Michael Jordan Bonema is a world builder. From his music, this process of construction takes him to different roles as a creator: there are the songs where we listen to him discover and understand not only his surroundings but also what moves him; there is also his record label 10k or his festival, Young World, which is already in its third edition and reflects his personal taste and his understanding of what non-mainstream rap is in the United States of America; the last two lead us to the third and, we would say, the most important: his sense of (community) leadership (you’ll find him on stage, or on a record, with the biggest, most united entourage you can imagine).
To get here, you need a lot of talent, a lot of hard work and the right co-signs. But first, let’s go over a few tidbits that might be interesting to get to know him better: MIKE lived in England for five years before he was a teenager and consumed (a lot of) grime there. When he returned to the USA, more specifically to Philadelphia, the instrumental for “All Caps”, a track by Madvillainy, was where he decided to use the first rhyme he ever wrote. Earl Sweatshirt bought Longest Day, Shortest Night, a project Bonema released in 2016 on Bandcamp, for 45 dollars. The author of Doris would become one of his mentors, but it can also be said that the influence was felt in the opposite direction (just listen carefully to Some Rap Songs and what followed). No wonder they became great friends and regular collaborators.
After impressing with works such as MAY GOD BLESS YOUR HUSTLE (2017), War in my Pen (2018), weight of the world (2020), “Disco! “ (2021) and Beware of the Monkey (2022), Burning Desire, one of his most recent albums (less than a month earlier he shone alongside Wiki and The Alchemist on the album Faith Is A Rock), shows us an artist who is increasingly sharper in his writing (and more enlightened in the way he transposes pain and joy into words) and production (as dj blackpower, his beatmaker alter-ego, we see him reaching new and exciting levels in songs like “plz don’t cut my wings”, “U think Maybe? ” or “should be!”). And, once again, the sense of community reappears: Liv.e, Venna, Klein, El Cousteau, Niontay, Lila Ramani, Larry June, mark william ellis and Earl Sweatshirt accompany MIKE in yet another family portrait (which keeps growing). Alexandre Ribeiro