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“2 Many” From Mighty Koba (feat. Jaey London)

When music and muscularity meet inside of a tight mix, a lot of charismatic melodicism can be born from the resulting sparks, and this is exactly what you can expect when you listen to the new single “2 Many” from Mighty Koba. Teaming up with the equally gifted Jaey London, Mighty Koba’s stealthy harmonies and brooding lyricism give this track an immediate curb appeal that doesn’t require an intense love of afrobeat or melodic hip-hop to appreciate. On the contrary, this is pop music at its most clandestine and accessible, which is no small statement for any critic to make.

The percussion is deliberately muffled in this track, and I like what it illustrates beside the narrative presented in these verses. By the drums being a bit smothered and suffocated by the additional melodic componentry in the mix, we’re getting a stronger sense of loneliness from these players and the words they’re singing to us. Like a lonely heartbeat waiting to come alive at the first sight of love, the percussive texture here is desperate to come undone, and it leads us into what could be one of the smartest climaxes in a track of this nature to debut in the underground this summer.

This chorus harmony is superbly sexy, and it never has to be overstated next to the instrumentation because of how potent these two vocalists are without anything to assist their voices. Honestly, I can imagine Jaey London and Mighty Koba rocking “2 Many” as an acapella and sending as many chills throughout the audience as they do with this electrified club piece, and one could even say the same for a potential acoustic version set up in front of a guitar, simple drums, and nothing more. That’s bold versatility, and something I want more of in my pop music.

Jaey’s lyrical delivery is scoring as much of the spotlight from the listener as Mighty Koba’s is, and whether this was intentional on the part of the producers or not, it has an effect on how we break down the heart in “2 Many.” This is as close to a true collaboration in crossover hip-hop as we can ask for – these two guys aren’t fighting over the mic, but developing an evenhanded poetic fabric that sounds natural and never forced together by forces outside of the recording studio (which is something I encounter way too much of in this style of music).

If you’re sick of the negative thematic elements in hip-hop, I highly recommend you move over to the melodic side of the genre and explore what the likes of Mighty Koba and Jaey London are up to right now. “2 Many” is a good example of what their talents can cultivate inside of a pressure cooker-style mix, and if they can do similar work with something more atmospheric in stylization, I would suggest they spend some time cooking up a proper LP full of diversely appointed content. It certainly feels like the potential is there, and I challenge other fans to check out “2 Many” and disagree.

Mindy McCall



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