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When most artists use the term "post-rap", to describe their work, it's usually done so in an attempt to designate their progressive evolutions and explain their experimental decisions as they swerve into a new inspired sonic lane. It is however, a pretty hefty statement to make for oneself, stating you've somehow evolved past the constantly-morphing genre into a new form of rap altogether. But as of late, it seems as though the hyphenated word has been carelessly thrown around by rappers trying a little too hard to be unique - the irony being, while everyone's trying too hard to stand out as different, the more young rappers are sounding the same. Weirdo-rap, it's even been coined. But to let you in on a little secret: you're not a weirdo if everyone else is too, you're not different if your creative recipe is generic and you're not progressive for the simple fact that your production houses multiple influences from other genres, seeing how that's exactly how hip-hop was formed in the first place.

So here's a checklist for rap music in 2015. For the record:

Auto-tune is not progressive. 808s are not progressive. Sing-songy hooks sounding like they were ripped out of a page of Drake's notebook are not progressive. Murky after-hour anthems are currently redundant, not progressive. Songs about Worldstar, lean and disposable women - not progressive. But most importantly, blatantly biting flows and actual bars from other inspirations and influences is clearly not how one arrives at this brand new world of "post-rap".

Although Cincinnati-bred, Chicago-born rapper/producer Micah Wise II isn't the only culprit, his recent release In The Midst Of It All has surely inspired the rant. The Soundcloud-housed album, delivered from Chicago's Posture label has been branded with a #Post-Rap hashtag, but after multiple listens to check whether or not my post-weekend ears were working correctly or if I was just missing the magic, I came to the conclusion that the brand is just an illusion.

There is certainly music to enjoy here on MWII's debut. Moody numbers like 'On My Life Pt.2' and 'Will Power' are rooted in authentic sensitivity and emotive delivery, while summer turn-up anthems like 'I Won't Change', are catchy and amusing. But then there's also the blatant OVO-hybrid rip-offs like 'In Lust' and 'These Days', where MWII mentions that he's "Hardly home but always repping," plagiarized straight from Drizzy on 'Uptown'. I'll spare the post-Drake puns however.

In The Midst Of It All is a decent summer offering from a new artist, who is obviously yet to find his own exclusive place within his creative ambitions but to call the release "post-rap" is a reach and almost reckless. More often now than ever, blog culture and social media has grown privy to industry plants and faulty narratives and MWII is easy to identify. If you take anything, besides some decent party music, away from the 11-track opus, it should most certainly be - don't always believe the hashtag hype.

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