With several productions at his back, including various mixtapes, albums and EPs, Rory Ferreira, in art Milo, is restless and bakes sandwiches of genuine rhythm, music and poetry. This twenty-five y.o. guy from Portland, Maine, creates an underground jungle where paths are deep and leaves crackle under each step in the shade of the sunset.
Milo introduces his fifth album Who Told You to Think??!!?!?!?! in a world shocked by the struggle for power and by the recent images of unconditional hate. “Ghiath Matar is dead” is Milo’s opening phrase, resounds like a shot, and works as a respectful tribute to the Syrian activist and a wrathful complaint on the general condition of human thought. While gathering nerdy nods to characters such as Aristotles, Nabokov and James Baldwin, Milo’s lyrics express the effort of the artist in the quest for his integrity, the endless pursuit of something deeper. The wordplay is dense and the rapping style he relies on is definitely more sophisticated than current trends, highlighting the centrality of poetry in life and the importance of “fishing in a healthy hyperuranion”. Milo expresses a renewed and almost religious recall to those non ephemeral values, the crucial quest of the ownself, stressing the ideals of journey, independence, love, understanding and astonishment.
The album evokes the loose and jazzy feel of the Roots’ Do You Want More?!!!??!, and the title’s punctuation is meant as a nod to the same. The production is as dark and sweet as a Mon-Cherì. Even if Milo himself successfully produces under his alter ego Scallops Hotel some track, such as “Poet (Black Beans)”, “Landscaping” and “Pablum // Celeskingiii”, Kenny Segal is the real mastermind behind the production. His work gathers references to Madlib, Nujabes, and to the underground sample-based beats of the 2000s. His collaboration with Milo gave birth to tracks such as “Sorcerer”, easily the best track of the album, “Magician (suture)” and “The Young Man Has A Point”. The entire record features many artists coming out of the underground scene, such as Elucid, the Milwaukee emcee Lorde Fredd33, and Busdriver (who contributes with a freestyle piece in the track “Rapper), adding lyrical and content variety to the dark colours of the album.
Who told you to think??!!?!?!?! is absolutely dominating the unconventional hip-hop scene, remaining unconcerned with running rap trends, addressing the necessity of spiritual ascension and the lack of something that tastes as social unity, achieved through art and beauty. To nod Milo, “the young man as a point” against the hearth of a consumeristic and shameless present world. It is difficult and impossible to categorize such a massive and universal fist of the ownself expression of this young man. Milo says: “guess I’ll keep rappin’ ’till they toetag me“. If they means us, don’t worry Rory, we won’t.