Press/Reviews

Mic Mountain

Prhymalrage.com

This first time listening to Mic Mountain all that came to mind was the flow style of some of Kool Keith mixed with an MF Doom cadence. Now sprinkle in some witty punches akin to Redman with a plethora of Hip-Hop greats and popular quotables mentioned throughout the songs, it’s apparent Mic Mountain is a Hip-Hop student! The album features Tame One, 72thesign, Apollo Treed, Mr. Ripley, Kincee, Pacewon, Hakim Green and Rodimus P and is a solid listen for Hip-Hop purists!

UndergroundHipHopBlog.com

Every now and then you come across a source of potential. Much like a gold mine, it takes effort to get to that polished final product that we all strive for. There’s the excavating and digging, the refining – and then when all of that is done you’re left with a valuable item. This is how I feel about Mic Mountain and his 2018 release, “The Avalanche.”

Right off the bat, the audio quality is raw and uncut. It’s entirely unavoidable with the low quality mixing and production, but hey, sometimes emcees work with what they have. Recording with a microphone that sounds like a landline from the early 2000’s is all too real in this project. But maybe it’s not the mic, because sometimes – actually, a lot of times – it’s the instrumentals that sound fuzzy and distorted if not mastered well.

Diving into his writing, it’s not bad. He’s got decent flow, some decent bars.  His style reminds me of a MF Doom mixed with Lil B. He has a clean 90’s flow sometimes very reminiscent of Biggie, and the way his words bounce to the beat can be hypnotic and pleasing to the listener.

My only complaint for this project is that the instrumentals sound very basic. From what I noticed, most of the beats are just two to four bars repeating. I don’t remember hearing a single break throughout the entire album. It essentially sounds like the basic functions of FL Studio were implemented over a few default sample loops seventeen times and then packed together to make an album.

To summarize, Mic Mountain needs to clean up the audio quality, make or find fleshed out beats that capture the listener, and not put out ignorantly egotistical and dumb content. But he has potential and if he combines all the right elements, I could be writing a review with a very different tone in the near future. I wouldn’t count him out yet.

Highlights: 90’s Vibe

Rating: 6/10

PremiereHipHop.Com

Remember when we said, “Fuck your A&R!”? See, technology’s been allowing the would be artist to empower themselves. So much so that they have often become their own cunning agent in repertoirin’ themselves to the public.  It is that they sell out before the selling has even become in…play.

But the theory of the A&R is what I miss. That art breeds all type of artists. The Black diaspora has an abnormal need to express ourselves at every turn. And now we all can try to make some kind of music. But the rates of our growing illness still won’t be the same. And when I get records, I see brothers and sisters at different stages. Who deserves a listen? A purchase? A memorialized place in the cannon of the special? Who needs to go back to the lab? Who’s needs developing?

These answers don’t have absolutes but they can be useful with criteria and insight. And if a brother swam the 9000 miles of song, that is, collections of over 50,000 songs, at least half Hip Hop, written enough on them to liner note hundreds of them, cataloged it with new perspectives and understanding, then let them right. And I get honored with the heavy task to skillastrate on them.  But it isn’t a linear process…you see a brother climb a mountain but the mic isn’t mastered on only one mount.

Mic Mountain, a Boricua brother in love with break beats and the best of MCing, is still in search of mastery. Since I’ve heard of him half a decade ago with his Warparth 2 LP, he isn’t an A&R’s dream. So much so that the potential I saw there I absolutely couldn’t see on a stretched out double LP, Warpath 3 from 2016.  His way of MCing is filled with all the flaws MF Doom’s made on his classic debut Doomsday. The difference is there often is no hint of intention. So I left the brother to try again.

It was the Thundercats mixtape he released in 2017, superbly sampling the classic cartoon, a long overdue option, and remained dynamically in character throughout. His stuttered rhyming, often exposing stumbling out of the pocket, works on “Save the Day” over that flutter drummed action theme. That fluting that previews what shit Lion-O is about to get into is awkward and quirky to work for Mic on “Garden of Delights.”

Now, half a decade later and Mic Mountain, is a battle bar brother. And The Avalanche is the new LP I gotta worry about.  Will I cringe or bang out with it? It’s been in the middle as much of it works and some of it is middling. Mic Mountain will forever be an MC in a love affair with Hip Hop and all its Boom Bap nirvana drum and bar virgins promised from the classic 90s. Listening to Mic, there is still  too much space in the bars, the bpm often too slow, so when he is out of pocket it’s noticed. “Breaker 1-9” is the type of drum pattern he can work and with the great Tame One on it, wasn’t expected to dominate. The shit works. Cinema sounds and epic breaks comfort Mountain and “B-Film” lets him phrase his way through. He used to fail miserably at such a slow track as “High Altitudes” but his clarity is near perfect so the problem is now where it needs to be often.  The lack of tempo diversity still hurts when “Ganja Smoke,” “Architect Music,” and “Hogan’s Thang” run so slow, it’s at a level right about spoken word.

