Stitch Reviews: 13th Floor
Album Title: 13th Floor
Artist: Haviah Mighty
Release Date: May 10, 2019
Record Label(s): N/A
Canadian rapper Haviah Mighty is a force to be reckoned with in her 2019 release 13th Floor. Her flow is genuinely flawless, and she blends references to cult classics (like The Matrix in “Blame”) and hip hop history (a Chris Wallace nod in “Waves”). While repetition is a hallmark of her rap style, it’s impossible to get tired of the way that she spins a web through her rhymes. While some of the features present are weak to me (in particular, I don’t love Clairmont the Second’s feature on “Smoke”) and a few of the songs on the track didn’t grab me (“Fugazi” and “Ride” weren’t quite what I wanted) her talent is unparalleled.
The first song on the album, “In Women Colour” is the strongest song on the album and my favorite. Haviah Mighty comes out swinging, calling out the hypocrisy of people who only now register her as worthy because she’s trendy now. Then there’s “Waves (Ft. Sean Leon)”. This track is similarly sharp and while Sean Leon isn’t one of my favorite features in the history of the trend, it’s a solid surprise on this song.
Haviah Mighty mentions that, “I vibe with Americans, it’ll never be my home front/Jamaican blood, Bajan blood, Canadian blood/UK in my blood, no Aryan blood, no alien blood” in “Squad”. That explains the fun reggae-pop and dancehall beats scattered across “Wishy Washy (Ft. Omega Mighty)” and “You Don't Love Me”.
“Blame” is fast and fierce. It’s one of several stand-out brag-and-boast tracks on the album and I cannot get enough of it. In the same vein, “Oh My” in many ways is the quintessential hip hop brag track where Haviah Mighty raps about how she’s making money while being authentic to herself while telling her competition to “Go ahead, shuck and jive, entertain all your Caucasian friends/You do whatever just to chase a trend”. “Bag Up” Is the third track that I felt pulled from that type of rap single. The penultimate track on 13th Floor, this track is hungry. It’s Haviah Mighty rapping about getting power and money and leveling up on her own, unlike the people around her making the wrong decisions.
“Thirteen” is obviously about the Thirteenth Amendment in the US and Haviah Mighty’s understanding of Black history. Lyrically complex and bold in its delivery of history, “Thirteen” attacks antiblackness and takes jabs at people who played with the system instead of striving for freedom. She also makes a point of pointing out that the 13th ammendment didn’t fix that much considering what it was replaced with.
Similarity the final track on the album, “Kiss It” seems to hold an attempt to speak to Black history with its outro sampling. The outro on that track sounds like someone relaying a white supremacist’s backwards beliefs in conversation. I can’t source the person speaking, but I will say that it is uncomfortable going from a song that’s ultimately about steamy sex to an outro clip that talks about how “The smartest thing you can to de-stable a group of people Is to inflict fear into the women”. That’s a weird weak point to close the album out on.
I recommend this album if: you can handle confrontation. Haviah Mighty does not hold back at any point across this release and she does not care if your feelings get hurt in the process.