Rap Blog: MESSIAH! links with Ovrkast and MAVI for a lofi heater

Rap Blog is a weekly showcase of a standout rap song.

“Perk up and listen, it’s important you n****s get it, I / Fell off the porch and made a portrait out of the skin I ripped,” unfurls one particularly encompassing line by MESSIAH! on “Silent Heel,” a minor act of fractal tasseography tying the Charlotte rapper’s music to the random machinations of the cosmos — as above, so below. But the pain doesn’t last: this brief divinatory detour comes in between riding around in silvery whips with four horsemen/henchmen and treating “this Benji chasing shit like the Olympics.”

“They said we was three-fifths, so we bagging up three-fives,” goes one memorable koan. The capitalist grindset is of course spurred by the fact that “freedom” isn’t free, but MESSIAH! prefers a “five-finger discount” anyhow.

He’s joined on “Silent Heel” by fellow Charlotte native MAVI (the pair are frequent collaborators and tourmates) and Oakland’s Ovrkast, who produced the track’s slinking lofi beat and kicks off the proceedings with a charmingly loquacious verse, stuffing syllables into measures like a fistful of dollar bills in the pocket of his skinny jeans. And MAVI is MAVI; trying to quote just one line from his verses can feel like tearing a page out of a very good book. Here, he’s perfectly limber and engaged, paying off his student loans with street credit and rapping along to MESSIAH! and Ovrkast’s verses in the music video. He sounds fluid and unflappable, like he’s not even really trying that hard. But making it look this effortless is just show biz.