Rory Ferreira A.K.A Milo, played a two night sold out show at Birthdays in Hackney. Currently touring around the UK- performing shows with Open Mike Eagle. The 26-year-old rapper blends philosophy and comedy to create a unique niche in the Art Rap world.
Milo appeared on stage in a tailor made tweed suit. His stage presence was highly charged and energetic. His movements to the beats and effortlessly rapped prose was masterful yet playful.
His performance was charismatic and entrancing, every move he made engaged the crowd. Milo’s narrative was politically charged. The sample on the studio album ‘You can’t do that!’ was wailed by the rapper- and drenched in reverb and bass- the line packed power. The anti-authoritarian message ran as a standing theme for the entirety of the set.
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The setlist, ranged from Scallops Hotel up to the most recent album Who told you to think- consistently keeping the audience on their toes. The Scallops Hotel song- Karl Drogo Sighs seemed to encompass everything Milo is as an artist. This perfect paradox between Rory’s constant questioning for meaning in life, mixed with this viceral hilarity he uses as a backdrop for exploring themes.
He explores real fears with underlying humour, ‘My God I’m so nervous one of these persons lacks a purpose.’ Milo’s status as a rapper for creating large amounts of music- in such a small space of time shows his commitment as an artist, ‘How do you write songs in so little time? I spent my whole life working on this, I spent my whole life.’
Taking socially comical subjects and exploring them as wider issues, to reveal truths about the human condition, ‘It’s like driving one of those bicycles, with the very large front wheel and very small back wheel and being oblivious to criticism.’ Milo’s ability to shift in and out of themes and ideas seamlessly, without it being jarring to the listener shows his ability as a wordsmith.
At times, when Milo would reference philosophy and literature. It was as though the crowd were standing at the foothill staring up at the precipice of Milo’s wisdom. However, in no way was the feeling of inadequacy. The lyrics were hilarious and humouring of the human condition.
There was so much satire and irony that even if the context of what he was saying was not totally understood, the stark humour and absurdity could be felt across the whole audience. Milo pulls this off with an infectious charm and manner.
At one point, Milo makes a comment about the humidity in the venue, and the sweaty faces that filled it- affirming our appearances. An audience member shouts out, ‘We already know we look good, we don’t need your approval.’ Milo pulls the woman up on the remark- giving her the mic. She then down spirals in an attempt to dig herself back out of the hole that she’s made.
Making an attempt to interject humour into the situation, she mimics the archetypal swearing rapper. Milo takes the mic back and says, ‘What was that caricature of a rapper? That was interesting, that’s what I found fascinating’- staring out into the audience, in an expressionless gaze. The crowd burst into laughter.
Milo create’s a whole sonic world of his own. The ethereal soundscapes and vocal melodies are otherworldly. Everything Milo sings about, he lives. The success and notoriety achieved at such an early point in his career, can only leave one to imagine what else the producer, Ruby Yacht curator and rapper… Rory, has in store for the future.