In this edition of rainy day bumps, we take a listen to Mellah Nikz’s 5-pack Either Love ME or leave ME alone—an eclectic melting pot of (among other things) anime, hip-hop, and out-of-the-box oddities. For those who like their music to be the furthermost thing from the overwhelming and inescapable norm, Mellah is blessing with some variation for your streaming pleasure.
Produced primarily by Raisi K—and released on his HandSome Hyena imprint—the short and sweet five-track affair don’t dwell too long in any one vibe, outside of standard thematic references throughout. Instead, it delivers a dizzying amount of variation that runs the gambit from trap-tinged to spaced out lo-fi, without breaking pivot or abandoning his asthmatic as an alternative or, as he describes on “The Bull,” home school vs. high school.
The album starts with the Breezy Revenge-produced “Ichi The Killer,” where he drops a jarring amount of admirably complex bars over a beat almost as menacing as the song title’s muse—the sadistic, ruthless killer Ichi from Hideo Yamamoto late 90’s manga of the same name. This is juxtaposed by the second track, “I Love Tomboiz,”—which he’s dedicated to his woman (Ms. Blue). More of a straightforward rap track, he rides a Raisi K flip of the New Edition hit “Can You Stand The Rain” off of the group’s fifth double-platinum LP Heart Break.
“The Bull” has a larger orchestral feel than the other joint here; this song serves as his line in the sand as he shines a light on the aforementioned “alternative” nature of his place in the game. Again taking a different approach, he follows that song with the spacey “Game Boy 95,” laden with futuristic bars and schemes and a breezy sound bed.
However, the last track, “Akkolades,” is possibly the short set’s shiniest gems; he eats the beat and also serves up this incredible change-up at the end that we were obsessed with within the office running it back more than a few times.
Getting it all out in five tracks is no small feat, and it would be disingenuous to suggest a sense of consistency aside from his actual vocal cadence, delivery, and pen game. But that kind of the charm here—and something you can find across his catalog. He’s this strange blend of Ghostface’s wordplay with the fearless oddity of someone like, say, Lil B. Though he remains wholly himself, almost devoid of direct comparison, and really, it doesn’t get more hip-hop than that.