M.L.A. ‘Return of the Astros’


I have been looking forward to the return of these two: M.L.A. — one of the Chicago duos I big upped last fall in an exclusive list in my NBA Preview, along with their entire career thus far here on Gowhere.

The brothers, & j.pak, come back with 4 new tracks in the naturally titled Return of the Astros EP. These Mint Lab Astronauts recruit three dope features as well — Clark Airlines on the hype, bravado anthem that’ll translate well live (Feb. 28th), “CSMF” (you’ll hear what that stands for), Blakkass Westley on the smoother hip hop cut “Learn Today”, and smoothest of all: Mr. Music for the hook to the relationship-centric “for sale”.

In all four tracks, takes the lead with some slick, melodic rhymes that match his productions. j.pak is last in all of the songs, following the featured guests, and he spits fast with a mix of slowed-down talking, depending on the song. I liked this structure as I got the full sense of it by the concluding track for the ladies: “Carry On”. By the end, I was also impressed that the group was able to show their versatility on just four tracks. The menacing trap sounds on the first track for instance were followed by the jazzy tone of “Learn Today”. Furthermore, is fast on “CSMF”, j.pak slows it down; then it’s vice versa with’s hook and j.pak’s verse in the next track.

Then “for sale” and “Carry On” conclude the EP with two tracks about relatable lady issues (Mr. Music’s hook is a great summary for “for sale” and the first thing that’ll jump out at you.) “Carry On” is more of an ode to the physical, with’s fast first verse being the attention-getter for me. To top it all off, I love hearing the group nod to its roots with a hilariously appropriate TV Show sample in the “for sale” outro. The Michael Scott epiphany they chose is simply fantastic.

There’s the breakdown that may have taken you as long to read as it will to listen, so go ahead and press play already! (Dope album art, too. j.pak with that design as well.)

Favorite song: “for sale” f/ Mr. Music

Favorite verse: “Carry On”

Favorite j.pak verse: “Learn Today”

(Hit the ‘BUY’ button and it will redirect you to the FREE download!)

*Tibs Fav.