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MIKE is a quintessential old soul. The 24-year-old artist’s wisdom is evident in both his calm delivery and measured questioning. Known for introspective, subtly profound rhymes that explore grief, family, and identity, and melt over muffled, soul-seasoned samples, MIKE’s newest record, Burning Desire, is his biggest to date: both in length, but more so artistically. For the first time in his career, MIKE truly reaches outside of his immediate circle for collaborators, pulling in everyone from Larry June to Liv.e to Lila Ramani (of Crumb) to Earl Sweatshirt and more. The beloved rapper has come a long way from making waves in underground hip-hop circles with the [sLUms] collective formed in New York in 2015. Since, he’s released numerous critically celebrated albums, earned Pitchfork’s Best New Music accolade twice, and toured with artists like Blood Orange, Earl Sweatshirt, The Alchemist, and Freddie Gibbs. Burning Desire sees MIKE confidently step out as the leader of a new movement within hip hop, as he breaks through the ceiling of the underground and introduces the style of rap he originated to a wider audience. If anything is certain about this next chapter for MIKE, it is that it will be on his own terms.