If I had to put Baltimore-area artist MikMas into a box, I sure as hell wouldn’t. It’d be a fruitless exercise. The artist born Sung Kyul Kim is as diverse as he can possibly be. And it works!
On his 2021 release, In Divide of Duality, the artist floats between dreamy instrumentation and hard-hitting lyricism, among other things. Que told him to hit me up. Que, being a proponent of the Baltimore scene for all involved who do positive things, is someone who I trust in terms of recommendations. I’m thankful he did, because I also just needed some new Baltimore rap to delve into.
On tracks like “Cool Not,” we’re given a bit of a JPEGMAFIA approach to hip-hop. It’s abrasive, almost punk in its execution. However, like Peggy, MikMas still manages to be lyrical while being abrasive and in-your-face. What makes this one different for me is that we’ll go from “Cool Not” to the old-school rap vibe of “Tower of Odd.” Usually, that sort of tonal whiplash would make me say “screw this I’m good on this.” However, here? I found myself more intrigued by the sudden shifts in sound and approaches, mainly because I was curious to see where he’d go next. The project clocks in at just under 20 minutes and seven songs. It’s a bit hard to call this one a straight-up rap release because it blends pop, punk, house (with a sprinkling of Baltimore Club), traditional rap, lo-fi music, some nerd bars and cloud rap into this delectable dish for the ears to hear.
If you’re in the market for some abstract Baltimore-area hip-hop, this is an interesting take on the genre. Check it out below and remember to support dope music in all its forms.