Lovesickness, as any teenager knows, can sometimes really feel like you're getting sick, leaving a nauseating pit in your stomach. Barbadian rapper Haleek Maul is close enough to adolescence to understand the feeling, and Chicago DJ-production duo Supreme Cuts practically specialize in gut-churning, too-much-zan-with-that-lean instrumental hip-hop hangovers.
These May/June SPIN Best New Artists honorees release their joint mixtape Chrome Lips on August 28 via Mishka/Dovecote, and lovesick "M00N" (via Fake Shore Drive) is an impressive glimpse of what the cloudbusting-rapper and the footwork-chillwave hybridists can do together. Where previously unveiled "Dummy" appeared to revel in the combination's mere existence, bringing to mind people's bleaker misconceptions about like-minded trunk-spookers SALEM, "M00N" shows how Maul can handle serious subjects with both wisdom and charisma, while Supreme Cuts' ghostly, King Crimson-sampling rumble 'n' ooze perfectly conveys the narrator's horrifying unrequited lust.
There's a definite Drake ca. "HYFR" cadence to the verses, but the song would be a startling fit on a playlist alongside, say, John Maus' similarly unsettling obsession song "Bennington." Maul's strangled yawps ensure that, as with that similarly named Ariel Pink acolyte, it's up to us to decide the extent to which his protagonists are in on their own darkness. Like, how many times did you listen to "Every Breath You Take" without realizing it basically reworked "Stand By Me"? Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girls" has an unwholesome side, don't you agree?