[Words By | @K1ngEljay]
- “4:14 AM”
- “Pendulum” (feat. Chilla Jones & Emilio Rojas)
- “Under God”
Mickey Factz has a bit of a history with dropping mixtapes that feel like something more. His Mau$e projects are lauded on this side of the internet, and he’s never officially ‘”fallen off” in terms of content or rap schemes. It’s an interesting situation when his name is brought up, though; his name elicit reactions that can range from “criminally slept on” to “the dude that did coke on stage” (which also illustrates how deep a person’s music knowledge is if they thought he actually- nevermind), but for those that know about his discography, there’s not a real debate concerning the actual rap skills of Mickey Factz.
The projects he’s released have all served their purpose as well, and have slowly begun working their ways through the waterworks of the internet for those to discover. That, in itself, is completely different from the angle a few years ago, when Factz was dabbling in a bit of everything… back when it seemed as if The Achievement – his elusive debut album – was a mix away. Here we are now, with Factz seemingly putting behind him those ideas and pushing forward with new ones, including the recent entry into his #Y series, simply entitled Y-3.
As mentioned earlier, Facts has a consistent habit of making his mixtapes sound more like albums and fully, fleshed out concepts. This is the guy that went completely into character for his Mickey MauSe project (which is still slept on, but it is what it is now), so the attention to detail isn’t that surprising. We expect the clever wordplay and the lyricism from Factz at this point; his true challenge isn’t making dope music anymore. Instead, it’s getting the majority of listeners to care again like he did beforehand. His core fan-base has been there regardless, but he’s learning to balance the tightrope between underground and appealing singles that’s been missing (arguably) in the past, and Y-3 is a great start in that direction.
Y-3 has a bunch of factors that jump off the tracklisting at you, and the fact that those eye-catching moments live up to their potential in the playlist is refreshing, as a fan and a critic. A Just Blaze beat with Mickey and rap battle veteran Chilla Jones going back and forth sounds promising, but when you press play it’s an incredible feeling that “Pendulum” is actually as good of a song as you hoped. Charles Hamilton sounding vintage over old-school video game chops as Mickey laces references every bar and a half is definitely a welcome spot (even if the concept for “8-Bit Dreams” hits initially as tired, that could easily register to listeners as nostalgia), and even old nods to earlier tracks (such as “4:14 AM”) are all done in good taste. Factz even takes time to address the current anger in a majority of Black men with “Under God”, and it all flows together well without feeling forced.
This is yet another solid entry into Mickey Factz’ ever-growing discography, even though it only took him a couple weeks and some change to write it:
I appreciate the love on the tape. @K1ngEljay I wrote the whole tape in 2 1/2 days. I started writing my sway bars 2 days ago. 300 of em.—
IG: Mickey.Factz (@MickeyFactz) September 10, 2015
He’s been at it for a while now, and the fact that he arguably finesses punchlines better and better each time we hear him is a testament to how devoted of a student he is to the pen and pad. We’re unsure of the status of the All-City Chess Club concept, but we know that Lupe Fiasco and Mickey Factz are still as sharp as ever with their bars. Everyone’s come around to Lupe, but here’s hoping that Factz’ breakthrough is coming sooner than later.
Oh, and for the record… Mickey got off those bars on Sway In The Morning like he mentioned in the tweet. I posted that below for you… Enjoy.
The Quick Recap
- + Mickey Factz drops the characters for a moment to deliver a resounding entry into his mixtape series with Y-3.
- + Factz has some lofty ideas here, and it’s fun to actually report that almost all of those concepts were nailed to perfection (even the whole “game/reference” schemes in “8-Bit Dreams”).
- +/- You really owe it to yourself to press play on “Pendulum”… especially since both places I downloaded the mixtape from didn’t initially have that song available. Datpiff has since fixed that issue, so no worries.
- + A huge shoutout to the roster on “Pentagon”. Alfred Banks, Rich Flizzy Flow, and Diverse Character all go off, but it has to be noted how bonkers Zikki goes over the “Deep Waters” instrumental from Dr. Dre’s Compton. Nice.
The REDEFINED Rating
4 out of 5