Many rappers on SoundCloud have embraced low fidelity recordings as an aesthetic, and Baltimore’s MVP Mikey uses distorted sounds to his advantage in a similar way on “9 Lives.” Clipping sub-bass meets piercing, powerfully simple piano on the instrumental, but the biggest thrill comes from Mikey himself, who raps with a breathless urgency that’s captivating from the first bar. He brings measurable emotion and traditional technical ability to the bleak reality he illustrates in his rhymes. At 23 years old, he stands as a promising new voice in Baltimore. This is the very first release on his SoundCloud account, but we’ll be staying tuned for more.