Album Review: M.i, The Coldplay Sessions
I’m the type of guy that really likes a jack-of-all-trades; if an artist is capable of rhyming and producing their own music, then I’m most definitely going to be a huge fan. Michael Maldonado (aka M.i) is a perfect example of my aforementioned statement because he literally does everything (emceeing, producing, mixing, engineering) himself. The Austin, Texas native has been on his grind for quite some time now, and The Coldplay Sessions is actually the fifth project that he’s released; back in 2010 M.i released The Jack Johnson Sessions (which featured a Jack Johnson sample on every track), and last year he released the superbly stellar album Prep Time (Produced almost entirely by musical genius Tyler Keyes).
Sampling one specific artist for an entire project can be a tedious task, and if it’s done right, it can pay off in a big way; a perfect example of this is Oh No’s album Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms where he sampled Galt MacDermot‘s entire collection of music. With that being said, I’ve never been a huge fan of Coldplay, but I can’t praise M.i enough for the samples and melodies that he utilized on The Coldplay Sessions. Throughout the duration of the sixteen tracks on this project, M.i shapes and shifts Coldplay samples into beats that perfectly play into his laid back flow.
On “Politik” M.i makes his intentions perfectly clear, and there are no hindrances to his message: “… I’ma kill em’ with the rap/come back home and make another beat/then I give it all back/on a mission to fix this rap/let me put this world on my back/get a load of this world through my tracks”. M.i implements sleepy strings and perfectly placed drum hits to concoct a pristine beat on “NoThing“, and he shows that he has no qualms about expressing his feelings on the Hip-Hop game:
“I ain’t never seen this many wannabe rapping/happen to have a track, a microphone, a sack of weed and some raps/that he wrote on a napkin/a Cadillac captured on camera passin’/a couple of hos in the back of the whip to keep us distracted/I’m acting like this don’t work but shit/listening to your verse is bearable when you sitting with that chick in the mini skirt”.
Although all of the tracks on this album are top-tier, “Paradise” still stands out to me the most because it evokes so much emotion from both M.i and the listener. From the moment the drums kick in, it’s obvious that “Paradise” is going to be full of thought-provoking and honest lyrics. We live in a beautiful and diverse country, but it definitely goes without saying that the media tends to tarnish the reputation we have built for ourselves, and M.i isn’t afraid to expose the truth:
“So they show us this so-called paradise/open us up to an unfair fight/in a world full of parasites/and the people in the middle are terrified/cuz we livin’ with a vision unverified/they put it on television and prepare the vices/compared to the price that we paying for the liquor and the pipes/and the packs of smokes and we sinning every night/it’s really kind of bigger than we know…”
Overall, The Coldplay Sessions is an incredible effort by M.i. In all honesty, I don’t think there’s much (if anything) on the negative side that I can say. M.i has been making a name for himself by releasing upper echelon releases, and The Coldplay Sessions is no different. It’s a shame it took me so long to publish this album review because I think that it’s one of the best projects so far this year, hands down. Musicians like Michael Maldonado don’t come along very often, and when you get the chance to see them grow as an artist, it’s even more special; The Coldplay Sessions is evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that M.i keeps growing, so it’s never too late to start listening.
You can download The Coldplay Sessions for free here.