It has all the right ingredients for prize-winning radio hip-hop: reedy, snake-charming synths; a raggamuffin dancehall hype man; a smooth-crooning homeboy chorus. So why is Lauderdale MC Mike West's single "Don't Know Me" so damn sterile? West suffers from the same problem that much of Southern hip-hop falls prey to -- talking about how much he's gonna talk about, and not saying much of anything.
Peppering each line with a few niggas and mothafuckas doesn't make a rapper street. With a flow that's as rigid and militant as his content, West has the potential for spitting hard tales of suburban strife, but they don't come out here. Producers TrackJunkiez provide a skiffling, overlong intro, and their wheedly, Nokia-approved beats never kick up the power they could. And, dude, it's the first single off your new album -- of course I don't know you. This is your chance to tell me something. After absorbing five minutes of Mike West, I don't know the man behind the hype. Let's hope the full LP offers something more.
Get the Music Newsletter
Find out about upcoming concerts and special offers happening in the South Florida music scene.