New York-based rapper MIKE has been at the core of the city’s experimental hip-hop boom. He’s gotten noticed by hip-hop fans for a style marked by clever, self-reflective rhymes over distorted, chopped-up soul samples, and this signature sound continues to prosper on “PLANET”. The new song and music video by the rising rapper showcases his penchant for masterful flows, letting his mind loose in the form of airtight raps filled with raw moments of vulnerability. As a member of the underground sLUms NYC collective and a mentee of Earl Sweatshirt, the influence of MIKE’s cohorts resonates clearly on “PLANET”. The glitchy loop produced by Adé Hakim acts as an apathetic, glitchy backdrop to MIKE’s raps, and his mumbly, heavy cadences carry a similar weight to something off Earl’s ‘Some Rap Songs’. The music video for “PLANET” matches MIKE’s perplexing mind with grainy found footage and black-and-white shots of the rapper himself, a simple visual directed by Conor Prunty that does just enough to bring the song’s character to life. “PLANET” is a single off MIKE’s new mixtape which also dropped today, titled ‘tears of joy’. Watch the video for “PLANET” below, and if you like what you hear, check out …

On To Better Things – [Adé Hakim]

Adé Hakim, or Sixpress, as some may know him, is the kind of artist whom you can’t listen to just once. Lyrically, he’s multi-layered and introspective, while sonically, his dusty instrumentals and slow-burning samples explore worlds of their own creation, all without compromising the themes of quality or honesty within Hakim’s catalog. Today, the rising talent puts this all on display with his latest project, On To Better Things. Admittedly, we’re a few weeks late on this release, but nevertheless, it’s worthy of attention, as Hakim’s soulful presence on the mic makes for a captivating project in all 34 minutes of its duration. On To Better Things comes to terms with the realities of life, and it presents these lessons learned in an engaging sonic atmosphere, allowing for listeners of all different interests to enjoy a project of such unrivaled authenticity. Alongside features from Cleo Reed, King Carter, Pink Siifu, MIKE, Alphonse, and Jodi, this project finds Adé Hakim at home in both sound and delivery, so be sure to show some love and stream the project below. Hakim’s got next.

Nowhere2go – [Earl Sweatshirt]

It seems like a lifetime has passed since Earl Sweatshirt became on Odd Future standout with his earliest hits such as Chum, Orange Juice with Tyler, The Creator and even the shock value found in his 2011 visual for EARL. Now almost 3 years separated from the last time we heard from the Chicago-born emcee, he has returned with new music in the form of a smooth single entitled, Nowhere2go. Coming to our attention last month after a video surfaced from his performance at the ‘Camp Flog Gnaw’ music festival, the mind-bending visual assuring us of its release this week was greeted with a warm reception as rumors began to swirl of a forthcoming project before the year ends. Produced by Booliemane & Ade Hakim, Earl floated over the cloudy instrumental with his gripping lyricism expressing his feeling of being lost and ultimately coping with it in various ways. Just under 2 minutes in length, you can stream the latest from Earl at the links below and stay tuned for more details on a potential project in the near future.