iLoveMakokken rap scene

iLoveMakonnen arrives with his third project this year.

iLoveMakonnen has been a peculiar figure in the rap scene. He’s far from an ordinary rapper with a focus more on singing with a oddly dark feel. His single “Tuesday” gained him quite a lot of traction, eventually leading to his Drake remix and a signing with OVO. He has since left OVO and, along with the death of friend and collaborator Lil Peep, he has upped his output. We first saw his 2021 return with the project My Parade, then followed up with a Drink More Water album influenced by the new Bond movie. He has now surprised dropped with another EP.

My Parade might have been written, DMW007 was known to be all freestyles, and we have arrived at this EP. While its not known if this is another freestyle tape, he crafts the intro that’s a 6 minute song that probably wouldn’t sound too out of place on an Owl City album. The instrumental is beautiful with Makonnen’s delivery dark and strained like he’s best at. He unfortunately leaves a lot of dead air but it does give it an aesthetic that works well.

This unfortunately does not keep speed, the next track “Loving You Is Right” completely kills the amazing vibe introduced from the intro track. The sparse instrumental with Makonnen’s off-kilter does not work at all. Its a track that’s sentiment probably means a lot to Makonnen but does not pan out in the way that is enjoyable.

The track is followed up “I Don’t Wanna Lie”, which would fit well on other Makonnen projects as another guitar-driven ballad. Which leads to the most questionable track of all, “Bad Man”. This track feels as if it was a lost 90s Sublime instrumental, complete with the samples about marijuana usage from old television and film. He uses the Batman theme for a hook for some reason. Makonnen is at his best when he does songs about his emotional state or trapping. This song feels like he watched an episode of Cops and felt compelled to make something like its theme song.

“Spell on You” gives an emotional song with some unnecessary background noise, and gets even worse on “Monster In the Woods”. This final track he plays the perspective of a monster. What kind of monster, who knows. He’s a monster & a chimney. He haunts, takes you to the shed. Who knows what the purpose of this was other than it was released close to Halloween. A track that’s easier to laugh at than actually enjoy.

Monster In the Woods does not provide much new to the mystique of Makonnen. What is clear about this release, is that Makonnen is back full speed ahead doing whatever he enjoys to do. A 6 minute intro? Sure why not. Using the Batman theme unironically for a hook? Of course. Concept track about being a monster? Yes, indeed.

Makonnen is here with all the freedom imaginable.

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