16 32s is the aptly titled debut mixtape from north London rapper Myles Brown. Listeners are presented with sixteen tracks, each offering a sick array of metaphors and punchlines spread over thirty-two bars. The project is hosted by Rinse FM’s SK Vibemaker who promises us “pure substance” from Brown on the intro track.
Myles Brown has attacked the mixtape scene intelligently by sticking to a number of shorter tracks showing off his ability to drop sharp punchlines over a wide range of beats, both original and covers.
The first three tracks are good, especially Dope Boy (using Game’s beat), but the flow was starting to sound somewhat “UK generic” – luckily this all changes during the fourth track, Kill Yourself. Content gets interesting too; Brown raps from the heart, still lacing the track with his carefully chosen metaphors and analogies. Most of his punchlines are on point but there are a few which a serious critic might find problems with – e.g. “bitches all coming on road like geisha” – but these are minor and for the sake of art, specifics don’t matter too much. However, when you release a mixtape all about bars, you MUST get them on point.
Night Ryders is a good street track and I like Brown’s delivery – it’s laid back and almost too chilled for the topic, but it works nicely. He delivers well on The Ride, which is spat over a hypnotic, atmospheric beat – a good contrast with the subject matter of females.
The entire mixtape is finished nicely, and the production is clever. I question putting certain tracks back-to-back, for example one ‘love song’ after another, e.g Little Bit followed by Hearts a Mess, but this is personal preference – a lot of other people won’t find fault with the order of the tracks.
As a debut, 16 32s works brilliantly. I feel like Brown has done just enough for me to get what he’s about (bars, wordplay, punchlines and metaphors), but he’s left quite a bit for his next project. I’d like to hear how he tells a story on a full length track; he flirts with this technique on 16 32s but not to the extent that I can gauge his storytelling talent fully, owing to the shortness of the tracks.