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weight of the world
I think I don’t know how to grieve.
My natural tendency in tragedy is numbness. I don’t really know how to act or what to think or how to process emotions I don’t have words for. My exclamation is reserved for joy or anger, reactions I can more viscerally recognize and comprehend. Spending a lot of time on the computer growing up probably didn’t help my emotional intelligence, if you can believe that.
So, I gravitated toward music that conveyed those feelings for me. Listening to cLOUDDEAD while flunking through high school and perceiving myself as a failson. My grandma dying and sitting in my cousin’s backyard after the funeral on my iPod classic with Public Strain, idly, listlessly. Maybe my brain just naturally removes itself from these situations. I don’t think I’m a monster, right?
I’m envious, then, of MIKE’s ability to express his own feelings. Besides Youngboy, he is the modern rapper of lucid thought, someone who can place you right in the thick of his psyche without pretense, with a preternatural talent for locating his interiority. And unlike Youngboy, who thrives in chaos yet laments it, MIKE is always calm.
weight of the world exists as a document of a life, impartial observance by the poet himself. It is a portrait of grief delivered sentimentally but grounded, soaking up wisdom bestowed by forebearers, always reaching for truth and a communal love. MIKE misses his mother dearly but he doesn’t wallow or stay content with a damaged mental. His self-inflicted therapy session is shared and dissected, an emotional honesty that is both brutal to witness and incredible.
Sometimes I'd rather just be wrong than to settle with it
These tribulations are deftly backed by beats that send you into a trance easily but can always sober up and puncture that same trance. The New Yorkian framework looms large, as these songs feel like they belong to the city. The bustling nature, the habitual violence, the constant motion, weight of the world has it in spades. MIKE is a child of the most influential megalopolis known to man, and it too, weighs on him. After all, you can become a liminal part of a massive, unfeeling metropolis very, very easily.
MIKE has released 2 albums since weight of the world that recognize his exculpation from these heavy feelings, and more explicitly celebrate his blackness and the Pan-African diaspora lingering within all us negros. It seems morose to focus in on a record that factors grief and pain front and center, but that is a universal truth. We mourn. We lash out and move different, sometimes erratically and unpredictably. It’s nice that someone made a musical blueprint for not just freaking out.
Y’know, sooner or later, I’ll fuck up. I am confrontational, reckless, prone to acting on emotion. I can hope it’s not too craterous to how you feel about me. But I can act on will and aspire to make art like MIKE’s weight of the world. Everyone feels that crushing weight anyways, so I could hope to be so fervently earnest, a lesson from someone who refuses to be defined and enveloped by sorrow. There’s still so much love to be given.
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