Are you a fan of very melodic, funky rap music? Looking for something to turn you into a dedicated fan? Then look no further – check out ¡Mayday!’s “Take Me To Your Leader”.
When I look at ¡Mayday! now, I still can’t believe how small this band was when I have discovered them back in 2012. Around 10k views on Youtube of their promo single “Badlands” was mostly thanks to Tech N9ne, featured on the song. Other than that? They had already 3 albums and one EP on their discography.
Other than that, they were six feet deeper than the underground.
I like to go back to that time. Because “Take Me To Your Leader” is one of the funkiest, most bangin’ rap albums I’ve heard. It was fresh and brings back great memories.
Who is ¡Mayday! ?
The band is all-men group from Miami, where Bernz & Wrekonize serve as the voices, with other members in rotation. The founders of the rap group were Plex Luthor and Bernz, who recorded the self-titled album in 2006.
Since I’m talking about “Take Me To Your Leader” in particular, this album featured beats by Gianni Ca$h, guitars mixing by Plex Luthor and the percussion by LT Hopkins.
¡Mayday! captured the essence of mixing melodic, catchy tunes (that some might call dangerously pop-like) with thoughtful and creative rap game.
I fell in love with “Take Me To Your Leader” from the opening song (that I’ve already mentioned) – “Badlands”.
It’s a raw opening, where the two voices of Mayday! – Wrekonize and Bernz – throw some sick lines to take off their album. The title of song is pretty self-explanatory and the whole track is about living in the global world filled with hatred and how we fuel that negativity. The topping on the cake is Tech N9ne, who has also produced the album under the wings of Strange Music, his own studio.
But within the next song called “Death March”, the band quickly switches the gears.
The drilling bass that kicks off the track does marvels when listened to on high-quality headphones. Wrekonize’s verse hits you hard – “I’d rather die amongst the tryin than rather die as a slave” summarizes his verse, and Bernz’s “countin’ sheep, not for sleep, countin’ them cause so many surrounding me” captures the subliminal message of the titular death march as our mind-numbing walk from birth to death.
Some deep stuff, huh? ¡Mayday! likes to be critical about the society, as well as use hard-hitting verses to move the train of thoughts.
It might be more visible in songs from other albums and collaborations (like “The Noose” featuring Tech N9ne again), but “Take Me To Your Leader” has some memorable lines too. “Roaches” is a from-the-heart confession of a from-riches-to-rags story, that gets pretty serious about the mundanity of life and how everything’s falling apart in life. Or “TNT”, where the chorus “Let’s burn it up in Tunisia” is a reference to Mohammed Bouazizi, who burnt himself in the sign of a protest.
Abstract songs also made the cut in “Take Me To Your Leader”.
Like in “Due In June” – a masterpiece on its own and one of the most spine-tingling rap songs I’ve heard. The whole song is sung from the perspective of a unborn child, which is terrified of seeing the world. The metaphor makes up for a parallel of growing ready to becoming an adult and taking responsibility. The chorus of the song – “Don’t make me live” – can be understood quite literary too, but there is a hidden message there that points to people giving up on the challenges they face. Add the beat whose rhythm is heartbeat-like with the xylophone that all together create an eerie, unique track.
Wrekonize, whose idea was to write the song, admitted that the song has been boiling for a long time before the album premiered. However, he has been waiting for the right moment to record it.
And what’s even more mind-blowing is the fact that the same album features a follow-up song to entitled “June”. In “June”, Wrekonize sings “I wanna feel what’s it like to get up and realise that you’ve never once backed down (…) but now before I’m born, please let me live”. It’s as if the child from the previous track made up its mind and found the positive side of living, right?
I know that the true fans of rap listen to it for the lyrics, but I’ll be honest – my playlist called “boombox sounds” (cringy, I know) ranges from Detroit underground of Guilty Simpson to Rae Sremmurd.
Why? Well, simply because music needs to be listenable (the latter is only in “Black Beatles” though).
The high “listenability” is the reason why I truly love ¡Mayday! and “Take Me To Your Leader”.
“R.E.M.”, a song about nightmares in your sleep, is most importantly a cool riff that I liked to play by myself too. The melodic, funky guitar is the trademark of the whole album – tracks like “Lando’s Jam”, “Dig It Out” or “Everything’s Everything” are all throwbacks to good times, when rap had more to do with soul and blues than electronic tortures drilling your mind.
And if you’re looking for that chilling stuff, the rap band also got you covered – just listen to “Imprint” featuring Jovi Rockwell. It’s a chill tune that perfectly fits a lazy mood.
Why you might like ¡Mayday!’s “Take Me To Your Leader”?
The funk, the blues and the rare ear for melody when it comes to modern rappers.
Wrekonize’s verses are often canorous, contrary to Bernz’s punctual obedience towards the beat. These two, however, create a rich canvas of ¡Mayday!’s sounds. The band likes the chilly sound of guitar, a catchy chorus, but these lighter tracks are awesomely mixed with deeper food for thoughts.
“Take Me To Your Leader” is a fantastic album and I feel it’s my duty to spread the good word about it.
¡Mayday! – Take Me To Your Leader (2012)
Hate Grade: 1/10
Are you a rap fan? Check out my relation from Hopsin’s live performance in Warsaw.