Now Reading


Photo by Spencer Wells

Live near Portland August 3 | Pickathon

Milo might be your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. Eclectic beats, a serrated tongue and a keen eye for irony put him squarely in the discussion for one of the more offbeat visionaries in the hip hop realm. Over five albums, a handful of mixtapes and a growing number of singles and guest appearances, Milo’s flow wanders from the philosophical to the absurd to the purposefully mundane. On 2017’s Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?!, Milo deftly touched down on beats from the jazzy “Magician (Suture)” to the lo-fi ethereal “Pablum // CELESKINGIII,” to the more driving “Sorcerer.” He sounds easy and at-home across the varying tracks, ultimately putting together an underground hit.

Speaking of “underground:” the term gets tossed around without any real definition, but for a rapper like Milo, it’s almost a disservice. Not because “underground” has a negative connotation, but because it undermines the fact that hip hop is a vibrant genre filled with experimentalists and traditionalists alike–just like any genre. Milo’s explorations are not just based on sonics and delivery. He continually looks at what it means to be an entertainer in a world designed to voraciously eat up content and spit it back out in cheap facsimiles.

See Also

Milo’s delivery can border on the lackadaisical, especially when the beat warrants a step back, but he almost always juxtaposes that ease with cutting lyrics and visceral imagery. On “Souvenir” (from 2015’s breakout So the Flies Don’t Come), Milo shares space with Hemlock Ernst, a semi-frequent collaborator. The beat sits back with guitar-driven jazz chords and staccato boom-bap. It’s Milo’s track, but Ernst spits an earnest and cleanly delivered verse with Milo happy to cede the spotlight as the track builds. It’s a perfect example of his approach to the art of hip hop: he knows he’s good, but when someone else has something to say, he’s happy to provide the mic.

Milo’s growth as a lyricist over the years has translated into a truly compelling artist with something to say. Underground or not, he has quickly risen to the tier of must-see.