18 May, 2012@12:10 am
Miami’s ¡MAYDAY! is a crew that has defined the art of paying dues. They first broke onto the scene with their local hit “Quicksand”, followed by their breakthrough smash single “Groundhog Day” (featuring Cee-Lo Green). The latter boasts over 2 million views on it’s first day on YouTube – much owed to the affiliation with some high-profile adult websites it was posted on. Now on their third album, ¡MAYDAY! looks to break out of the underground, with a signing to Tech N9ne’s Strange Music, a label that comes with a downright religious following.
¡MAYDAY! has a unique line-up – two emcees – Wrekonize & Bernz – backed by a live band. This lends to a much more edgy sound than the run of the mill rap group; one sure to appeal to the Strange Music fanbase. The album begins on a high note, with the catchy “Badlands”, featuring a show-stealing endorsement from their label boss, while Wrekonize shows off his varied styles of rhyme. This leads into “Death March”, a murky, but dope, headnodder that sets much of the tone for the rest of the album.
While things perk up on the almost-crossover “Highs & Lows” (feat. Ace Hood), much of the album is spent in a paced, darker territory. At it’s lengthy 19 tracks, this lo-fi sound begins to take it’s toll on the listener, as songs like “Roaches”, “Due In June”, or the rocky “R.E.M.” merely plod along. Which is a shame, because there clearly is talent here – perhaps it just wasn’t harnessed correctly.
Still, the album does hit a bit of a stride on tracks like the catchy “TNT” (feat. Dead Prez), where Wrekonize really shows off his amazingly technical rhyme style. “Hardcore Bitches” with Murs is another break from the monotony, as they lightly pay homage to their favorite ladies.
Surely the Strange Music massive will appreciate this album through-and-through, as will those fans that appreciate other outdoor, festival-esque rap bands, but in the end, despite being filled with talent, ¡MAYDAY! seems to be an acquired taste.
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