Tic-Tic. Picking up the torch from where Das Racist left off, an’ straight out da Bean, MICHAEL CHRISTMAS premiered his mixtape IS THIS ART? last spring to plenty o trill claps. A lot of beat producers and guest rappers jumped in on this project, though collaboration is the name of the game in the rap biz. Regardless, it’s a good sign for an up-and-coming young artist and helps to keep things fun and fresh. Breakout hit from this tape is clearly track 3, Michael Cera, which spawned one funny-ass video. There’s quite a lot of self-effacing humor weaving through these tracks, with Taco Truck and Dr. Christmas M.D. being good examples. Sprinkled in as well, are glimpses into family life that bring welcome notes of honesty in amongst the braggadocio.

MICHAEL CHRISTMAS plys the alternative rap trade here, and lately, in LA. If he decides to emigrate West, he wouldn’t be the first dope rap artist we lost that way. Cambridge rapper K The I??? left us for Cali shores some years back. Alternative hip-hop used to have a hard time getting traction (just ask De La Soul). There is a sweet spot, however, and Christmas is running right along that ridgeline.

Since the mixtape dropped there’ve been new works appearing on his SC page that deserve mention: Salty, and Thermostat, plus collabs and remixes with folks like TUNJI IGE. Fair warning, there’s loads of swaggerdick frontin’ up in some of these tracks, but Michael’s sly wink seems to offset any insult. Like he points out to his mom, “…and Mom, if you hearin’ this, I’m just actin’, this theater shit. And it don’t happen for no reason, for no reason everybody need some poison in their lives to keep ‘em breathin’. Something to believe in. Tic-Tic..”

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