Arts Desk

Listen: yU and Oddisee on the Mandala Compilations

MelloMusicFollow yU on Instagram and you'll get a lot of breakbeats, obscure artwork, and family portraits. But occasionally the Suitland, Md., rapper will post brief clips of music, many of which I hope end up on a few projects somewhere. There's this song called "Stargazing." Then there's this track, "Thickening," that I wanna use as my own personal theme music. Problem is they're both 15 seconds each.

But there's a whole lot more yU on Mello Music Group's two Mandala compilations, which came out yesterday. He features with Def Dee on "Listen to Me" and with Tim Hicks and Charlie Ross on "King O.A.T." On "Problematic," we hear a sampling of yU's new work with producer SlimKat—the collaborators are slated to drop a joint album, titled People of Today, as The 1978ers—but we also hear an irritated side of the otherwise low-key MC. "Swear to God, I be tryin' to chill," says an exasperated yU at the top of the song. "But every once in a while, somebody try and pull me out my comfort zone." From there, the MC whoops ass, lyrically speaking. It's a welcome change for the Diamond District rapper.

Oddisee also crops up on the two releases, for the Drake-inspired "Invisible Walls," the instrumentals "Crazy High" and "Le Boulevard Montmartre," and "Nothing Has a Never."

Stream "Problematic" and "Nothing Has A Never," below.

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