Friday, February 8th, 2019

Mero – Hobby Hobby

We don’t always want to cover German rap, but it’s our jobby jobby, right?


Thomas Inskeep: This fast-rising Turkish-German rapper has flow for days; he’s the kind of rapper who I enjoy as a pure listening experience, letting his words flow over me. (Especially as I don’t speak German.) On top of that, the track he’s rapping atop sounds like someone’s playing with a bunch of keyboard dials atop a crisp-as-stacks beat. This sounds good.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: If you ever spend time working your way through Spotify’s top charts or YouTube’s most streamed videos, you’ll notice that several countries have high-ranking songs from native rappers. If you ever spend time listening to these songs, you’ll notice that they’re virtually all innocuous trap music with nothing particularly distinctive about them besides the language they’re speaking. “Hobby Hobby” is exactly that, though Mero deserves some credit for being the first rapper whose debut single nabbed a German #1. Both of his tracks contain a beat that’s reminiscent of Drake circa 2015, and you can specifically cite Drake here because he has international name recognition and chart success, but also because Mero does a cell phone dance in the music video that brings to mind “Hotline Bling.” Mero’s able to switch between flows competently, but that’s not enough to stand out in rap’s current landscape. He claims that rapping is a hobby despite being his job now; I hope his next single is less dilettantish.

Alfred Soto: The tension between the minimalist setting — that mournful whistle — and Mero’s sclerotic rapping works, especially in a track that’s barely two minutes.

Edward Okulicz: Mero’s verses are rapid-fire and all the more impressive for making the dense syllables of German blast like a rapid-fire bit of artillery. The production feels a bit dated but it’s got lots of gaps and spaces to play in. “Hobby” feels like such a quaint word to put in a song where part of the chorus talks about the shit he’s bringing, but maybe the word doesn’t quite have the same innocuous connotation it does in English (also it’s worth noting that Mero has a Turkish background, and the word is “hobi” in Turkish), which to me drains the title of any power or venom it was intended to have, but (more likely) it might just be that Mero hasn’t yet developed an ear for a hook.

Tobi Tella: Because polished but boring and passionless rap is multicultural!

Iris Xie: The best never-ending ringtone I’ve heard in a long time. I’d definitely make a 24-hour loop of this, load onto a player, then ziptie a Bluetooth speaker to a tree on an office or college campus somewhere. Probably near where they sell the craft supplies.

Reader average: [5] (2 votes)

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