MIMS is hot, but shallow, like the kiddie pool
It doesn’t take much to get a song to number one on the charts. A minimal snap-drum, a keyboard melody and some boastful lyrics and voila — you’ve got yourself a platinum single. Just so long as the people can dance to it, it doesn’t matter what you say, what you put into it or even if it makes sense. No one knows this better than New York City rapper MIMS, and the fact that he is willing to embrace this makes him both the smartest and most polarizing rapper to emerge in 2007.
On his debut record, Music is My Savior, MIMS has got a lot going for him. Instead of putting down the money for big name producers for his first record, MIMS opted to use unknown street producers from his area in NYC. This, to me, is extremely commendable. The fact that MIMS is able to achieve success and bring along some of his friends says a lot about his character, and gives him credibility. The man is keeping it real. And, love it or hate it, the album has the powerhouse single “This is Why I’m Hot.” No one hates this song more than I do, but it’s a smart single because it showcases that MIMS can play the game as well as anyone else. He knows that his song is shallow, under-produced nonsense, but he also knows that it’s going to make him a household name, not to mention boatloads of money. It may not be the most respectable move of all time, but a job is a job, and we all gots to get paid.
Most of the tracks on this CD are just the normal, boastful sort of self-promotion that chokes the life out of most mainstream, single based hip-hop CDs. In other words, much of this album sounds like filler lumped around a few singles to make some extra money. Besides “This is Why I’m Hot,” which is the frontrunner for my coveted “most played-out song of ’07,” “Big Black Train” and “They Don’t Want to Play” would make pretty good singles. The former is a catchy, proud song about, well, how hot MIMS is, while the latter is the typical, “don’t mess with me” track, although the production is pretty sharp.
Much of the album follows these two motifs; either MIMS is the best MC on the planet who might take your girl, or he’s the MC that will knock you out. While these themes break no new ground, for the most part MIMS’ confidence makes you believe that maybe, just maybe, he might be the best.
There are a few songs on the album that suggest that there may be something deeper to MIMS than money and women. Cuts like “Where I Belong” and “Don’t Cry” are able to touch on social consciousness and personal turmoil while still maintaining the sincerity and confidence that runs throughout the record.
Music is My Savior is an uneven release by an artist who needs a lot of work to be anything more than a flash in the pan. At the same time, if anyone this year has the chance to establish themselves as an actual force in hip-hop, it’s MIMS. However, he’s going to have to learn how to rhyme better, tap into his more reflective and intelligent side and keep up his confidence. A lot of rappers claim to be the best; MIMS’ strength lies in the fact that he actually believes it. And he’s nowhere near the best yet, but he could get there.
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