The Reggaeton/Urban Latino genre has had the shift in delivery in line with hip-hop’s growing popularity of the melodic flow. Beneath this popular trend are rappers who break away from standard pop/reggaeton contrivances, like Myke Towers and Jon Z, opposed to artists like Rauw Alejandro and Ozuna. And as such, when they release a new project, it usually carries with it, an array of dope rhyme schemes and lyricism. This is the prominent direction of aforementioned artist, Myke Towers, who delivers with virtuoso on his newly gritty-street influenced album Lyke Myke. His uncanny use of reggaeton – sonic undertones, like the electronic infused percussion patterns, take a backseat, as Myke goes in tangent with production reminiscent to the hip-hop he grew up with, but also carrying with it some slight repetition and filler.
With some of the hip-hop/urban music we hear today, there are moments of redundancy in the percussion, which come off as tried – other times it flows with the overlays and the delivery of the rapper that it becomes second nature and you’re more focused on the lyricism and message, opposed to a vibrant instrumental. The production’s array of eclectic overtures has a great consistency in the way it sets up the tone for his more aggressive flows and rhythm. Some of these overtures include an array of defined – gritty notes from the instruments, which are used in different sequences like the high-key piano notes and electronic hi-hats.
However, some of the production has a repetitive nature that derives from wrought similarities within the snares and bass drum patterns. But it isn’t as much of a constant as the direct-filler tracks, like “BURBERRY” and “JUGADOR FRANQUICIA,” which distinguishes themselves from part of the whole. What differentiates these two is the contrast between what works and what doesn’t, instrumentally. The latter has solid flows and lyricism, while the instrumental stays dormant as a somber backdrop. The former has a monstrously eventful instrumental that gets lost in some poor metaphors and analogies from both artists, who frequently evoke the spirit of Nas and the lifestyle from the film Belly. The problematic and cheap film aside; it overstays its welcome as a deterrent from the rest of Lyke Myke. This comes from what they mention in their verses – specifically Ñengo Flow – about their life’s conjunction with the lives of the characters from the aforementioned film. If this were the case, then a concert of his would be more problematic than an YG concert at the heart of Long Beach. But beneath these problems, the song has solid replay value, even if it feels like it doesn’t belong.
Myke Towers’ punctilious approach to his style of trap and rap flows keeps his sound leveled for proper thought consumption, opposed to party-like from others. This is what constantly translates well on the surface, but beneath there are tracks that continue to express itself as lost filler, like “BAGUETTES” which oozes “club banger,” but it doesn’t feel like it should have been part of the album or even as a bonus track. It exceeds the initial eye test, which is judging the pacing from the elongated track list that caps at 23 tracks and one hour – five minutes in runtime. They fluctuate in length, which messes with the pacing. This is what makes most of the percussion come off as repetitive, but lyrically and conceptually, Myke Towers keeps Lyke Myke on a steady track of fluidity. He doesn’t let the production create a void that lacks substance, lyrically, and this strength of Myke, allows him to fully invest in furthering the identity of his artistry and his person, which is a deviation from his last album that had more commercial appeal.
However, the minimal attempts at being different usually end up faltering into mundane club ready tracks (sonically), which loses focus on the strengths of the album – the emotional depth and grit of the tracks that dive deep into his personal roots. But because of his chameleon-like ability with his flow – evident from his appearances on more reggaeton and electronic like production – there continuous showmanship in his prominence as one of the better and more versatile rappers of the Spanish language. This continues within some of the unique deliveries and samples on Lyke Myke, like on the track “PIN PIN,” which samples “Periquito Pin Pin” by Tommy Olivencia and his orchestra, also alongside vocalist Héctor Tricoche. Beneath the lush instrumental, Myke comes with an onslaught of aggressive and smartly structured-multi syllabic rhythms, which can be hard based on the varying and accented pronunciations.
This goes to show how he lets the lyricism soar, even within the filler tracks. And though Lyke Myke has an array of unnecessary filler, the tracks are solid, in their own right, and definitely carry enough replay value. It had me going back to breakdown some of the beautiful overtures in the production and the complex verbiage from Myke Towers. It’s the biggest net-positive for the album and rightfully so. It is so rare to find solid Spanish rap that rely on “pop” trends for an outworld sense of connectivity. He has a niche and builds upon it like other rappers have done – i.e. spreading into pop – centric tracks to build a presence and deliver what he wants to, which is akin to a career path Kendrick Lamar and others had at the beginning of their career.
Lyke Myke is a collection of great rap tracks that build upon his mystique and his artistry that is on a path to being one of the more memorable albums in his repertoire. In a way, it is reminiscent of the stylistic direction behind The Documentary by The Game, even if it isn’t as profound as the classic album. The gritty street – style gives this more definition than his last album, Easy Money Baby, while staying on its own isolated path toward greatness.