Growing up in the same household as his older brother, Leo’s younger brother Owen was exposed to a lot of the same music from his dad. He was raised on Led Zeppelin and the Beastie Boys and now has a heavy rotation of Chance the Rapper and Greta Van Fleet. This will be his first-ever album review for Colossus Music, however, he did spend time in high school writing for the same paper as his brother, “Triton Voice”. In his spare time aside from music, he enjoys basketball, drinking tea, and watching Matt Damon movies.
The reason why Owen is reviewing Mir Fontane’s Camden, an album which dropped in 2017, is because of his college roommate Dan. Owen is now into his sophomore year at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey. Back in September of his freshmen year, his roommate and best friend Dan who is from Cinnaminson, NJ, close to Philly and about 15 minutes from Camden, turned him on to Mir Fontane. Although “Space Jam” was the first song he played off Fontane’s album Who’s Watching The Kids, “Frank Ocean” from Camden was what got Owen hooked. Now after a year plus of following Fontane and having his new album Who’s Watching The Kids 2 on heavy rotation, Owen and Dan went back and listened to the album that sparked a friendship.
A lot like Owen, Dan was exposed to his dad’s favorite music from a young age. This included KISS, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, as well as the Foo Fighters. Now, Dan has added a good amount of hip hop into his rotation, with some of his favorite projects being Travis Scott’s Rodeo, Nas’ Illmatic, and Flatbush Zombies’ 3001: A Laced Odyssey. Aside from listening to music, Dan is an avid hockey fan, enjoys watching movies and spending time in Philadelphia.
and the review…
Mir Fontane is not your average, dime a dozen trap rappers. This album offers no shortage of catchy hooks, with this being prevalent on “Frank Ocean” as well as “Down by the River”. Mir has a flow that can rival just near about any rapper out right now. He can switch up his flow, just as he does on “This Life”, and he can offer unique singing performances on tracks such as “Real N*****z” and “Frank Ocean”.
Mir offers something that a lot of today’s rappers do not, which is a very talented ability to tell a story on a song. With tracks such as “$horty $tory”, “Camden Interlude”, and “Down by the River”, Mir brings the listeners into the picture he is painting with in-depth imagery. On “$horty $tory”, you can really feel the pain in Mir’s performance, which makes the story feel all the more real. With this also comes some typical trap lines, with Mir often referring to his hometown of Camden, NJ, as “the jungle”, but he also offers some funny, and memorable lines, such as: “Your girl vegetarian but stay on my salami” from “This Life”.
Camden offers no features barring a verse from Kenif Muse on “Ain’t Afraid”, giving the listener a raw feeling of Mir, which is fitting for his “coming out album”. There is not a beat on Camden you won’t like. From his performance mixed with the beats on this project, you’d feel like Mir and DaBaby would make quite a duo (as you see on Mir’s Who’s Watching the Kids 2). Mir and his team gave us some cool effects to add to the listening experience on this album, such as the background rain in “$horty $tory”, as well as background gunshots in songs such as “$horty $tory” and “Cold” which only adds onto Mir’s storytelling ability, immersing the listener into every bar Mir spits.
“Frank Ocean”, “Down By the River”, “Real N****z”, and “$horty $tory”
This is the kind of album you put on when you’re trying to get through the last 33 minutes of a road trip and it’s raining. You’ll be singing out loud on the second listen and quote when not listening. Although Fontane released Who’s Watching the Kids in 2016, Camden a year later could be seen as his true first step on the scene just because of the flow from track to track and overall piece of dark art that Camden is as a whole. Who’s Watching the Kids has hits like “Space Jam” and “Options” but Camden is something you can look to as an album and think, “that’s Mir Fontane”. You will know all the words to this album before you even realize it.
– lil (but taller) Heff and Dan the Man