... the other Black experience

UK indie rapper Mikill Pane is repping bike culture in his new EP 'Dirty Rider'. #SoundCheck

With gas determined to hover around $4/gal (or if you're in New York or New Jersey post-Sandy, $infinity/gal...), it makes sense that bike culture is getting mainstreamed in a big way right now. Enter UK indie rapper Mikill Pane with his new EP Dirty Rider.

The title track is an ode to fixed gear bikes. It's every bit as ridiculous as it is dope. Rapping over a live band that's equal parts indie rock and reggae, Pane declares himself a “wild fixie punk.” It's the sort of track designed for the involuntary response “oh shit, man! Check this out!” followed by multiple re-watches. For sure, your mileage will vary depending on whether you find a rapid-fire stream of bike puns charming or tiresome. But for real, how can you not love this line: “If you can handle bars / let down your mud guard / and let me in / I'm just trying to peddle shit / but I'm not selling anything.”
The rest of the EP is a less jokey, but boasts the same endless creativity. “Smashing Bricks” and “The Craig Bang” are built from the same pieces as “Dirty Rider.” Dope, clever rhymes over indie rock. Mikill Pane's dynamic presence on these tracks is infectious. It's the collaboration with Rizzle Kicks, “Work,” that really shines though. The production is much more dub and old-school party music. The creative chemistry between Mikill Pane and Rizzle Kicks rivals Mos Def and Talib Kweli at their best. (yeah, I know it's Yasiin Bey now, but he was Mos in Black Star so...)
Mikill Pane is reportedly working on his full length debut now, but in the meantime you can pick up the Dirty Rider EP on iTunes and his You Guest It EP for free here.

- Words by Nathan Leigh

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Comment by Compound Egret on November 16, 2012 at 10:16pm

Liked the second song more than the first. This stuff illustrates the beauty of hip hop. Besides the whole British thing, the subject matter is completely removed from duffel bags, gun talk, stacks and racks, or any other type of stuff I'm used to hearing, but It's still recognizable and the raps were good to boot. 

Comment by Isaac Makings on November 15, 2012 at 5:22pm

Mikill is an amazing artist his last ep You Guest It? is great.. check it out!

Comment by Cameron Mitchell on November 14, 2012 at 5:42pm

Good stuff I think that you have captured the whole issue.  Keep it rollin! 


Comment by Lars Maximus))) on November 14, 2012 at 2:14pm

Nice. I live in a bike city so I relate. I sadly the backlash that is inevitable against the liking of this song, but its got a good chill melody propelled by the skittery live drums and dude has an unassuming confidence akin to Mr Yasin and Talib. Salud!


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