Too often, it seems like young rappers on the rise today seem to forget that rap can be and often should be a lot of fun. With the Kanyes and Kendricks of the world making big, bold, important statements, the unspoken onus is that unless you’re making meaningful “art,” you’re not doing something worthwhile. Sometimes the worth is in the vibe created and the window that provides into an artist’s mind–particularly when that artist is young and might not have a mine of experiences to draw from.
Recently, I received an e-mail with the subject “AKONO MILES THE 16 YEAR OLD GOD” containing the song you can stream below, “Get Inspired.” Intrigued by the bold header (which conjured an immediate and, as it turns out, somewhat inaccurate vision of the Based God), I dove in. I enjoyed it, but recognized it had certain shortcomings. I sat with the track for a while, teetering on the edge, searching for my stance.
Sometimes, after a bit of over-thinking, you have to trust your gut.
“Get Inspired” is a bit sloppy and earnest in its stream of consciousness approach, but it gleefully approximates the attitude and content of turn of the century underground hip-hop and even hearkens back to corners of the early 90s when “fun” wasn’t a dirty word conflated with “pop” or “selling out” and “art” wasn’t necessarily a concerted exercise in self-seriousness. Akono Miles sounds like he enjoys the act of rapping–an energy that, at very least, translated to this listener and will hopefully carry him to interesting, experimental directions in the future.
On “Get Inspired,” you can hear budding talent and the potential for exciting music as the 16 year-old Miles continues to develop. And, if Miles’ recent Twitter activity is an indicator, develop he will:
For now, rejoice in the fun of rapping.