Mike Shabb Delivers A Moody Triumph With SEWASIDE III Album

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You're gonna want to hear this.

Mike Shabb has been grinding. The Montreal rapper has dropped eight projects in the last four years, including the first two installments in the SEWASIDE series. These releases tucked flashes of brilliance into hazy and often unfinished song ideas. Shabb's talent was undeniable, but it still felt a step or two away from completely smoothing out. Fortunately, Mike Shabb has made up ground on SEWASIDE III. The latest installment is a step up in every conceivable way.

The first song on the album, "Intro" sets an appropriately moody tone. There's a quiet confidence in the rapper's delivery reminiscent of mixtape-era Joey Bada$$. It helps, of course, that the instrumental is a jazzy, propulsive earworm. The instrumentals on SEWASIDE III are spectacular throughout, with more of an emphasis on off-kilter tempos and irregular vocal chops. They are the kind of musical beds that most rappers would have a hard time riding, and yet, they bring out the best in Mike Shabb. The most obvious example of his verbal dexterity is on the album cut "Free Jazz," where he skates over a beat that sounds like its being improvised on the spot.

Mike Shabb Leans Into Jazzy Instrumentals

That's not to say that Mike Shabb sidesteps boom-bap entirely. "We Live In Montreal" and "Free Cars" are grimy street tales punctuated by energetic backing vocals. The latter benefits from a scene-stealing guest verse by ANKHLEJOHN. All the features on SEWASIDE III are excellent, which is gives it a leg up over its predecessors. Da$h skates over the stuttering "Free YSL", while Boldy James sounds right at home on the slow-burn "Big Piranhas." Shabb's ability to secure artists of this caliber is a testament to both his buzz and his lyrical talent. People like Da$h and Boldy wouldn't bother if the kid didn't have a ton of talent.

What are your thoughts on this brand-new album SEWASIDE III by Mike Shabb? Does the Montreal rapper deliver with his latest installment? What is your favorite song and why? Which guest verse stole the show? We would like to hear what you have to say, so be sure to leave your takes in the comments section. Additionally, always keep it locked in with HNHH for all of the latest news surrounding Mike Shabb. Finally, stay with us for everything else going on around the music world.

SEWASIDE III Tracklist:

  1. Intro
  2. Doghouse
  3. We Live In Montreal (Interlude)
  4. Grinchy
  5. Autumn & Fall
  6. Free Cars (featuring ANKHLEJOHN)
  7. Ben Wallace (featuring Estee Nack)
  8. Free YSL (featuring Da$h)
  9. Hurry Up
  10. Hey Young World Pt. II
  11. Milk Crate (featuring Lord Sko)
  12. Julie
  13. Transmitting Live from the Real World
  14. Free Jesus (featuring Navy Blue)
  15. Big Piranhas (featuring Boldy James)
  16. Free Jazz
  17. Echoes (Outro)
About The Author
Elias is a music writer at HotNewHipHop. He joined the site in 2024, and covers a wide range of topics, including pop culture, film, sports, and of course, hip-hop. You can find him publishing work for HNHH from Monday to Friday, especially when it comes to the coverage of new albums and singles. His favorite artists are Andre 3000, MF Doom, pre-808s Kanye West and Tyler, The Creator. He loves L.A. hip-hop but not L.A. sports teams. The first album he ever bought was Big Willie Style by Will Smith, which he maintains is still a pretty good listen.
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