Washington, D.C., rapper Miko Suave sounds like a lost relic in a sea of drops we’ve received this week. “I would describe my style as a gumbo of all the greats,” he says about his style, “I study all the greats to become greater–and I don’t do this for the money; I do it for the love of the sport first!” His latest effort G.E.M.$. (GREEN EYED MONSTER$), available on DatPiff, is a hefty [20-song] collection of music that most closely resembles the mixtape circuit of 2002-2004 that dominated the streets of New York City and made stars out of outfits like G-Unit and Dipset. With raw sounding tracks (that have a ripped from somewhere aesthetic), streetwise bars, and hella punchlines, the project–although a big listen at 20 shots–is a great listen none the less.
Let’s start with the goods: there is a lot here. I’ll be honest and admit that at such a big length–based on my lifestyle–I found it difficult to donate enough of my time to give it a straight through; consequently I did it in chunks. This isn’t an issue, as the project doesn’t flow like a straight narrative by any means, but rather a collection of songs. Some of the production feels a little dated, like “We Livin'” that has a Cassidy, “Hustlin’,” backbone to it, but for the most part, it’s well curated. He hits his stride on records like “Rollin’ In His Grave” where he calls out rappers with fake images, claiming they [figuratively] have Pac and Big rolling in they graves–amidst a heap of hip-hop references that show off his knowledge of the culture. Also, his flow on “90z Shit” was on-point; this project is also timely, with not-so-subtle commentary on the perceived rise of systematic racism and injustice we’re [likely] to see as the result of Trump taking office: “He’s a billionaire and money is the root of all evil.”
Overall, the 24-year-old rapper–with a cadence that resembles Cassidy blended with young upstart Chris Rivers–shows a ton of potential; it would be interesting to hear him on a more polished, focused project–but he more than has my attention.