“Sewaside III” Further Reveals Mike Shabb’s Talents as an MC & as a Producer (Mixtape Review)

Montréal, Québec, Canada emcee, producer & engineer Mike Shabb looking to round out the Sewaside trilogy for his 3rd mixtape. Coming up in the spring of 2018 off his full-length debut Northwave, he would continue to make his presence known by putting out 6 EPs & his last couple of mixtapes before gaining notoriety for engineering Boldy James’ 5th album Fair Exchange No Robbery along with producing “Switches on Everything” off Hitler Wears Hermes X & enlisting his mentor Nicholas Craven to fully produce his 5th EP Shadow Moses from top to bottom. Mike just put out the Hood Olympics EP last summer & is now assembling an intriguing guest-list for the mostly self-produced Sewaside III.

The intro starts by jumping over a jazzy boom bap expressing his desire for bank money as opposed to a little stack & that he isn’t even in his prime yet whereas “Doghouse” takes an atmospheric turn instrumentally asking who let the dogs out as well as making sure you count up the bread & never leaving out your homies. After the “We Live in Montréal” interlude paying homage to “We Live in Brooklyn” by the great Roy Ayers, the soulful “Grinchy” strips the drums completely spitting that gangsta shit prior to “Autumn & Fall” jazzily stays solid & ready to take over the game.

LORDY formerly known as Ankhlejohn accompanies Mike on “Free Cars” living & dying by the .44 Magnum over a slow albeit jazzy boom bap beat leading into “Ben Wallace” featuring Estee Nack going drumless once again talking about focusing on the gold referencing the titular Detroit Pistons center. “Free YSL” featuring Da$h brings a morbid atmosphere to the instrumental calling for YSL Records to be released from prison, but then “Hurry Up” returns to the boom bap flexing the super fat racks in his back pocket.

“Hey Young World, Pt. II” comes through with a groovy single to the loosie “Hey Young World” that he dropped exclusively on his YouTube channel a year & a half ago assuring that the world is still your while “Milk Crate” featuring Lørd Skø assembles 2 of the underground’s biggest up-&-comers with a jazzy beat accompanying them talking about being them dudes their whole lives. “Julie” slickly reminisces over rainy days & after the melodic “Transmitting Live from the Real World” interlude, “Free Jesus” featuring Navy Blue & produced by Nicholas Craven turns the jazz influences back up talking about Christ being a shooter.

Boldy James links up with Mike on the drumless single “Big Piranhas” likening themselves to larger versions of the omnivorous fish in a small pond while “Free Jazz” lives up to it’s name perfectly fusing hip hop & elements of the titular subgenre of jazz music breaking free from the conventions & patterns of it’s contemporaries through the use of dissonance, atonality & free-flowing rhythmic structures. “Echoes” strips the drums 1-last time in favors of synthesizers talking about still hearing the gunshots ringing out.

Shadow Moses was easily one of the best EPs from last year & if you still haven’t had an opportunity to check Mike out as an MC, I suggest you listen to that & even Sewaside III here since he just gave us what has to be my new favorite installment of the trilogy surpassing Sewaside II from over a couple years ago. The mostly self-produced offering expands on his drumless, jazzy sound bringing a tight list of guests with him to portray life in the Montréal streets.

Score: 8/10

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