“Zen Scientist” by Milo TRACK REVIEW

Wisconsin rapper Milo moves in a more confident and concise direction with new single.

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Alex Ralston

If you’ve been paying attention to the rap underground over the past year, you may have noticed Rory Ferreira gaining popularity as his popular alter ego, Milo. In 2014, Milo released his debut album, “A Toothpaste Suburb,” a project that shamelessly expressed the cluttered mind of Milo while showcasing his spoken-word style of rapping. When I spoke to him last year, he talked about his desire to discuss philosophy more genuinely in his music, as well as his hesitancy towards continuing his rap career. Those desires were manifested in “Toothpaste” and subsequent projects from Milo’s other moniker, Scallops Hotel, as he continued to explore even loftier ideas.

Now Milo is back with a single from his upcoming sophomore release, “So The Flies Don’t Come.” In his recent interview with The Needle Drop, Milo explained how he wanted to be more upfront with his music, which certainly seems to be the case on “Zen Scientist.”

On this track, Milo is delivering all his lines with such purpose that they all seem to hit harder and land with more umph. The change is incredibly subtle, but long time listeners that have tracked his progression will have an easy time noticing that Milo seems more focused and confident. That’s not to say, though, that Milo has completely changed up his style; in fact, Milo seems like his normal self, albeit a tad more heady.

“Zen Scientist” is equipped, as always, with strange punchlines and humorous non-sequiturs, such as when Milo confidently states, “It’s enough to send kisses down your arm like Gomez.” Or maybe his humor and wit is more apparent as he triumphantly restates, “I stay indoors,” for a hook as if it’s a bragging point. All in all, the track is completely out of this world in terms of lyrical content.

Kenny Segal also supplies a minimalist beat including the likes of extremely groove-driven bass lines, warped synths, and a simple, shuffling drumbeat. Even though the beat is so stripped back, it’s a veritable earworm. And Myka 9 from Freestyle Fellowship even gets on the chorus, crooning some seriously smoky vocals. It’s a shift from the electronic and wonky beats fans heard on “A Toothpaste Suburb,” but nonetheless it’s welcomed and refreshing.

Overall, this track has left me feeling excited to see all that Milo has to offer with a new project and a somewhat new Milo, it seems.

Grade: A

“So The Flies Don’t Come” comes out on September 25.

Listen to Milo’s “Zen Scientist” here.