There’s no place in the world like Miami Beach. The light is singular, the rhythms are unforgettable, the vibe on the street is inimitable — and everybody there knows it. A person doesn’t even have to be from South Florida to understand what Miami Beach signifies. All he needs is a working knowledge of American popular culture. Emerging rapper G Wildin admits he’d never been to Miami before he shot the glorious, gorgeous, effortlessly sexy clip for “Mission,” his latest single -but it hardly matters. As a citizen of the world, an artist of significance, and a person of impeccable style, he couldn’t fit in better.
Footage of Miami Beach suits the feel of the track. The production on “Mission” is lush, soulful, enveloping: this track evokes humidity and steam heat, and it’s as dirty as a swamp and as sweet as a breeze off of Biscayne Bay. Expect that distinctive combination of sultriness and cool that characterizes classic hip-hop and the sort of undeniable, cinematic beat that announces the presence of an artist whose talent transcends geographical limitations. G Wildin might have been born in Nevada, and he may represent San Diego these days, but he found his voice and established himself as a writer and vocalist in Atlanta — and no hip-hop scene is any more competitive than the one in A-Town. To make waves in Georgia, it’s not enough to have skills. You’ve also got to have something to say.
That’s never been a problem for G Wildin, whose lyrics are consistently intelligent, effortlessly clever, and, when he wants them to be, positively lacerating. Though “Mission” isn’t a particularly combative song, the emcee makes his background in battle rap manifest in every couplet. He knows exactly how to build a verse: where and when to accelerate, when to lay back, when to land a punchline, and when to use plain, forceful, straightforward language. He’s an author of rhymes designed for the long run — rhymes meant to be heard over and over, ones that deepen and intensify with every play.
The “Mission” clip is endlessly re-watchable, too. Director Benjifilmedit establishes the mood with a drone shot of Miami Beach and gives us the city in all its jewel-like night-time beauty. Here are the sleek towers, the boutiques and old churches on Collins, the surf in the distance, and the clubs in the foreground. And right in the middle of the tallest, most stylish building around — out on a glass-banister terrace high above the city lights — is G Wildin, surveying the scene and rapping for the camera. He could be a king on his balcony, addressing his subjects. There’s a reason he’s reading about Muhammad Ali: he knows he’s got greatness within him.