“They was never fit to touch the mic,” Barbadian-born, New York-raised rapper Haleek Maul raps on “Return,” the lead track off his new mixtape Prince Midas. There’s a reason the album kicks off with a track concerned with returning — Maul hasn’t released a cohesive project in three years. He enjoyed quite a bit of critical acclaim at the tender age of 15 upon releasing his debut EP Oxyconteen, and a collaborative tape with Chicago production duo Supreme Cuts called Chrome Lips.
In case the city forgot such a treasure was resting on his laurels for the past few years, Maul returned this week to close out 2015 with a vengeance. Maul is not content to simply be a rising young rapper with a golden flow, and Prince Midas functions like a well-curated playlist, incorporating production from Shy Guy, Boody, Black Noi$e, Haleek himself and many more, along with guest verses by Saul Williams, Kill J, and Jah Koda. Maul isn’t gold like luxury or glowing warmth; he’s harsh and metallic, cold and cruel. There’s not a track among the twelve presented here that dips below the rest — gold standard. Personally, I love how the “Dead Em” quick glimmering production feels like it picks up where Kanye and Jay left off in “Paris,” but the entire tape deserves your attention. Listen below.
Prince Midas is out now. Download it for free here.