Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
Last December, I was pretty complimentary of BK, an upcoming hip hop artist who had released a single entitled ‘Indulge.’ Since then, the Ontario-based artist has banded together with several friends to create Missingno, (stylized “missingno.”) a hip-hop group that has recently debuted a playlist of fan favorites. Let’s explore five of their new tunes and see how they stack up against other indie hip hop.
As I mentioned when I reviewed BK’s solo work, the indie hip hop scene is an inundated one - much more so than any other genre right now. This results in a tidal wave of mediocrity that’s always hounding the gates of the Independent Spotlight. BK defied that norm with his solo work, and Missingno defies it together as a collective. Their production and lyrical prowess make bold statements toward their potential future success as a collaboration.
‘Viruses’ opens up their new debut of songs with a sharply produced endeavor. BK, Prophet, and Rey Chavo are in fine form, bouncing off one another with a production by Samuel Truth that highlights them particularly well. I adore the opening of the song. It explodes in a cacophony of atmospheric hip hop intensity.
‘MEDUSA’ boasts an equally excellent production by Truth, perhaps even eclipsing its predecessor. The beats elegantly clash traditional hip hop stylings and electronic influence. The lyricism pokes fun at the tropes of contemporary hip hop, all while tactfully making especially fantastic references to ‘Star Wars’ and the like.
‘Level 99’ is a stark contrast the previous tracks, likely due to the production shifting from Truth to DRO. The song has some of the most interesting instrumentation I’ve heard in the scene this year - the beats are unlike anything I’ve heard in awhile. The best part of Missingno’s banter is that they don’t take themselves so seriously, too. Hell, they even reference the ‘It’s Over 9000!’ meme in this tune.
BK and Rey Chavo join each other for a hip hop duet of sorts, one based primarily in the production of Brasstracks’ and his synthesized brass section. The shifting productional role actually suits Missingno, creating a constant sense of eclecticism as you progress through their music. ‘No Awards’ is a bit tonally reminiscent of Chance the Rapper’s career defining record from last year, ‘SURF.’
All three men band together for the finale of this playlist, ‘Desert Eagle,’ with production by MISOGI. It’s a perfect finale, one infused with passionate delivery and eerie, organ-based composition. Missingno is planning their first full pursuit, called ‘Project M,’ which is pictured above. Keep tabs on them for that - good things are coming from these guys.