MicFreeze – Cousin Skeeter
This is as real as it comes. MicFreeze’s new single “Cousin Skeeter” is the latest recording from a seventeen year old hip hop prodigy who’s carving out a reputation as one of the genre’s most promising newcomers in a generation. The intensely personal nature of MicFreeze’s songwriting is reminiscent, naturally, of artists emerging over the last twenty years, but he separates himself from the pack thanks to the equally high musical value the track has. There are layers upon layers of synthesizer weaving around each other and conjuring distinct atmospherics while still establishing a strong groove early on. “Cousin Skeeter” is very much a product of the Detroit hip hop scene, but it’s also very much MicFreeze’s own creation. His personality vividly comes across in every second of this performance and he inhabits the musical landscape with a sense of self that many performers take years to develop to such a height.
It isn’t all about MicFreeze either. His vocal and lyrical pyrotechnics are certainly worth the price of admission, but he never overlooks the musical arrangement. It’s an often dense swirl of electronica that, despite the layered effect, never sounds anything less than light on its feet. There doesn’t seem to be any traditional instrumentation employed at all during the course of this performance, but the track has an impressively live and intimate sound regardless, as if MicFreeze and his musical collaborators finished writing the track and immediately hit the studio. This blast of inspiration is the added juice that sends this song over the top and it’s present in every note of the performance. There’s a thick bottom end sound holding things down for MicFreeze, but never at the expense of the top line parts doing their job interacting with MicFreeze’s vocal. The fact that he so obviously pays as much attention to nailing the musical parts of his compositions as he does the lyrics and vocals says much about his all-around talents.
His vocals, however, are mesmerizing. He’s able to adopt a variety of tones to help get over the words, but the writing does a lot of speaking for itself and his mix of some well used hip hop tropes alongside the personal flourishes mark him as different from the rest. This isn’t a performer content to just rework tired, old formulas that iconic artists did first and better. Instead, MicFreeze takes a dollop from those traditions and spins them in his own inimitable fashion. He’s a powerhouse performer with surprising charisma in one so young and those qualities further aid him in burning this track into the audience’s brain. Age is definitely no barrier for this young man. MicFreeze may not have yet seen his twentieth birthday, but carries himself with the spirit and confidence of a much older performer. We’re hearing great things from the Detroit native and there’s only more to come.