I may offend some folks in saying this. Baltimore is a hellhole at times. Go five minutes in one direction out of your way, and you may get took. That’s just the long and short of it. But, out of that hellish nature, you get some truthful music. You get music people have lived and died for and over. You get dope music that is unlike just about anything.
23-year-old MVP Mikey is no exception to that rule, as his first release “9 Lives” is gritty and spills a lot about what makes him unique in the game. While the track itself is a bit lo-fi (not a knock against it; remember–I was the “No-Fi King” for a bit) and the production a bit pedestrian trap, the lyrics are where the track shines. With lines such as “if Black blood was in bottles, it’d sell out the stores” and “they don’t care about the youth, tell the truth, tell the truth/PAL [Police Athletic League] Center just closed/Fuck the kids supposed to do?,” we’re given a desolate future for Baltimore where portions of the city have been all but set up to fail by the “powers that be.” Meanwhile, Mikey is struggling with his own turmoil. That’s some harsh shit to spit on your first track out.
However, it’s that harshness that brought me in and made me pay attention to it that much more. So, check it out below, support dope music in all its forms, and keep cities like Baltimore in your prayers. As a Baltimore-born person myself, it pains me to see the fuckery going on–even if it brings out some great music.