I’m Allah with the Rule here. I can’t listen to my fellow countrymen without being a damned A&R.  Content? Only with more content. Mic Mountain is improving on The Avalanche but like so many MCs whose social media is filled with interesting ideas and opinions that can become songs, their actual songs lack a detailed insight. Nearly all of Avalanche can be ranked as a song about this or one about that but the ideas are far too generic. But these are what I have to expect.  The Boom Bap format has eliminated much of the daring to talk deeper on issues outside of the battle bar and women/weed/Boriken loves. When there are songs like “Metaphors & Verbs” then why aren’t there any figures of speech applied to expose a thought or any verbs on all of these actions.

After five years I have less expectations for Mic Mountain but a solid practice on verbal dexterity, making sure he absolutely doesn’t go out of the pocket as he too often does squeezing in extra vowels on bars, can make his works better exercises in the talents he has worked so hard to emulate. As a producer his breakbeat game is of a decent quality where drums are familiar but well placed (a lost art) and his score and backdrop sampling is strong.  There’s no losses when you’re independent and expressing yourself. My Boricua brother Mic Mountain has all the time and space to shoot greater shots in the universe. The Avalanche is a respectable jumper in the lane.

PremiereHipHop.Com

– MIC MOUNTAIN – THUNDERCATS THE MIXTAPE

Ingeniously with grime, sampling the Thundercats score, Mic Mountain rhymes with a freedom and joy that starts to get away from the more robotic battle bar scenarios he gets trapped in. His off kilter flow works with like minded sampling that challenges him our of convention. I look forward to more of this type of action from Mic

 

thisis50.COM

From witty word play to multi-syllable flows, charismatic delivery to rhythmic metaphors Mic Mountain has what it takes to rock the microphone. Coming from the Washington D.C. area he has a unique hardcore, east coast style. Currently bringing to you his third solo album The Warpath 3. Hip-hop bangers like "Sabado Gigante" featuring Thirstin Howl the 3rd are guaranteed hits where Mic raps bilingual in English with little bit of Spanish showing his proud Puerto Rican heritage. Mic Mountain shows off his skills in more ways than one killing emcees on "Heavy Arsenal" where the rap cypher is the battle field and the opponent is an equally lethal enemy.

Reminiscent of mid-nineties New York Hip-Hop Mic Mountain takes us on a lyrical journey on "At a Mountain's Pace" featuring Pace Won of the Outsidaz. Here they both go verse for verse and rhyme for rhyme over extra-terrestrial flutes and a soldiers drum line. Mystical renditions such as "The Awakened One" where Mic Mountain illustrates a world and times long lost to modern man and into the future as he speaks his Gnostic gospels in rhyme form. Laced with a Harmonious piano playing over thumping bass lines and etheric pads this song is guaranteed to make you zone out and nod your head at the same time.


Lyrically Battling his way to the top Mic Mountain's album is a must have for all true Hip-Hop heads worldwide. Making his mark he conquers all.

thisis50.com

Raw magnetic appeal and energy, the perfect recipe for success, Mic Mountain has it! From witty word play to multi-syllable flows, charismatic delivery to rhythmic metaphors Mic Mountain has what it takes to rock the microphone. Emerging from the shadows of Landover Maryland in the Washington D.C. area he has a unique hardcore, east coast style. Currently bringing to you his sophomore solo album The Warpath 2 LP.

On hip-hop hood anthems like "Return of the Boom Bap" Mic Mountain goes verse for verse and line for line with urban metaphors, off beat comedy and wordplay over a traditional boom bap break beat that will make your skull snap accompanied by extraterrestrial sound effects that seamlessly blend into the track. Smoker Songs like Mountain High (Bombvyzee Mix) are always a winner when getting the cypher started, laid down with up tempo marching drums, futuristic sounds and bouncing bass. Soldier ballads such as "Mi Vida Es Guerra" featuring Thirstin Howl the 3rd and Mellowman Ace take you through the storms of life's many trials and tribulations, dropping street jewels in English and Spanish representing for Latinos world wide.

