Narrative trumps polish on this local hip-hop release, but good God, is the narrative ever enticing. A Mite’s Maturation, tells the story of “a small man maturing in a big world,” essentially tracking how Montana helped shape this diminutive rapper from the Flathead. Say no more. Call me easy, but I couldn’t get the headphones on fast enough to hear the tale.
At times, The Midge, aka Ryan Quiroz, doesn’t disappoint. “Sleeve Full of Hearts” features a simple and slinky horn-infused beat, and his personal intro on the opener, “Coaching Me,” has its moments mixing local lexicon with colorful alliterations.
I just wish there was more of that. Too much of Maturation sounds exactly like you’d expect from a self-produced rapper from the Montucky ’burbs. The jumbled production persistently overreaches, and the vocal delivery throughout seems stilted. My guess is The Midge sounds much more relaxed live compared to how hard he’s trying in the studio.
Local hip-hop can be a dicey affair, with promise and fervor often hampered by experience and surroundings. But it can be done—just check this week’s calendar for examples—and here’s hoping The Midge’s maturation continues. (Skylar Browning)
The Midge headlines the 4th Annual Chronic Don Christmas Extravaganza Sat., Dec. 22, at 7 PM at The Armory in Whitefish. $5.