From Kingsbury, London, heavy-hitting rapper, songwriter, and creator of his own empire, MKHL, graces our ears with a punchy, groovy, and conceptual new self-titled album, 'MKHL.'
The new record isn't to be taken lightly; it comprises everything a modern hip-hop record should and a whole lot more. After releasing his debut album 'Oh-Sama' in 2017, MKHL has been hard at work developing his craft, collaborating, and selling out famous venues. Without further ado, let's dive into the sweltering vibes of MKHL's sophomore album, 'MKHL.'
The record sets the tone with the ominous introductory track, "Distant (feat. Jadakiss)," alongside producer Jayweb. As the broad and heated production begins ramping up the energy, MKHL makes his dominant vocal appearance and dives into bars that dissect the grind, the fast-paced lifestyle, and the fakes he's met along the way. This track is as dark as night, and Jadakiss' powerhouse feature is everything we need to grab our attention right off the bat, foreshadowing a bang-up listening experience throughout the entire project.
Onto track number two, "A Lie," this song opens with cinematic strings that leap into a robust hip-hop beat where the crispiest hi-hats pierce our speakers alongside MKHL's deep and attention-commanding flow. The production in this track is top tier, and it perfectly matches up with MKHL's dominant and energetic performance that raps of not seeing eye to eye with someone special and knowing their 'relationship' is far from over. We love the party-like vibe of this track; it maintains the energy the entire time while feeding us the power, tenacity, and rhythm of timeless British rap.
Continuing through the album, we meet the third track, "That's Deep," which brightly opens with shaker-like hi-hats and Spanish-like brass to bring out a more radiant and uplifting feel. However, MKHL's familiar profound, and gut-stirring production maintains its slight darkness and gritty edge to keep the vibe alive. MKHL's performance in this track is another treat for the ears that showcases his solo talents while he touches on the passion and lust he feels for someone's daughter. We admire the humor that MKHL adds to his bars, showcasing that it's not all seriousness in the studio for this British trailblazer.
Completely switching up the vibe is the fourth track, "Vibes (feat. OneDay Ryan)," which kicks off with bouncy synth-like keyboard bursts that spin us into the realm of electronic music. Right off the bat, MKHL turns heads left and right with his smooth, confident, and laidback flow that tracks his fast-paced lifestyle and his perpetual plans to reach success. About halfway through, the deep and poised stylings of OneDay Ryan pour down from above while he fuels our fire with cohesive bars that flow like a sharp winter breeze. This song is incredibly dynamic and probably our favorite so far.
Onto a track we're really excited about, "Or 2 (feat. Wiz Da Kid & Xavier Jacobs)," this song takes us straight to the islands with the glimmering and warm Afrobeat production to transform the album's vibe once more. MKHL's familiar vocals open the song, singing about making a mili (or two) while paving the way for Wiz Da Kid's prideful and radiant bars that touch on the past, present, and future. Before we know it, Xavier Jacobs smashes through our speakers to close the song with his charismatic and witty bars that bring us a completely unique and intriguing listening experience.
Reaching the album's halfway point at track number six, "Baddie (feat. OneDay Ryan)," this smooth and passionate tune kicks off with a tender electric guitar melody alongside mid-tempo drum breaks. OneDay Ryan is the star of this track, as he blesses our ears with his stunning vocal stylings that perfectly match the song's easy-listening and blissful production. As he continues expressing his passion for a baddie he has his eye on, OneDay Ryan lifts us to the song's outro while letting us lose ourselves in the dreamy electric guitar melodies.
Onto the album's second half, we meet track number seven, "Dessi (feat. OneDay Ryan & ILLVMINATE)." OneDay Ryan tears this song open with his airy and soft bars that expand on similar sensual and sexual scenes, paving the ground for MKHL to make his way in. As he takes the track by storm, MKHL topples us over with his heavy-hitting and punchy flow that leaves us hooked from top to bottom. ILLVMINATE jumps in on the hook to drench the song in his high-energy and Don Toliver-like vocals, belting suggestive scenes while fuelling us with a passionate and desirous fire.
