Welcome to John Doe the First, the proper welcoming to the world of upcoming MC Mr Mayhem. Despite being 18 years old, the Las Vegas MC shows his wisdom on his sleeve through moments like the cunning intro “Cyclothymia” and the emotional “Water to Wine…”. Speaking of emotions, Mr Mayhem showcases so much heart throughout his verses revealing issues such as loss of family members and an internal battle with depression.
Posing these ideas after showing us how chaotic he can be in cuts like “Dfwn” and “Royalty,” Mayhem allows listeners to understand where he got his name and core identity from before allowing the world into his inner most dark thoughts. This dynamic works so well as Mr Mayhem allows for fans ranging from lyrical rap heads to audiences who desire more emotion in their music to admire and enjoy this offering.
Throughout the record Mr Mayhem’s raspy voice and nasally flow reminded me of one other rapper, godly wordsmith Aesop Rock. This comparison works on two fronts as at certain times it feels like we are listening to a rawer alter ego of the underground legend but other times, his inferior wordplay and similar voice get stuck in his shadow. Fortunately this flaw is pretty minor hardly hurting the listening experience.
When it comes to collaborating, Mayhem shows he can work with an array of names, getting the best out of both them and himself. Features like Tyor and Press Mute play their role perfectly and only enhance the ideas and themes Mr Mayhem is trying to push forward. Out of all the featured guests none are better and more significant to have than godly spitter King Iso who cosigns Mr Mayhem and by being featured here showcases how much potential this young Mc truly has. Iso, Mayhem, and V.E.Z. come together to make the pulsing cut “Twisted Mind 2.0” which will not be forgotten for a long time.
While a moment like the haunting “I Feel Like I Might Die” sounds so profound with its well fitted production, the soundscape of this record can definitely use some work. None of the tracks sound bad here but a cut like “Dfwm” sounds like a beat that could have been on the Eminem Show. In addition, the record does have some notable mixing issues with a song like “Let’s Eat!”s vocals being inaudible in various portions of the track. While these cons hurt the listening experience, they are issues that can be easily fixed and not flaws related to Mr Mayhem as an artist or an Mc.
Through the small flaws this album does have, its greatest moments shine through brighter. A song like the soulful “Punching the Clock/Pt. 2” may be the best song on the entire record with its soulful instrumental and writing from Mayhem which is the best on the entire record. The passion and fire here echoes throughout most of the albums closing leg with songs like “27 Wishes.” continuing to explore Mr Mayhem’s hurt soul and introspective mind.
All in all John Doe the First, is a fantastic debut project from Mr Mayhem that showcases that he is destined for greatness. The amazing writing, emotional depth, and personality make this project one that any hip hop fan will enjoy. Going forward, Mr Mayhem is going to become a force in this rap game so be sure to hop on the bandwagon now.
1. Water To Wine27
3. Punching the Clock/Pt. 2
4. Shangri La
5. Twisted Mind Pt. 2
7. I’ve Been There, Pt. 1
10. Perished Skin
11. I Feel Like I Might Die Soon
13. Lets Eat!
Written By: Mr. Fantastic