When you think of Birmingham, one of the few artists that come to mind is MIST. From his emergence back in 2016 up until now has been an extensive story of growth from ‘So High’ alongside Fredo, to ‘Rollin’’ with hit-maker Burna Boy, MIST’s catalogue is one that can’t be disputed. Now reaping the rewards of his hard work, life hasn’t always been a breeze. Losing his parents at a young age, and in the same year becoming a father, he’s been through his fair share of trials and tribulations. Always keeping it real, music in many ways saved his life. Having been quiet over the past few years, MIST has been gearing up for the release of his debut album, ‘Redemption’. Spread across 12 tracks with features from Backroad Gee, Unknown T, MoStack, M1llionz, and Wretch 32, this body of work gives fans and listeners a real insight into the man behind the name.
Having proved his versatility over the years, I was unsure what to expect. However, one thing for certain is that MIST always delivers a raw, unfiltered, and gritty truth with such integrity, and that he did. Returning to his homeland of St Vincent after 15 years to finish the album, visiting friends and family, MIST was able to reconnect with his roots and create a project that’s a true reflection of him and his artistry.
Welcoming the album with ‘Intro (Let It Breathe)’, he’s quick to jump into a line of features from Backroad Gee, Unknown T, and MoStack, two of which are pre-released. Pairing for an inevitably explosive song, both Backroad Gee and MIST go back-to-back on ‘Pull Up’. Heading overseas for the accompanying visuals, we are swiftly met with ‘Foul Play’ alongside Unknown T. Taking a slightly more eerie path, this track houses a minimal beat that goes on for just over two minutes long. On one hand I’d argue that Unknown T carried this song, however the pair compliment each other’s styles seamlessly and let their bars sit centre stage.
Reuniting once again on ‘I Admit’ with MoStack, both artists unveil gritty truths and thought-provoking stories. Highlighting imperfections and admitting when times get rough, the irony in the up-beat production doesn’t take away from the messages that lie within. From the hypnotic intro in ‘Love Ain’t Guaranteed’, MIST explores the trials and tribulations that come with fame; experiencing fake love from both friends and family, he asks “can you accept me for who I am?” in this hip-moving release. Taking accountability and learning from his previous doings, he reiterates that loyalty can’t be taught.
Teaming up with fellow Birmingham artist M1llionz on ‘Money Moves’, a track that took fans by surprise, is a stand-out release on the album. Witnessing two artists from the same city collaborating is a refreshing take in a world that loves “beefing” for clout. M1llionz’ raspy tone and MIST’s punching cadence results in a wheel-up worthy track – a duo we didn’t know we needed! Giving us further insight into the inner city in ‘Birmingham’, the Steel Banglez-produced cut ‘God Give Me Strength’ is a slice of real rap before closing out the project with rap veteran Wretch 32 in ‘Emotional’. Another stand-out from the album, this thought-provoking release feels like the calm after the storm. Emphasising the phrase “work hard, get paid, move forward”, Sampha’s backing vocals sit pristinely behind each artist.
Overall, ‘Redemption’ was an album worth waiting for. Boasting various genres and home truths, we were able to gain a further understanding of MIST not only as an artist but as a person. Taking us from the come up all the way through to present day, his pen game created a project that many will relate to.
Words: Elle Evans