pieces of MIKE’s discography, and what I’ve been listening to from him lately.

“Burning Desire”

“Burning Desire” is the latest solo album from MIKE, releasing on October 13 of last year. This would be the project that would bring my attention to MIKE. I was immediately captivated by the sampling techniques that had been employed over his more deadpan rapping. This is not to say I don’t enjoy this style of delivery, I do, and I believe it pairs nicely with the dreamy and old-school production. My favorite track would probably be “plz don’t cut my wings” which holds a feature from the artist Earl Sweatshirt. Sweatshirt and MIKE often collaborate and share appearances on one another’s projects, both sharing a similar approach to their work. Overall, I’d say that this album serves as a great introduction point to the rest of MIKE’s work. It’s very definitive and is almost an amalgamation of his output up to that point in his career.

“Beware of the Monkey”

“Beware of the Monkey” is the most recent mixtape from MIKE released on December 21, 2022. I’d describe this mixtape as a beam of hope in the wallows of despair. A large amount of MIKE’s work centers around themes of depression, isolation, and self-hatred. “Beware of the Monkey” sees him in a more optimistic and hopeful spirit, which is always nice to see after listening to some of his more early works. When taking a look at the production, you can see MIKE taking a more of hypnotic approach that he would build upon in the aformentioned “Burning Desire”. My favorite track off of the mixtape would have to be the opener, “nuthin i can do is wrng”.

“May God Bless Your Hustle”

“May God Bless Your Hustle” is one of MIKE’s earlier works that would grant him some traction in the underground. Being released on June 21, 2017, the album reflects a lot of the gloomier sentiments common during that respective era of hip-hop. It’s an extremely relaxing yet emotionally crushing record that I can heavily sympathize with at parts. Out of all of MIKE’s projects, this would be my personal favorite, with my top track being “Pigeonfeet”.

Final Thoughts

Going solely off of the music that I tend to keep on rotation from MIKE, I want to expect this show to be a personal one. It’s a type of sound that he brings forth that can really connect you to others through just the music. I’m absolutely sure that this will be one of my most unique concert experiences and I’m very much ready for it.