Rapper and singer-songwriter Milly Mango’s work dates back to carefree, soul rap cut “So What” in 2010 and an acoustic ballad called “Crush” in 2011. Back then, Milly could be described as cutesy, writing music that reflected her jejune age. For the past two years Milly Mango dropped freestyles on Soundcloud that display a different artist. Acoustic bubblegum is dead in favor of 32 bars over Just Blaze’s “Exhibit C” beat. Tracks like “Dunitagain” flexed dusty, dirty soul production that complimented the viscous venom that had entered Milly’s voice with age.
The maturation set the stage for RANGO, a debut full length produced entirely by fellow Chicagoan Jeremiah Jae. Two years in the making, Milly describes RANGO as expressing the highs and lows of love, “the habits of life, motivation, freedom, and having fun.” On “Get Up”, she looks within her peers for that untapped potential over Jeremiah Jae’s signature cerebral soul loops. If “Get Up” is seeking the highs, then “It’s Your Turn” explores the lows as Milly channels Andre 3000 on the hook with “have you eva, eva.. eva, eva been burned?” Still in those lows, she maintains there’s a lesson to be culled from the downfalls. Deeper into RANGO, the mood shifts into a lucid state of weed-coma tropicalia on “The Girl” (channeling Stan Getz’s “Girl From Impanema”), RZA-rrected drunken monkey style meditations on “The Shining”, and a dystopian club track (“1,2,3,4”) that sounds like the boozy tears of a broken android.
RANGO is out now on Milly Mango’s Bandcamp.