ILLVMINATE tackles the production for track number eight, "Yard (feat. Compton Menace)," which begins with a melodic piano alongside soothing brass samples and quick drum arrangements. MKHL jumps into the song without a dull moment and takes us into the fiery depths of his work ethic and need for success. This is also the first track where we get to know the powerful flow and bars of rapper Compton Menace, who takes the track by storm with his alluring and bouncy delivery to keep the party, grind, and energy high and mighty. There's so much to hear in this track, and it might have taken the spot as our #1 favorite on the album thus far.
Jumping into track number nine, "Accent," MKHL takes this song solo alongside the detailed and complex production stylings of Jayweb. This song bursts through our speakers with tender vocal samples, energy-packed synths, and glittering keyboard melodies that quickly shift into a powerhouse hip-hop beat. We can't help but compare MKHL's dominant flow to other British heavyweights like Dave, and not just because they're both British, but because they both embody a particularly authentic and charismatic performance style with tight bars that leave any listener in awe of what they've just experienced.
Hitting play on track number ten, "DM Me," MKHL takes this track solo once more and heats the energy from the jump. There have been production and sonic nods to the late great Pop Smoke throughout the entire album through his staple sub-bass, choppy drum breaks, and ominous atmospheres. It's safe to say that anyone who adores Pop's tunes will find their solace in MKHL's music, especially this anthemic banger. This track carries all the heat and energy to blast at any party, and MKHL's charismatic flow and catchy bars will definitely have all listeners chanting alongside the talented and dedicated recording artist.
Onto the album's final track, "By Myself," which turns down the vibe with haunting brass samples that kick us into a bass-heavy hip-hop beat. This track represents the culmination of MKHL's vast success while also capturing the old days when the constant grind helped him get a feel for the intensity of his blossoming music career. And you guessed it, MKHL did it all by himself. We love the confident and boss energy this track emits; it's the perfect way to close such a dynamic and tightly wound album by letting us know that with some hard work, passion, and talent, you can make a mili (or two).
Feed your ears with the anthems of success in MKHL's killer sophomore album 'MKHL,' now available to get down with on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, MKHL. We are honestly delighted to feature such a thorough and talented body of work with your latest album, 'MKHL..' When did you begin feeling inspired to create this powerhouse project? What led you to do so?
Thank you, my album was a work of about three years as I continued to explore my horizons in music. I always want to explore new sounds and create my own twists on crowd favorites. Being from England myself and seeing so many UK artists finally breaking into the mainstream on an international level inspired me. NYC found this crazy love for drill, and I just saw this as a chance for me to show the world how I would take a genre like that and make it my own space.
Were there any core themes or concepts you want to push to listeners within the 'MKHL' album? What did you want them to take away?
The album is more of a personal journey. Im not really sure what people will take from it. My main goal was to create a vibe, the music you can listen to while you drive or have played at a party, and everyone is just feeling it. One of the main goals of this album was for me to give each of my producers the biggest feature I could, im glad to say between Jadakiss and Compton menace, I not only did that, but I also managed to get 2 OG's from both coasts on an independent UK artists album.
What was it like collaborating with the many talented artists and producers on 'MKHL?' What was that experience like?
Working with the artists, legends, and producers that helped me bring this project together created a safe space for me to express and be critiqued. We all wanted every song to feel like it was perfect but not so perfect that it lost its humanity. A big part of the process of creating this album was reflection and honesty. I decided to use my natural accent this time, and the flow and words just came to me like never before. There's a clear focus on joy and enjoying the moment that I wanted to feel from every note sometimes. Other times I wanted to capture that feeling of London at 3 pm when it's raining and grey out.
Is there a track from 'MKHL' that's your personal favorite? Which song stands out to you the most and why?
"Accent" is one of my personal favorites, tied with Distant. The song "Accent" is one of the oldest songs on the project, and it was the first song with my natural accent that I heard and thought, "I actually really like this." Distant, well, I have Jadakiss opening my project thanks to Distant.
Do you feel that 'MKHL' is your most evolved and skilled project to date? How does this album contrast your debut record 'Oh-Sama?'
My first album, 'Oh-Sama,' was my first time recording a body of work that I could call "listenable." That album was like me saying hello, but 'MKHL' is the mission statement.
This project started with about 32 songs, cut that down to 20 and then 10. I then scraped everything and created all-new songs, went back to the old songs, and it took almost a year to find its balance. It was an incredibly taxing process that forced me to look at my craft in a whole new way, and thanks to that, I can easily say this is the best body of work I've made to date. I'm proud to call this project my name.