Local hip-hop act State of the Mingo doesn’t intend for its lyrics to be taken seriously—but we do so, anyway. SOM’s Zach Maloof, Taylor Osborn and Nick Pfeil are MCs OG Willikers, Professor Cornelius and Nick Jackalson, respectively. This tongue-in-cheek act just released its debut EP Enter The Mingo (a play on Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter The Wu-Tang). Below, I cull meaning from the songs, and then Maloof offers insight.
Enter The Mingo
Since hip-hop MCs are notoriously into themselves, and Auto-Tune is unfortunately everyone’s favorite gimmick, “Enter The Mingo” is the obligatory narcissistic hip-hop track. Blips and bloops dominate this highly danceable stab at a club anthem.
Maloof: “We didn’t really actively have a theme; it’s more of us just sitting down and writing a song, and it came very quick.”
Shake A Leg Baby
SOM continues to let us know how good-looking its members are. A rollicking ode to hitting the club and getting the ladies dancing (and maybe naked), “Shake a Leg Baby” is by far the most toe-tapping effort on the EP. That said, were I a lady, this track would get me ready to do it.
Maloof: “It’s our club banger…our dance jam.”
Brand New Blue Jeans
I think Levi’s offered SOM some cash, as the lyrics paint a picture of a dude who believes that women wish to engage in sexual intercourse with him due to his new jeans. Less hip-hop than funk, “Brand New Blue Jeans” creates visions of too-tight jeans and their awkwardly obvious boners. I don’t miss high school.
Maloof: “I was listening to the Bee Gees and I thought I could make a sort of disco song, something with funky bass lines.”
From what I can tell, “Ghost Party” is a list of whatever dead people SOM members could think of. Hunter S Thompson, Sigmund Freud, Rosa Parks and Sid Vicious, among others, are name-dropped. Though having these ghosts at my house ranks pretty high on my list of personal nightmares, I’d love to meet Sid Vicious’ ghost so I could tell him how hard he sucked. Learning that the dudes from SOM manage to get so stoned they confuse George Harrison with Jesus is tight. As listeners, we want to know MCs not only respect the dead, but also totally get high all the time.
Maloof: “Osborn and I thought about having a party where nobody showed up except for our favorite ghosts from history.”
Dreams Come True
State of the Mingo delves into its own fantasies. Sure, we all want to be rich or do crazy shit (such as wear an “invisible jet pack jumpsuit”—an actual lyric), so I suppose you could say this track is the most relatable.
Maloof: “[We] had made this bellydancer-style beat, and we thought it was kind of hippie/poppy. In that mind-set, we ended up having totally ridiculous fantasies and writing them down.”
Weed & Glory
In this obligatory tribute-to-weed song, SOM lets us know that getting stoned and eating mac ’n’ cheese is totally glorious. Since I agree with this and also enjoy the gangsta-rap beat, “Weed & Glory” is my favorite track. Maloof and Osborn bust rhymes in unison, and Star Wars is referenced more than once. Listening to this track solidified an assumption I had since the beginning of the EP: State of the Mingo’s MCs are nerds.
Maloof: “They’re my two favorite things.”
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