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Zarin Micheal - DaysBeforeAMMA

Zarin Micheal. Photo by Amir Williams.
Zarin Micheal has been sounding a lot more grown-up lately. The Kansas City rapper is newly engaged and while he may be preparing to "settle down" in one sense, don't let that fool you into thinking that he's ready to settle for less. As he prepares his next project, a sequel to his 2019 EP A Million Miles Away, Zarin is offering the DaysBeforeAMMA EP to build some hype.


Much of the material on this EP, and on recent singles, has taken on a more mature tone. While marriage often gets a quick nod or even a full dedicated track for some artists, watching Zarin's output shift in a more seismic manner while retaining its level of quality has been compelling. Viewing his evolution from angsty teenager to focused husband-to-be leaves me excited to, at least potentially, watch him become a father and a national-level act one day.

"Chains On The Dresser" sees Zarin rapping about his future wealth and his bond with his fiancée over an R&B/soul flip from Alexander Preston. Arguably his main musical inspiration, the track feels like a fresh take on Jay-Z's late '90s/early '00s output. Written at least a year and a half ago (it was performed by Zarin at a 2019 concert), "Clockwork" is the previous version of Zarin at his finest. The song features a catchy, half-sung hook and confident-bordering-on-cocky bars about his prowess in pleasing women and counting paper. Odds' 4/4 glockenspiel beat cleverly mimics the ticking of a clock and the sudden beat switch is a true backwards head-nodder. Odds' keeps things flip-flopped on the next time-themed track, "60 Seconds," with an instrumental that seems as though it's playing in reverse. The content in Zarin's raps also mirror the previous track's, but it's not an issue when his brisk, bouncing rhythm is this fun to listen to.

The EP's closing track, "Betrayal," is a poignant portrait of a family in despair from the death of their son. Like any sort of physical pain, Zarin knows it still hurts even when you can see it coming.

If the quality of this release is any indicator of AMMA's, Zarin may be dropping one of Kansas City's best albums of 2021.

Stream DaysBeforeAMMA below.


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