It’s easy to say that Milo’s take on hip hop is not for everybody. It lacks the bravado, (traditional) punchlines and self-congratulatory tone of the majority of the rappity rap realm. The references are somewhat academic and the tone is self-deprecating. Some might call Milo an arthouse rapper, but placing him in the Digable Planets/Brand Nubian lineage would be a mistake. The deadpan flow and highly referential nature might bring up Das Racist comparisons, but Milo’s lyrical arrangements aren’t as populist stream-of-consciousness as the deceased Brooklyn trio. Milo is also probably smarter than you, a point that is emphasized throughout his recently released double EP Things That Happen At Day/Things That Happen At Night (out now on Hellfyre Club). The Riley Lake-helmed former is the focus of this post, partially because it’s my favorite of the two and partially because there is entirely too much to take in and comment on across the span of both projects. Before listening to the EP, I highly recommend reading Milo’s “addendum” on duality, Schopenhauer and his father:
this record is about (false) dichotomies and the transcendence of them through genuine expression, and the exploration of things that make me, personally, uncomfortable. it’s about olde-tyme notions of heroism, quests and being in the search of. it is about action for the sake of action without regards to consequence. it is about verbs and not nouns.
Milo is both an astute media critic and a philosophy student and Things That Happen At Day is as dense a work as you’ll come across in contemporary music. It’s easy to get lost in the Hegel talk or whatnot, but like most self-aware lyricists, Milo is mostly just attempting to find a justifiable truth in his personal relationships. He admits that much on EP standout “folk-metaphysics”, a track rife with an immensely relatable insecurity. What’s more relatable after all? The illusions of exorbitant wealth and grandeur in more radio ready rap or the existential worry that you might not matter after all? Milo’s rap might not be for everybody, but it should be. Expect to hear much more about this Riley Lake guy tomorrow as we’ve got some big things (think LOL Boys x Fader mix, but better) in line, but just know that the production on Things That Happen At Day is like no other hip hop release you’ll hear all year. Kombucha bottle percussion, Wallflowers covers and jazz guitar are the new norm so, like, get with the program. I can’t do this EP proper justice in a condensed writeup unfortunately, but just give Things That Happen At Day a listen. And then another one, because while Milo isn’t quite as incomprehensible as Hegel, this shit is packed with meaning. I certainly haven’t begun to grasp the majority of it yet. Stream below and show some love to two immensely talented artists. Also catch Things That Happen At Night after the jump.