As if Mikill Pane hasn’t already done enough this year, what with a number of EP’s and the eventual release of his debut album ‘Blame Miss Barclay’ a few months back. The initial ‘You Guest It EP’, released last year, is one of my favourite releases of the past few years so it goes without saying that I had hopes for its follower ‘You Guest It Too EP’. Mikill Pane rarely disappoints, and his latest free release is just further evidence.
On Pane’s debut full length there was a good mix of serious and playful songs, showcasing his storytelling prowess and his ability to let loose. His second collaboration filled EP is more the latter, with rhymes about a threesome, the royalty and trainers. Throw in one or two songs about relationships and you get a solid mix of tongue in cheek wit and clever observations complemented by a variety of backdrops, from the bluesy riffs of opener ‘First World Problems’ to the more traditional R&B grooves of sentimental closer ‘May Be Wrong’. As per usual Pane’s flow is immaculate throughout, varying in speed and intensity, being either funny or reflective, whilst always creative. Lines like ‘there’s no I in team but there’s me in a ménage a trois’ are trademark Pane cheek, whilst the closer offers a more sentimental look on a past relationship asking ‘how do you expect me to leave it all behind when I know it was never meant to end this way?’ Considering there are only five tracks you definitely get a lot of variety, and bringing other artists and styles into the picture just highlights how good Mikill Pane actually is. The six artists beside Pane who contribute are generally solid, especially Lorde and Newton Faulkner, who bring a very different style untraditional of most rap releases. Lorde features on best song ‘Royals’, providing a sing-song chorus that ties in well with Pane’s rapping about his own position and those above him. Not many artists could take topics like the Royal Family and use them to emphasise his own point whilst poking fun (‘So I guess I came pretty close to being King, like Prince Albert but I don’t do penis rings’). Third track ‘Check’ features Gnarly Ventura, a.k.a Jordan from Rizzle Kicks and it sounds exactly like you’d expect; an upbeat and amusing pun filled track carrying a similar vibe to past collaboration ‘Work’. Tigger D’s unique voice works very well on ‘The Poison’ alongside the always excellent Sway.
Any free release can be considered generous, but most are also composed of hashed together tracks that don’t hold much quality. Mikill Pane’s music is different, and he’s already displayed his charitable side on his ‘Lucky Strike EP’ earlier this year and has done so again here. Three of the five tracks that compile ‘You Guest It Too’ could have slotted nicely onto ‘Blame Miss Barclay’ if it wasn’t for their collaborative nature. The weaker two, namely final tracks ‘The Poison’ and ‘May Be Wrong’ sound very similar to his earlier free release, carrying the same electronic flourish in production that soundtracked most of ‘Lucky Strike’. They don’t carry quite the same impact of the preceding tracks, especially the former, which is ultimately forgettable.
Is ‘You Guest It Too’ as good as its predecessor? No, but it’s still much better than a lot of rap material you’ve heard this year. Considering it’ll cost you absolutely nothing and reward you for picking it up you’ve no excuse not to download it, right?
Rating – 8/10
Download it here: http://sbtv.bandcamp.com/album/you-guest-it-too-sbtv