“When it comes to raps I’m undefeated,” Mikey Mammoth deservedly spits on his new soft rap single, AYYO.
Mikey Mammoth has shone a spotlight on Australian hip-hop with AYYO, a soft rap cut that serves as the Brisbane musician’s third single.
Opening with the glittery tinkle of keys and atmospheric synths, the track initially sets a quieter scene before a record scratch effect makes way for Mammoth’s bars.
Carried by subtle snares and 808s and punchy slow-tempo beats, the rhythm simmers with the cruisey ease of a summer afternoon, a welcome change of pace away from the oft-aggressive beats of other rappers.
There’s a sparseness to the production that carries AYYO on an effortless groove, seemingly purpose built for head-bopping or lazing on the couch.
While the production stands as a masterclass in restraint — with coaxing rhythms and unflashy moments of near-silence — Mammoth punctuates the track with an array of ear-catching flairs that make for an engaging listen.
The shimmering piano keys afford an ethereal quality, while Mammoth elsewhere adopts vocal distortion to forefront his particular rap style.
It’s a smart move, since Mammoth recits his verses with an acrobatic steeze, pausing in moments where the beat requires or elsewhere delivering rapid-fire cadence.
Commanding yet leisurely, Mammoth’s delivering immediately recalls the likes of Loyle Carner or Mac Miller; contemporaries who similarly opt for a softer-spoken timbre with the assist of jazzy hip-hop beats.
AYYO’s production certainly veers toward casual, which is not to say his penmanship is devoid of razor-sharp barbs.
Here, the rapper takes notes from the braggadocio inherent in hip-hop to assert his eminence in the scene, infectiously boasting about his crew, Mercedes Benz and champagne showers.
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“I’ll be sittin’ pretty even if this never turns at all,” he spits with bravado, “when it comes to raps I’m undefeated, boy.”
It’s a testament to Mammoth’s artistry that he needn’t only rely on production, since the wordsmithing on display makes AYYO all the more enrapturing.
While such praise might befit a rapper ten years’ his senior, AYYO is especially impressive given that it marks Mammoth’s third-ever release.
His prior two singles, STOP and Smile More, arrived earlier this year. But we hope this is just the beginning. Listen to Mickey Mammoth’s new single AYYO below.