Feez da Popstar “M T F (More Than Friends)” (SINGLE)

Owning a verse with more than your voice doesn’t mean inviting a lot of nonsense into the mix just to obstruct the audience’s view of your skill. There’s no hiding behind a hook if you want to make a splash in modern hip-hop; you’ve got to be out there front and center every time, hitting words with equal parts melodic control and rhythmic command, both of which Feez da Popstar exhibits quite marvelously in his new single “M T F (More Than Friends).”

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Out this June and already making a lot of noise left of the dial, “M T F (More Than Friends)” is representative of what it means for a rapper to extend their emotion beyond the limitations of their lyrics, and I think it’s going to bring a lot of love Feez da Popstar’s way over the last couple of seasons.

The balance between instrumental and vocal virtuosities is key to our appreciating all of the intricacies there are to behold in this single, but it’s worth pointing out that neither of the players here sounds all that interested in putting over-the-top theatrics ahead of their poetic ambitions. Feez da Popstar is so smooth in his delivery here, letting the groove shape his emotional subtext more often than not, that I think he was ready to record this piece long before he ever had the harmonies worked out in his head. These lyrics are him, and vice-versa, which has not been true of many rap singles or even EPs that I’ve had the chance to peek at over the last few months.

While it’s obvious that Feez da Popstar has a lot he wants to accomplish as a recording artist, he’s never acting like someone whose eyes are wider than the horizon in “M T F (More Than Friends).” Not only do his actions carry with them a sense of humbleness that I don’t hear nearly as much of as I should in hip-hop these days, but it’s also pretty clear to me that he’s going above and beyond to present with as poised an attitude at the center of the mix as possible as to show off a template for what we’ll see in his live stage show. He doesn’t want to break off everything all at once, and rightly he shouldn’t; he’s got a whole career ahead of him to do just that.

For thoughtful hip-hop with a next-level lyrical attitude, you needn’t look much further than the sounds Feez da Popstar is laying down in the new single “M T F (More Than Friends)” this summer. If this is a preview of what his next album is going to be made of, I think it wouldn’t be unfair to say that Feez da Popstar is bound to get a lot of praise from both the critics he’s already won over as well as a rap fan base that needs something a little meatier than the pop crowd can produce in 2024. “M T F (More Than Friends)” is the best of many worlds condensed into a powerhouse single, and I’m hoping to hear a lot more material like it soon.

Mark Druery