Mikey Mo the MC: Rule By Decree

mikey mo, rule by decreeMikey Mo: Rule By Decree
Bay area rapper, Mikey Mo the MC teams up with Venezuelan producer, Sanabria to create Rule By Decree. By looking at the cover of the album, a basic story unfolds: a wannabe Immortal Technique records a sociopolitical hip hop album. Luckily after listening to Rule By Decree, there is a little more to the story.
After looking at the front cover and reading the track listing which boasts titles like “Hood Politician,” “Freedom Ain’t Free,” and “Warrior’s Soul”, I was dreading listening to Mikey Mo’s sophomore album. But then I looked harder at the front cover which features Mikey Mo putting up a “black power” fist. Instead of focusing on the fist, I looked at Mikey Mo. The chipmunk-faced rapper does not look mad; he looks like “hey, I’m just a guy standing behind a podium.”
Using that glaze makes a lot more sense for the album. The politics touted on the record has some serious basis but the music is much more fun than your typical Immortal Technique or Public Enemy offering.
“Freedom Ain’t Free” sounds like Sanabria was able to isolate the keyboards from Bob Dylan‘s “Like a Rolling Stone” to flip them into a hip hop beat. It is ridiculously poppy for a political hip hop song but then again, its not exactly Thomas Friedman level political discourse we are getting here. Mikey Mo raps “you better fight for freedom/write for freedom/all obstacles, defeat them.” That is the type of advice you expect to read on a motivational poster in your high school English class, not necessarily from a typical hip hop album.
It does not seem like Mikey Mo is interested in making a typical hip hop album. Later in the album on “Make It Far,” he raps “don’t drop out of school, you need that knowledge/take it even further by enrolling in college.” The lyrics might make Mo seem like a corny (or cornier?) KRS-One but there is something endearing about them. It is obvious that he really believes what he is rapping. The problem is that most of the time Mo sounds like a rhyming guidance counselor more than a rapper. His message might be good and sound advice but he needs a little more swagger to make it work.
Rating: 4.8/10
MP3: Mikey Mo the MC “Freedom Ain’t Free”
Buy: iTunes

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