Miles - Early Arrival (Review)

Early Arrival. In contrast to the EP title, the wait has been long. It’s been almost 2 years since we heard Miles. We’ve heard singles and a few features but he’s been relatively under the radar. To make up for lost time, Miles hits the ground running.

Early Arrival starts off with “Trustworthy”, which pretty much sets the tone of the 4 track EP. The track sees Miles rapping on soulful melody, held up by beautiful piano chords. The song is a great introduction to the EP as it highlights recurring themes on the EP – family, friends and his rap career. On the hook, Tyson S.T hops into his newly found ‘R&B nigga’ bag alongside Roho (whose feature run, since has last project release, has been incredible), as they sing:

I need a handle, on my life.
You know Summer might fall in your arms tonight,
So please reassure when your armour tight.

A great and very fitting introduction to this EP.

The second track, “Advice”, is a more mellow and meditative song on the project. Definitely one to bang in the whip. Even with these qualities, Miles doesn’t sacrifice on lyricism as he continues to display his elite pen on Dooushii’s head-bopping production. Dooushii absolutely floats on the hook (no surprise there) and Francis Jay has a very brief but effective cameo on the hook, that makes every bit of a difference. Here, Miles takes a deep dive into some self-analysis as he ruminates on his mental state and how certain experiences affected him as an individual and relationships he has/had. The song feels somewhat cathartic due to the fact, although he has gone through his fair share of agony, he recognises it and works to get better.

Remember days I was losing my mind and saying ‘Ye dawg, I’m fine’,
I was just losing myself to my pride,
I really thought I could hide,
From all of my demons but realised,
There’s people I need to cut my ties.

“Tanda”, the projects magnum opus. Named after his late cousin, who lost his life to gang violence, Miles explains the tolls he’s faced due to his loss. Tanda was more like an older brother to Miles as they were close and for some time, lived together at his grandmother’s house. The grief-stricken rapper unleashes his pen to curate tear-jerking storytelling that is impeccable. Through his mourning, he manages to evoke emotions in the listeners that results in sympathy and empathy for those who relate. The song has no hook, just one heavy-hitting verse and I personally wouldn’t have it any other way. This feels like Miles just venting, letting out what he needs to say for his friends, family and supporters.

And finally, the bonus track, “Plot Twist” featuring long-time collaborator and former co-member of Slumprine, Mykey, The single was released on the 16th of February and essentially speaks on the Miles’ friendships over the years, questioning their loyalty and importance in him attaining his goals – most importantly in music. This is expressed with lines like “Sometimes and predator prays / preys for you”. Mykey then reiterates these points with the opening lines of the hook being “We both got different priorities, I’m finna be what I ought to be”, and what’s a Mykey appearance without him smashing someone’s girl?

All in all, this EP displays an immense growth and maturity from the 21-year-old rapper. The project is introspective with Miles tackling issues that burden him in his personal life, including the death of his cousin and father. He covers these topics well, providing great perspective. Yes, there was a bit of disappointment looking at the track list and only seeing 4 songs – due to the fact that Chapter II was released in 2018 but after hearing it all, I am content. It leaves me thinking that perhaps this hiatus from Miles was needed because he came back with even better product than the last, which I had thoroughly enjoyed. This is music that is going to last.


Written by: Owam Simayi | Twitter @doro_madiba
Edited by: Dithekgo Mogadime | Twitter @Dithekgom

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