Since moving to Austin, Texas and performing in SXSW this year, Detroit native Mike Melinoe has been steady hustling with his artistic output. Mike, who True Too recently interviewed, is the cofounder of hip hop super group Organic Geniuses. A month ago he began releasing one single a week up to the anticipated release of his latest ep, titled A Night With Hanabi. The ten song project caps off the steady supply of new music for Mike Melinoe fans, and it doesn’t disappoint.
The term “Hanabi” means “fireworks” in Japanese. So what does spending a night with fireworks entail, according to Mike? Exactly what you want it to. The EP, while musically documenting the artists’ frame of mind, should be interpreted on an individual basis. Here is my analysis of the project, track by track:
A Night With Hanabi busts right out of the gate with one of the singles from #MelinoeMondays, “Neighborhood Goats”. It’s a banger. What a way to begin. The transition from the hook into Ameer Vann’s feature verse stands out as a masterfully produced aspect of the intro track.
The tape then takes a turn into the more emotionally and sensual tracks “Fireworks” and “Lonely Iris,” the latter of which sports a Luther Vandross type instrumental behind Mike’s atmospheric reverbed verses.
“I don’t want to live lonely, I, I, I, don’t want to die young.”
Both “Lonely Iris” and the next track “5.0” lead the way with the hook game, which is on point throughout the project. The short “5.0” acts an braggadocio interlude of sorts, as Mike explains “the rodeo I’m speaking of is an analogy; of the constant discussion of other artists having a similar sound and effort towards creativity. While, I tend to create my lane with the classic effect of a 5.0 mustang.”
Mike then jumps back to his Caveman feel with “Ghost;” industrial-echo-trap rap. Featured artist Sabino breaks in with a staticky verse to complement the gritty composition.
Up next, “Electro” features a fitting name considering the opening chorus reflects a common theme among electric music with the beautiful female vocals. The only problem with the song is that the female in it hates his excessive use of Nintendo. Are you sure she’s a real one?? Regardless, the track is a gorgeous step back from its predecessor and, despite it’s uniqueness, oddly fitting.
“Tokyo” might just have been my favorite track had it not been for the beginning screeches and heavy breathing, which I didn’t quite understand. But the hook more than makes up for it with both its catchiness and relatability:
I wanna go to Tokyoooooo! Six gold rings with a trophy, doe. I wanna go to Tokyooooo! Six gold rings with a forty, doe.
A Night With Hanabi concludes with “No Service,” an ode to the one that just wouldn’t call him back. This track, along with interspersed elements of the EP, contain heavy influences from 808’s & Heartbreaks.
Much to Mike’s preference, A Night With Hanabi is a quick and easy listen. Not to mean it is overtly simplistic, but rather smooth flowing and easily digestible. He continues to push his own boundaries while inviting his listeners into a realm of consciousness and sonic pleasure. The work ethic and artistic progression are no doubt; we are excited to see what’s up next for him.
Learn much more about the EP from Mike’s own perspective: 25 Facts about A Night, With Hanabi. Stream it below, and let us know what you think in the comment section. For all things hip hop, keep reading at True Too.