The scorching banger "Ready4War" featuring Big Shang show how Mic Mountain can strategically paint a perfect picture with lyrics in battle while reminiscent of old school club bangers like "Apache War Funk" hit your ears with a catchy hook and a simple yet fly rhyme style over melodic bass and harmonic flute synths. “Mind Over Matter” has a nicely done slow flow that battles through a stuttered southern style track where the chorus holds the theme.

“Cliffhanger” the pacing grooves are in mid-tempo where Mic Mountain takes you into a war-zone behind enemy lines where ambush and land minds lurk around every corner. Battle songs like "The Unseen" show Mic Mountain's lyrical prowess and deadly style versatility. Pulse racers such as "Double Impact" featuring Supreme tha Eloheem is filled with slick gritty hardcore rhymes over a track that gets your adrenaline going. If you're looking for a classic hip-hop album this the one for you. This guy is a titan, a prodigy and a champion. They say it's hard to top your first album, well Mic Mountain has done just that with the Warpath 2 LP. He is setting the bar high and ready to claim his place among the Hip Hop greats! 

If you're looking for a classic hip-hop album this the one for you. This guy is a titan, a prodigy and a champion. They say it's hard to top your first album, well Mic Mountain has done just that with the Warpath 2 LP. He is setting the bar high and ready to claim his place among the Hip Hop greats!

 

PremiereHipHop.Com

There are many MCs living as Hip Hop’s Woody Carmicheal trapped in Spike Lee’s Crooklyn.  Their music is done with an obsessive reverence for the sound that makes it true.  They won’t indulge in a sound that has no roots and payola a rhetoric that’ll keep to the charts. However, the resulting common misnomer is that select MCs are actually bringing real Hip Hop back.  A complete truism this when the select MC happens to only be also doing real Hip Hop.  It isn’t the recreating of old sounds that renew but having the soul of old that refreshes the music.  With The Warpath LP 2, Landover, Maryland’s Mic Mountain reveals his rugged potential as he fixates on the truism.

MCing on wax is a writer with his own book of moment’s thoughts preserved for listenership.  When this is understood, the MC isn’t thinking of just entertaining their love of an Art but also assuring there is understanding of worth on the wax.  That understanding can manifest from the technique at its most basic levels and even reach the supreme level of unique insight.  For Mic Mountain, the constant odes to Hip Hop are not kept subtle; instead he’ll wastefully remake Common’s classic on “Luv4HipHop.”  Or on “Apache War Funk” Mic uses ol’ school choruses and refrains that become frustrating karaoke when one hears other tracks where Mic really has strong insights to share.  Yet as we do the knowledge to the “YHWH Interlude” the insight and the themes of the common root of all Original people (Black, Brown and Yellow) expressed through the indigenous Americas in tune with the East are the jewels that Mic absolutely has the talent to orate on wax.

Essentially, this is a battle album with hood party vibes where Mic is almost hiding his deeper insights in order to make the proper homage Hip Hop.  “Mind Over Matter” has a nicely done slow flow that battles through a stuttered track where the chorus holds the build.  On “Cliffhanger” the pacing grooves in the mid-tempo where Mic Mountain excels.  When Mellow Man Ace and Thirstin Howl the 3rd add on with Mic on “Mi Vida Es Guerra,” the typical break is overridden by nice guitar licks and funky double womping basslines and Mic has short, meaningful bars.  “Ready For War” is ill slop funk while “The Unseen” with the tough bass drums lets Mic actually create his persona as that rugged Black Indian fighting the Man out the wilderness of these Americas.

The unifying highlight of the production is often the disappointing prevalence of redundant breaks (i.e “Return of the Boom Bap”) but the sharply grooved funk basslines dominate the originality of many tracks (i.e. “Mi Vida Es Guerra”).  The best works are the urban military anthems like “Lyrical Godz”  with its triumphant keys, sinister keys and soaring wails or the driving “The Mountain High (Bombvyzee Mix)” that again, as throughout, has exceptionally deep bass grooves, layered excellently crisp.

Mic Mountain has paid homage to Hip Hop but has done disservice to the understanding he can share us.  In this massively commercialized music rooted in counter-culture, homage gets in the way of having a music where all of the insights brothers like Mic Mountain can go in.  Mic Mountain, with an insight to our very Black culture of all us Latinos he is properly embracing, the spiritual insights he can share on his indigenous roots and just all the stories of his real life we are missing can make albums no one has.   With his music being made nostalgic and not on the real-time hardcore updates that can be so life inducing, we are missing out with a mere enjoyable rugged album.

- See more at: http://premierehiphop.com/2013/12/09/mic-mountain-the-warpath-lp-2-review-sunez/#sthash.Rnpery3U.hm778erh.dpuf