[Album Review] Michael Myerz - Jewnami

[Album Review] Michael Myerz - Jewnami

Artwork by Derek Schulz

Michael Myerz has to rank up there as one of the hardest working rappers in Atlanta. His output has simply been inhuman; releasing more tracks and compilation albums then Gucci Mayne in lock-up. Only active since 2011, the self-professed “dork rapper” has released no less than 19 albums, and shows no signs of slowing down.

Jewnamai is Myerz's most recent offering and if you're unfamiliar with his sound, the album opener “Dust Cop” wastes no time in letting you know it's anything but typical of Atlanta rap. Right out of the gate the listener is greeted with a DIY minimalistic sound that blends chiptunes, video game blips, and spacey drone beats with lyrics covering a wide array of topics ranging from Dragon Ball Z, to first-grade math. Welcome to the weird world of Michael Myerz.

Over the course of eight songs, Myerz takes the listener along an ADHD-assisted ride into his mind; heavy on references to pop culture, video games, anime, the Cartoon Network animation block, Toonami (which inspired many of this album's track names), and all things nerdy.

There’s almost a quasi-concept album feel to Jewnami. Myerz fires up his stream of consciousness, leaping from one thought to the next at breakneck speed as he raps on his childhood in the suburbs, his Jewish heritage, and all of his geeky passions with earnest love and a cocky bravado.

That’s not to say there aren’t any standout individual tracks. “Flash Phonics” has his nerd swagger on at full blast over a spacey, atmospheric beat. The album opener “Dust Cop” is a delightfully, trippy, down tuned opener that sets the stage for the exact kind of weirdness you’re in for. Jewnami really is at its strongest when it’s taken as whole as opposed to on a track by track basis. Each tune blurs into the next to paint an interesting, occasionally vulnerable picture.

On the surface, the album can be taken as a simple, fun album that’s a love letter to 90’s era pop culture nostalgia; primarily Toonami and the anime that once aired on it. However, beneath that lies an endearingly honest, frank bit of storytelling; one that takes the simple mundanities and awkwardness of growing up in the 90’s and places them front and center. Interwoven between tongue-in-cheek lyrics like“I’m the winner of this Budokai”, “cute like Hamtaro, and “Cowabunga till ya ay caramba”, Myerz’s subtly touches on more personal themes of insecurity and the fear of failure.

The pop culture references will be lost on you if you’re too young, too old, or too indifferent. But what isn’t lost or can be denied is his sheer earnestness.  Myerz is as authentic as they come and if his output is anything to go by, still hasn’t even come close to running out of things to say.

 

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