On the Download: Kane Mayfield’s Mobtown Studios Microshow
Last Thursday’s Mobtown Studios microshow from Mania Music Group’s Kane Mayfield and a live bandâ€”guitarist Karlos Brickhouse, keyboardist Dennard Watson, drummer Brandon Segar, and trombonist Patrick Harrisonâ€”is now available for download at the Mobtown Studios web site.
Kane begins with a snappy, near Neptunes-like take on his recent single â€śWreck,â€ť and from there makes everybody sing the theme to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, raps his own storytelling rap, and slides into a darkly comic poem about multiple personalities called â€śH.I.Mâ€ťâ€”each verse punctuated a screaming declaration of, â€śI ain’t fucking crazy!â€ť Here’s Mayfield, known for rapping his ass off and cracking jokes, performing near-spoken-word about mental illness: hardly your typical rap show. Mayfield returns to rapping with â€śReaganomics,â€ť featuring one of his darkest, funniest couplets (â€śRich people don’t have our problems/ they don’t know unless we rob themâ€ť) and then he calls for a liquor break.
Emmanuel Lewis-Withers performs a two-song suite of love songs while Mayfield, presumably, boozes it up. When Kane returns for the second half, he announces, â€śThe romantic Love Jones part of this show is over. Now we about to fuck something and get crazy.â€ť He’s only half-serious. The second half, however, is indeed a collection of songs investigating love in its many forms, from lovey-dovey to stalker-scary to heartwarming: courtship rap â€śHeadbussa,â€ť a love poem worthy of a restraining order, a freestyle over the Delfonics’ â€śLa-La Means I Love Youâ€ť (with Lewis-Withers singing the hook), the cry-for-empathy â€śPoor George,â€ť and a tribute to his mother and brother called â€śFlowers.â€ť
The show ends with a 15-minute pentecostal cover of BrownFish’s â€śF.I.S.H. Bowl,â€ť with Jahiti from the Baltimore reggae-rap group joining in and taking over. Mayfield adds some working-class raps to the song but mostly shouts along to its desperate, paranoid hook: â€śWe’re living in a fish bowl.â€ť Willing to hand the show over to others for entire segments like that, and ready to wander away from rap for crowd sing-alongs, dirty jokes, and some spoken-word, Kane at Mobtown Studios is more like a charming, do-whatever variety show than a straight hip-hop performance.