Undeniably a bricklayer of the UK trap-wave scene, M Huncho has continued to be a pillar for the genre since his breakout. Having carved out his own lane, the anticipation for new mixtape ‘my neighbours don’t know’ was fierce. Rife with reflective offerings and ever-promised melodies with a feel of astuteness as he addresses his journey through life. The Slawn-commissioned artwork special and supporting the interpersonal leitmotif.
The masked mysterio especially elusive in recent times, the intro to the project is fittingly titled. ‘where you been?’, his cadence is laid back with an air of self-assurance. ‘G.A.B.O.S’ follows on, an eerie beat the basis for introspective lyricism. It features frequent collaborators D Block Europe; they passionately explore feeling underappreciated.
‘of course’ is a showcase of Huncho’s smooth hook-writing prowess. The playful chorus gradually builds throughout the song for an ultimately enthusing hit. Having worked together on numerous occasions, there was little doubt about their newest link up. ‘stop calling (ft. Nafe Smallz)’ joins their list of smashes.
We get welcome switch ups with songs like ‘how you feel’, the Quincy Tellem produced track underlaid with a jersey beat. A soft vocal from Huncho is employed as he gets vulnerable, touching on being a new dad and questioning his relationships. ‘misunderstood (ft. Nines)’ similarly features dissimilar beat, its LA bounce provides a nice basis for both rappers – topically a continuation of ‘G.A.B.O.S’.
The London musician’s knack for metaphorical bars not lost on this mixtape. Themed by his come up and progression, he does well to be both real and sonically entertaining. ‘muse’ an intoxicating offering where Huncho talks on his drive for two defining aspects of his life, trap and music.
‘bottega raincoat (Crazy Titch)’ previously released as a single, features pan-flute instrumentation that floats throughout the jumpy track. Similarly, ‘any minute (ft. Slim)’ and ‘1 of 1 (ft. K-Trap)’ act as other more up-tempo tracks from this body of work. Wise words and bravado making for anthemic instalments.
This tape further bestows itself as a retrospective as we get into takes like ‘MYB’. The latter sombre, touching on his scars and him subsequently keeping to himself. Detroit rapper Peezy enlisted for ‘the game is the game’, they illuminate the anxiety that street life incites. Rising talent Steve Drive tapped in for ‘look over your shoulder’, they go back-to-back with faultlessly melodies contrasting– the cons of risky lifestyles spotlighted again. ‘property2’ cleverly named as Huncho gets into the struggles of anonymity and pushing for ownership.
Nearing the end of the mixtape are ‘thought you was real’, a slow and low piano-led track. An alluring interlude that signals where listeners are approaching. ‘addiction’ provides an open social commentary whilst also depicting his own addictions.
We’re closed out with ‘hate to say freestyle’, sampling Ellie Goulding/Drake (‘Pound Cake’), its classification as a bonus track rather than outro is spot on. Freely reintroducing and reaffirming, it’s like a release – the MNDK mixtape impressively raw from M Huncho, his success, personal struggles and mental health signified as he matures as both a man and an artist.
Words: Shanté Collier-McDermott