[HIP-HOP] Myke Bogan is a sad-clown rapper. Almost all the material released by the twentysomething MC has filtered heartbreak and loneliness through the sound of an empty PBR can getting crushed on a warm summer day. He spits bars of pain with a smile on his face, using his airy rasp of a voice to tie together his lyrical highs and lows.
Monkeys on the Beach is no different. On the surface, it comes off as a sun-dappled album about the squanders of youth: "Beers and Bars" is an anthem for friends bullshitting while drinking in a basement, and "Beach and a Blanket" is pure summertime nostalgia. The album's beats, mainly supplied by Bogan's in-house crew, crackle with warm soul samples and laid-back basslines.
Between all the drinking and smoking, however, Bogan often takes a step back to examine where life has taken him—whether it's realizing he must provide for his family on "Sunrise to Sunset," or the fact he might never make it in the rap game on "The Way I Feel." Perhaps his most poignant lines are on "Memories," when he describes his constant battle with time and how "if life is a game," he "will take a timeout."
As warm weather approaches, Monkeys on the Beach will undoubtedly get more plays just because of how it sounds. Heck, I know I'll be bumping "Beach and a Blanket" on Sauvie Island this summer. But when I'm six PBRs deep and hear a line like, "My lyrics that come from my pain/ I know that shit dope—it's all in your veins," I'll realize the true depth of the record.
HEAR IT: Myke Bogan's Monkeys on the Beach is available for streaming and download at djbooth.net.