photo: Andrew Miller / | background photo: Amy Sacka / | artwork: Nathan Bortz /

Hip-hop is no game, but in Mister’s velvet pipes, it’s one helluva fun escapade. With nigh on seven years as a fixture on the Detroit rap scene, Mister has cultivated a following, spitting rhymes in a bluesy cadence with a stage presence infectious in its intensity. Largely spinning his yarns over a melodic backdrop of evocative soul, R&B, and jazz samples, Mister has a lyrical knack for taking tales of gravitas and imbuing them with a wry dose of humor. Take “Need That Food," a cut about scrounging your next meal in times of poverty, or “The Ooze,” an ode to personal and artistic growth and resilience when the temptation to give in and go an easier route is clawing at you. It’s a style he’s carried over to Passalacqua, his power duo with Cold Men Young’s Brent “Blak” Smith.

The litany of Mister’s collaborations, both as a solo artist and with Passalacqua, reads like a veritable checklist of luminaries across various subgenres within the Detroit music realm — Flint Eastwood, Mic Phelps, Ancient Language, Britney Stoney, James Linck, Duende!, Eddie Logix, Mic Write, Doc Waffles, Valley Hush. Appearing on their releases with the regularity with which they appear on his own, his talents are in high demand. Keep an eye, or more pertinently, an ear out for his next release, an album produced by London’s Curt Cataract.

- Cole Waterman