• Marty Gross

The Underground Spotlight: Mavi

Monthly Listeners: 82,506 (November 2019)

Associated Acts: MIKE, Earl Sweatshirt, Akai Solo

My Favorite Project: Let the Sun Talk

My Favorite Tracks: "Bedrest", "Eye/I and I/Nation", "Self Love", "Sense", "NO FEAR", and "Guernica"

Timeline: 2017-Present

Yeah, I capped about the Tuesday article thing. I have made the executive decision to start doing these articles sporadically; I noticed that my quality of these articles has dropped and I want to write other types of articles as well. This will allow me to drop more provocative and valuable articles; I feel that this will be very beneficial for your reading pleasure. I apologize and hope that you understand my decision. Anyways, let’s move on to week six!!    


For this spotlight, I have chosen the brilliant rapper MAVI. MAVI is a rapper out of Charlotte who has been making music since 2017. He started to make waves in the music scene at the young age of 18 when he dropped his debut mixtape No Roses. Recently, he has started to gain a massive following after his debut album Let the Sun Talk came out. Pitchfork and Lyrical Lemonade have given the young star well deserved praise for the project. He is known for his deep connections with Earl Sweatshirt and MIKE and for his crafty wordplay he displays in every track.    


I just recently discovered MAVI. As you may know from my previous articles, I am a HUGE Earl Sweatshirt fan. I found MAVI because Earl and an earlier artist I covered (who also has all caps in his name), MIKE, have been raving about him after Let the Sun Talk was released. Since I really enjoy the nuanced Earl Sweatshirt and MIKE style of music, I thought MAVI would appeal to my senses. He did. His music is beautifully political, powerful, intelligent, cryptic, and encompasses vast samples that move his music in a fantastic direction. The instrumentals that MAVI puts on his tracks are mesmerizing. He tends to use high chimes or charming guitar riffs that allure the listener to bob their head back and forth. He uses simple, deep, and dark drum patterns that really set the tone for the rhythm of the song. Every instrument he uses is not synthesized or pitched very high, but simply raw.  The rawness that is prevalent in his tracks makes the message so much clearer and really adds to the melancholic sound he is trying to convey. He also uses samples that are placed very strategically which give you a little bite into the message each song conveys. It is lovely.

Lyrically, MAVI is a demigod. He is possibly one of the best, young lyricists in the rap game right now. The thoughts that he has previously metacogged are intelligent, purposeful, and hold an ample amount of aspiration. He uses high verbiage by using words such as “eloped” or “precipice” which show how advanced his word use is.. His intellect propels his ideologies and backs up his thoughts to be extremely credible. His lyrics and tracks really emphasize the fact that he is Pro-Black by using quotes like “Caucasians made my presence a meal ticket” and the opening track of Let the Sun Talk has a sarcastic interpretation of the definition of Pro-Black. He doesn’t want to be a rapper that has a short fuse, but wants his tracks to linger in history and impact the youth of our generation.  It is simply powerful. The wordplay he uses is crafty and vital. In the song “Moonfire” you can see the crafty wordplay in lyrics like "Serving back n forth with venus, tryna stay serene, admit, I’m nervous racket borne with lesions slipping through the sleekest grip”. Every lyric is intelligent and thought-provoking. I mean, the man is a damn neuroscience major at Howard University so you can see where the brilliant, creative lyrics come from. His lyrics provide a vivid description of the morals, values and beliefs that MAVI holds.       


MAVI is the real deal, to say the least. The lyrical mastermind is truly fascinating and provides one thoughtful track after another. I really can’t wait to see what the future holds. If his production value is this good already, the world is in the palm of MAVI’s hands. As I have hinted at before, If you enjoy rappers like MIKE or Earl Sweatshirt, you will like MAVI. I really enjoy his music and I think all of y’all should give him a listen. You will NOT be disappointed. Well, that’s all I got. Peace!!