A Lyrical Exploration of the Self: Myke Bogan’s Joe Fontana on Review

Sincere with a Bang

About a month ago I had the opportunity to interview Portland rapper, Myke Bogan. In anticipation of his new album Joe Fontana (that conversation was dope by the way). Well, the album finally dropped via EYRST this weekend and after a few listens… WOAH.

Myke continues to refine his style after last year’s anthemic Pool Party LP. This time around the bold rhymes don’t paint as pretty a picture, but the album’s poetry is in the intimate reflection of the day-to-day. From quitting Xanax, driving Uber on the weekends, to issues with the ladies in his life, we get an album littered with little details that one wouldn’t expect in a rap album. Because of the beautiful delivery and  commanding cadence, the lessons of each song that might typically pass us by, feel like they were being spoken by a good friend, deserving to be heard.

The musicality has also leveled up with the exclusive help of the production trio, 2thirty5, building the entire album from scratch. In Pickathon we hear an impressive rhythmic diversity with a bass-heavy break leading into a garage-influenced switch-up for a few bars (If you know me I love my garage rhythms). The groove dominates in each song, ironically most notable in the song, “Groove”, where 2thirty5 carefully combine the organic appeal of instrumental proficiency with a sample-structured melody.

Beyond the gifted lyrical riffs of Myke Bogan a couple of others shine on Joe Fontana. Fellow EYRST label-mate Blossom features on two tracks and magnetizes you to her RnB harmonies. After listening through Joe Fontana, I strongly suggest sifting through her stellar solo stuff. We also get a surprisingly good feature from Seattle-based Kazadi, whose evident talent made me look him up shortly after.

Overall, Joe Fontana solidifies Myke Bogan as a member of the essential Northwest rap- canon and further prepares him to break out beyond. The album releases as the season starts warming up around here. I guarantee that if you bump these tracks as the late-night summer breeze wraps around the trees, you will be glad to have found a proper release in these ten poetic treats. Trust me.

Listen to Joe Fontana here and across the internets:

Joe Fontana by Myke Bogan


Apple Music

[catch reference to a ‘dude in Boise’ in the final track, If You Wanna Know]