Local Wire

Mike Jones

So who, exactly, is Mike Jones? That's a great question. Here's what we've learned so far: The nearly ubiquitous Houston-based rapper apparently lives in a world of Escalades with wood-grain interiors and diamond grilles. He has a strained, nasal drawl, which he throws against both the glitzy synth lines of "Laws Patrolling" and the bluesy shuffle of "Scandalous Hoes." Oh, yeah, and while he may be Houston's foremost rap ambassador, he's not the greatest MC -- he repeats lines ad nauseam, has an eye for detail that borders on tedium, and the one stab he takes at self-reflection ("Five Years From Now") sounds schmaltzy and clichéd. Still, Jones' album is enjoyable, even if he's mostly generic. The hypnotic, austere "Still Tippin'" is one of the strongest singles in recent memory, and the bonus Chopped and Screwed remix disc is a perfect introduction to the slow, syrupy world of screw.
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Sam Chennault