The first solo album by City of Win's Mig Mora is the jam. Better yet, it's free music to download.
I'm going to be honest, I didn't expect to like this. I get sent a ton of links to free music mixtapes. And there are a ton of Chicago rappers. I knew Mig Mora from his City of Win street wear line, but...when I heard about the album...I was kinda like "here we go again..." I downloaded it last week and it's the only thing I've been listening to all week. I even made a friend download it on Saturday, so that we could listen to it from her apartment.
He's really handsome, talented, smart and cool. I was suspicious about whether he could make music too. Turns out he can! Sue me! ...which I guess he could...the dude studied Law at Loyola.
The message can be a little heavy at times, but the music is something that amps you up. And I think that's the point. Music For The End Of The World was released in correlation with the Mayan calendar, but, as Mig says, he wasn't "giving the album a 12 day shelf life." The rhymes speak to a deeper theme of living. "Time is passing, so what are you doing about it," Mig explains. "We can either continue to live the same way until the world ends or we can live like we can change things." The world is always ending. Get pumped up and go do things.
There's not a single song that I would skip over, but my favorite track is "Down To The Ground". It's a definite party anthem that is, in a weird way, about being a party anthem. On the deep level, it's a song about how there is a definite economic crisis in the United States. When you go out on a typical night, you see people actually living that crisis out. Partying on student loans. Partying on credit cards. That debt is so heavy that we want to fling it off and be careless for one night...and really are just plunging ourselves further into debt. It's in that same vein as Ke$ha's Party Like You're Going To Die Young. And it's just as catchy.
As a huge fan of old time radio plays, I knew he had me when excerpts from Orson Welles' War Of The Worlds were interlaced throughout. The story behind the original broadcast had left a significant impression on Mig's mom and she passed this fascination along to him. This inclusion is a nod between the two of them.
The album is mainly produced by Mig's childhood friend Stefan Clark with single tracks by Stefan Ponce (All Kill Everything) and Netherfriends (The Button.) Tracks feature cameos by Chicago rappers Chandler London, Scheme, BBU and singer Ellay Clark. (Click those last two links for some more really awesome free music.)
It's not just music for the end of the world. It's for your weekend. It's for doing the dishes. It's for waking up in the morning. Download Mig Mora's Music For The End Of The World for your health.
Catch Mig tomorrow, Saturday, January 26 at WBEZ's 5th Annual Winter Block Party for Chicago's Hip Hop Arts. Get yourself a City of Win shirt. Meet the man. Do something free on a cold Saturday.