Few things can be more exciting than when an up and coming artists presents their work to the world for the first time ever. There’s no way one could quantify the amount of writing, rehearsing, and pushing through doubts that it takes to finally make a dream a reality. Hip Hop artist Mike Brand may know something about that as he has offered us his debut EP the self titled ‘Mike Brand’ project for our listening pleasure. Let’s see how Mike Brand did on his very first go round.
Mike Brand starts off his debut EP with the song “Street Preacher” featuring Eshon Burgundy and Davis Absolute. The drums have a nice sound to them and then the beat transitions into a bouncy gritty type feel. The first voice we hear is that of lyrical heavyweight Eshon Burgundy and followed by Davis Absolute. We finally hear from the album artist Himself, Mike Brand, in the third verse. He rides the beat really well. Very strong way to open the project up. Second on the EP is the song “Rollin'” featuring Alano Adan and Ty Brasel. Mike Brand starts off this song rapping pretty well and Alano does a great job on the hook, this is very much in his wheelhouse. Alano also raps on the second verse, and Ty Brasel raps up the song on the third verse. All three emcees ask if the listener is rolling with them as they do the Lord’s work. Very good song to roll through your town to, good music to ride to.
Next, Mike Brand drops “Tell Me How You Feel” featuring Datin of God Over Money. This production is a very east coast type boom bap with a mellow feel, which is just ripe for story telling. Mike starts off the track painting a picture of cold streets and people with no hope. “You telling them to change they need a preview” is a powerful line from Mr. Brand. He also speaks to the Church about not being in the hood and other desolate places that need the light of the Gospel. Datin picks up where Mike left off and drops some dope bars about the need for the church to show people that God is really real. “Why we visiting countries when this place is in flames” really stood out to me from Mike Brand on the third verse.
We round the corner towards the end of the ‘Mike Brand’ EP and head into a change of pace and feel on the project. The fourth song is “So Lost” featuring Anthony Cruz. There is a distinctly R&B type flow to the beat. Mike talks trying to balance rapping and real life on the first verse. He’s feeling lost because of lack of prayer and just struggling but he’s gonna fight through his struggles. Many of us are lost in this life trying to figure out what to do, making this is a very relatable song. Anthony sings a haunting bridge about running from God. This song is very enjoyable, I could hear this being played on the radio. The EP comes to a close with “Most High” featuring Jay Cabassa. Stabs from the piano keys lead to a nice somber boom bap beat. Mike just says how he’s so grateful for Jesus and just brags on the Lord and the new life he’s been given. Jay does an excellent job on the hook crooning about the Most High God. This is a great way to close out the project.
Mike Brand gave us a really solid project with this ‘Mike Brand’ EP and it makes me eager to see what else he has to offer. There were a few missteps taken that he may want to rectify before releasing a full length studio album. Every song on this EP had a feature of some sort. While it is true that the last two songs had singing features, the point remains is that on every song we heard Mike and another voice. The good thing is he held his own on songs with Eshon and Datin, but the way this project is loaded with features makes it hard to get a feel for Mike’s voice as an artist. For his next project I’d like to see Mike Brand carry more songs by himself, that way people won’t be able to say that he’s being carried by other artists on his own album. Eshon was the very first voice we heard on this project, but the problem with that is that this is Mike’s EP. I think it’s things like that, little decisions, that will make the biggest impact. All in all, this is a very solid project, and you should keep your eye on Mike Brand.