MIKE with Slauson Malone 1
In a way, Beware of the Monkey is MIKE’s coming-of-age album. The beloved rapper has come a long way from making waves in underground hip-hop circles with the [sLUms] collective—a group of young rappers Adé Hakim, Darryl Johnson, King Carter, Jazz Jodi, and DJ Mason formed in New York in 2015. In 2017 MIKE released his mixtape May God Bless Your Hustle, capturing a singular moment in a city where the only constant is change. It received a Best New Music review from Pitchfork as MIKE started to gain international attention outside of New York City. At the end of 2018 MIKE released his album War In My Pen independently, and followed it up in mid 2019 with Tears of Joy, his second album to be selected for Pitchfork’s Best New Music. He released his most recent album, Weight of the World, in 2020. Nearly entirely self-produced, and only containing features from Jadasea and Earl Sweatshirt, it is one of MIKE’s most introspective and sonically diverse releases. Disco! followed Weight of the World, and saw MIKE combine his new style of production with his top tier songwriting and delivery.