nom de rhyme
of one Michael Homewood, an MC straight outta Andover
Thus far, Mr. Stylz has released one two-song EP, Andover Hospitality (Smoke Them Bowls) b/w So Suburban, and one three-song single, Bricks to the Burbs/St. Michael/Smooth It Out. He claims to have an LP coming out in "Fall 2001", but as that deadline has passed it's anyone's guess as to when the public will be graced.
Judging his work is surprisingly difficult. One is immediately tempted to ink up the wack stamp; Mic Stylz is, after all, a suburban white boy rapping about suburbia. And while he has acceptable flow, he often suffers from unfortunate lyrics:
Maxima's black, Maxima shines. Your Maxima's your dad's, my Maxima's mine. Maxima's fast. Maxima flies. Check out the way my Maxima rides.
Repeating "Maxima" seven times in one verse smacks of laziness. And, in the same track (Andover Hospitality (Smoke Them Bowls)... a "parody" of Southern Hospitality), he does bust out with "throw your hands in the air, and wave 'em like you just don't care". Hard to know if that's homage or simple cliché.
The other track finds Mic in better form, and clearly aiming for comedy. So Suburban (a "parody" of So Ghetto) raps the praises of being (what else?) a suburban white boy. There are some higher points in the verbiage here:
I'm so suburban, Gap girls fall in love with me. (Mic Stylz!) Yeah, baby; nice house.
Cats conform to the norm, keep up with Jones. Take about four acres to put up they homes.
Front like you're hard and get blown down, man, 'cause my front yard bigger than yo' whole town.
This seems to follow in the hip hop tradition of the B-side being superior to the A-side (okay, well, it happened to Vanilla Ice, anyway).
Stylz gets points from me for "keeping it real" in the most literal sense: he raps what he knows. That's the spirit of MCing. Unfortunately, rapping about the white suburban experience is very difficult to take seriously. The forthcoming LP, if and when it's released, may help decide the pressing question: fresh or wack?