Mitch Angelo is, first and above all else, a storyteller.
Born Mitchell Okorie, the rapper began making music as an undergrad and gradually found his voice by collaborating and experimenting with his older brother’s equipment.
His music has now evolved into a sharp take on his experiences navigating life in his early 20s in today’s Nigeria.
Making hip-hop in Nigeria comes with its own cross.
A good place to start would be the unspoken fact that Nigerian musicians, however adventurous, often have to restrict themselves to certain limitations when making hip-hop for a Nigerian audience.
As obvious as it seems, it is a principle that even greats like MI Abaga acknowledge as necessary if any rapper wants to make that transition into the mainstream that we have come to describe as ‘blowing’.
For Mitch, an artiste who describes himself as someone who “likes to think about broadly about issues and ideas that are universal”, it could pose a conundrum.
Mitch side-steps this in a somewhat obvious way. He addresses larger than life concepts like desire, need and poverty by making them personal.
These first-person stories are tied together by a love of soulful instrumentation and vivid, relatable scenarios.
Listen closely and you can hear the influence of J.Cole and to a lesser extent, Eminem in his narratives.
The result is music that is melancholy with subtle undertones of hope and progress.
Take one of his fan favourites, “Jealousy“, where he is one-half of a relationship interrupted by a conniving bestie.
Mitch’s most recent offering, “Last Minute 2” tackles faith, family and ambition in the same personal tone.
It’s a project that evinces Mitch’s ability to make any story his own.
Mitch Angelo will make you ask serious questions of yourself, but when things finally check out, his music will serve a reminder of what it took to get where you are.
Converted? Listen to Mitch’s music here.