Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

YNW Melly ft. Kanye West – Mixed Personalities

Next, a Florida rapper and a rapper-turned-personality…


Joshua Minsoo Kim: One of my favorite moments in rap last year was the blaring siren that overtook the entirety of YNW Melly’s “Mind on My Murder.” His YFN Lucci-indebted style found him crafting a legitimate tearjerker, and with “Mixed Personalities” the Florida rapper has further proven his versatility by making a solid post-Thugger pop song. As sanitized as Young Thug’s beneficiaries may be, many don’t couple their accessibility with melodic competence. Not so with Melly: he delivers hook after hook, letting his high-pitched AutoCrooning sound admirably unhinged (but not too ridiculous). Even Kanye, whose presence on a track called “Mixed Personalities” is entirely expected, delivers the most palatable singing of his career. Of everything I heard in January, there was nothing I wanted to sing aloud as much as “That’s my boo, that’s my slime, that’s my everything!”

Thomas Inskeep: Not a big fan of YNW Melly, who seems to think that Auto-Tune is itself a personality (an instrument, yes — Ye himself taught us that). But the track throws me back to the mid-’00s: it’s an actual song, not just a trap drum and nothing else! And Kanye’s actually (kind of) rapping here, so points for that as well.

Will Adams: Is calling this a “mixed bag” too easy? The song vacillates between the following: lovesick pining that ranges from lustful to cute (“I’ll give her the world, polka dots on her new pajamas”); exasperation with the same girl via lines no more complex than “you’re hot then you’re cold, you’re yes then you’re no”; and YNW Melly and Kanye trading lines about their own mixed personalities, themselves caused by either the girl or, in the latter’s case, extra-musical context I wish we could have left in 2018. The appealingly twinkly beat is the only consistent aspect, but it’s not enough to ground the serpentine narrative twisting above it.

Iris Xie: Oh my god, why would anyone rhyme “Penelope” with “felony” to make a point about “mixed personalitee-eez”? I laughed and then I got angry: The misogyny in this is so overwhelming, and the notion of using “mixed personalities” as a metaphor to describe either person in this song is exhausting. And that high-pitched whine in the chorus! The giddiness! Kanye wants to call himself a god, but I’m guessing him and his new best friend would fit in just fine in the Greek Pantheon. This is my only response to this song.

Ryo Miyauchi: On one hand, “Mixed Personalities” is a fine song about being increasingly obsessed with a crush to the point of deliriousness and how that same feeling softens your insides until they’re saccharine like YNW Melly’s Auto-Tune croon. But Young Thug, who Melly shouts out directly, did this same thing years ago as part of Rich Gang and then later with his own Barter 6. This is more constrained in form, less imaginative in language and actually not saccharine enough — but hey, it has a Kanye feature.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Back in 2016 I assumed that stuff like this would be how Kanye would ride out the twilight decades of his career — hopping on fun, low-stakes records by a generation of rappers for whom he was obviously the formative influence. Instead, other things happened. But that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate “Mixed Personalities” for what it is, YNW Melly’s constantly shifting flows a nice complement to Kanye’s straight-down-the-line autotune melodies. When they come together, on a single-line hook that yearns out, saying “Say you want someone,” it’s something sublime, one of the prettiest melodies of Kanye’s career.

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