Kansas City, Missouri has been a safe space for the culmination of very promising hip hop artists this summer. After lending some of her musical talents over to "!-800", the hot track released by Kye Colors back in July this year, Micah the Muse has now graced us with a three-track EP titled SUMMER SAMPLE. This new release was just the taste we needed of what Muse has in store for us.
SUMMER SAMPLE starts off with the synths from the opening track "Handle It" (feat. Southside Dame). This, then, gives way to a more ambient instrumental production, with Muse's vocals capturing the main focus. Pockets of bass, 808s and the classic "Drag Rap" drum machine sample make this an easy listen for Hip Hop & RnB fans, but the minimalistic beat definitely welcomes listeners of different genres who simply resonate with the picture that "Handle It" paints. This song is about a female protagonist who invites her lover over, all while musing over what and how she wants things to unfold between them. Southside Dame accepts this invitation onto the track, and wastes no time to assure this female protagonist that she will be satisfied-- and then some. Muse does an excellent job of utilizing her laid back delivery, as well as her KCMO accent to set the tone with her own voice. Something about this feminine voice matched with her non-forced bravado is relaxing. It also seems to be a solid foundation for her sound.
Coming in strong, next on SUMMER SAMPLE is "Up Now (Envy)" (feat. Kye Colors), with vocals from Unique Monee' and a sample of "Back Then" by Mike Jones. Instrumentally, the production remains minimalistic in style, yet, there are impeccable touches of different essential elements found throughout the song. For example, the choir of baritones echoing Muse's soft soprano adlibs is genius, as well as a concept that needs to be explored further. This song is four minutes long, which is shocking because it leaves the listener, sonically, wanting even more all while reaching for the replay button. Muse's vocal delivery on this track is again, relaxed, though there is something inexplicably (and humbly) dynamic about how it works with the production. The artist was modest and purposeful with her use of the choir and sample respectively, making the song less about those added elements and more about what she is saying. "Up Now (Envy)" is a classic glow up track in which Muse and Colors reflect on being unwanted or unaccepted in the past while acknowledging their current abundance in life.
Another element that Micah the Muse somehow executes excellently during the course of an only three-song-long EP is vision--making each song about something new while maintaining an essence from the track beforehand. This makes this short EP easier to replay, as you are guaranteed a new understanding with each listen. The first example that we see of this is the transition from "Handle It" to "Up Now (Envy)". "Handle It", a suggestive song about making love, becomes "Back Then", a song that could be interpreted as the protagonists reminiscing on times when they unwanted romantically. This is due to the sample lyrics "back then they didn't want me, now I'm hot and they all on me". The ambiguity of this sample, allows the artist to seamlessly change the topic from intercourse to financial glow up without sacrificing the cohesive stream from song to song. We see this smooth content transition once again when going into the third and final track on the SUMMER SAMPLE EP titled "Highly Favored". This track features fellow KCMO artist D-Walk and vocals from while sampling "Count Your Blessings" by Deitrick Haddon. This gospel sample echoes the baritone choir from "Up Now (Envy)", maintaining a sense of cohesion as we the theme of abundance is expanded upon. The production on this song is a bit more classic and less minimal. It is a triumphant track with a bass that feels like the end of a successful summer. "I came into the world dying, so understand this is a blessing, I'm simply surviving", an exemplary verse from Muse used to perfectly describe the energy that you get from her while listening to this EP.
Micah the Muse's self-assured approach to life is shown through her delivery. Muse's laid back, yet lady-like bravado makes you sit down and listen, while her ability to produce her own songs gives her the flexibility to explore subject matter however she likes. Check out