Mic Nickels Teams Up with Method Man for New Single

2023 feels like a truly huge year for Mic Nickels, and his new single is a big part of the reason why I would go so far as to say so. “El Matador (feat. Method Man)” caught the attention of both listeners and critics the day that it hit record stores, and if you’ve listened to its heavenly hook, you’ve got a pretty good idea as to why. There are a lot of artists trying to make the sort of transcendent hip-hop music Nickels and Method Man are in this track, but very few can merge the melodic worlds of two separate strains of rap as well as this duo has here.

Like a lot of surreal hip-hop works as of late, there are quite a few layers of sonic decadence for us to dig into in “El Matador,” and it all starts with the gorgeously toned bassline straddling every beat in the track. While I don’t know that it needed to be as muted as it is in the mix, there’s a subtly postmodern flavor to the bass parts in this single that put it over the top in the texture department (which is something I’ve been craving more out of the independent pop scene lately).

There’s a ton of contrast in the harmonies in this single, and I get the vibe that this was a deliberately fashioned element for Mic Nickels in the recording process. I like the way that there isn’t any symmetry between the vocal attack Nickels is using and the raging rap that Method Man injects the song with; it’s chaotic and unexpected, forcing us to the edge of our seats but stopping short of throwing a wrench into the gears of something otherwise comfortably unfamiliar.

WATHC THE VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_29rersU8JE

Smart producing went into this track, but to be fair, some smart composing did, too. It would be intriguing to hear how Mic Nickels would play this on his own in a live setting, mostly just because of how vocal-driven the song is in this capacity. I suppose that he could break it down for an acapella performance as easily as he could have its more indulgent points stretched out behind the turntables to create what would possibly be a modern-day nightclub classic, and in either case, I would be very interested in hearing the results for myself. Nickels is a versatile player, and that sometimes makes his studio stuff feel like an advertisement for his live show.

Well on his way to superstardom and sounding like a true prodigy beside the incomparable Method Man, Mic Nickels hits a grand slam with the release of his new single “El Matador,” and personally, my gut tells me that it’s only showing us a glimpse into his future splendor as both a songwriter and as a tremendously gifted rapper. Melody comes before everything else for this guy, and if his attitude stays as rare as it is at the moment, he’s going to have an easy path to the top from here on out.

Anne Hollister

Anne Hollister

We do music reviews for Independent Artists and Publicists.

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