While incarcerations, record label drama and everything in between have rendered the female rapper as virtually dead, Detroit's hip-hop scene is vitally different. Invincible's substantial rhymes have earned her a reputation, both in her home state and nationwide, while Miz Korona's tough, battle-ready rhymes have established her as a underground mainstay as well. But with Cherish the Day, the follow-up to her debut EP, Somethin's Gotta Give, youngster Mae Day carves her own niche by meshing her undeniable talent with a unique, memorable approach.
For production, Mae Day has enlisted DeWitt — formerly of D-town's successful Sicknotes duo — to sample select tunes solely from the catalog of legendary soul songstress Sade. DeWitt's utilization of his resources here is ... well, witty: a clip of Sade singing, "DJ's playing the same song" is brilliantly used as the backdrop for "DJ (Same Song)," on which Mae Day laments disc jockey abuse of gatekeeper privileges. "No Ordinary Love," meanwhile, finds Sade's similarly titled song masterfully chopped beyond recognition, even though Mae's message of seesawing romance is a familiar one. The samples help weave the mixtape together, giving Mae Day direction while keeping longtime Sade fans guessing as to what's coming next.
Beyond the Sade references, however, Cherish The Day also shines as a showcase of Mae Day's breadth of talent. On songs like the aforementioned "No Ordinary Love," she illustrates that not only can she narrate a story cohesively, but she can also capture the emotion that hinges upon the situations she's relating. She also handles a feat that even some of the most storied female emcees in rap history couldn't tackle — namely, balance. She exudes sultriness without being a blunt sexpot, handling songs from a true feminine viewpoint ably. The highlight of the tape is "I Still Love H.I.M.," an ode to a metaphorical beau of Michigan hip hop that's modeled after Common's seminal "I Used To Love H.E.R." If Mae Day continues at this pace, her fellow Michigan rappers — male and female — will have to keep checking their heels.
Mae Day's album is available as a free download at maedaymaeday.com.
William E. Ketchem writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].