‘A Horse Called Morty’ is an angsty indie-rap jam by Düsseldorf based urban artist The Last Kobayashi, lifted from the forthcoming mixtape ‘Burning Down Babylon’ due this summer. It is an imposing look into our current predicament with slight leanings towards Joey Bada$$, Mos Def and MF Doom.
The brainchild of Stefan Petcov, this debut mixtape tells the story of his battle with depression and a generation’s pursuit of higher purpose. He explains: “This mixtape was born in the depths of my personal hell. To say I poured my soul into it would be an understatement. I sacrificed the life I had, many, many relationships, and an oppressive belief system to create something that would forever make me proud. Hopefully, it will help other people who feel like they are not enough know that they are wrong and that they are not alone.”
Born in Germany to Romanian parents who fled their home as political refugees in the 1980s, Stefan was educated at international schools, a nomadic experience that further eroded his sense of geopolitical belonging. After studying history, briefly chasing careers in law and digital marketing, he found his calling penning lyrics, which evoke his experiences as a young man navigating the uncharted waters of the age of post-truth.
Much like his self-imposed status as a stateless citizen, Petcov’s outsiderdom also extends to his music. Unlike most rappers who sharpen their rhymes as part of a scene, Stefan built himself a vocal booth made from egg cartons collected at a local market and developed his own set of oblique storytelling techniques inspired by the likes of William S. Burroughs and Dan Harmon, the creator of ‘Rick and Morty.’ Burning Down Babylon is the first part of a mixtape trilogy forged in the guest bedroom of his childhood home. The three tapes are set to be released over the remainder of this year on his own label, Arrhythmic Records.
The Last Kobayashi opens the tape with A Horse Called Morty, which features a surreal deluge of metaphors, free associations and tangential references listed out at breakneck speeds. His bars are littered with internal rhyme structures that could give Eminem a run for his money. His lyrics are evocative of concrete meaning but avoid being pinned down to a single interpretation. Like looking at yourself in a hall of mirrors, a rough outline can be seen but the specifics are less clear, leaving the listener to fill in the blanks.
Taking his place in the canon of street poets who use lyrics as building blocks to share windows into their world, The Last Kobayashi presents himself as an inordinately skilful and thought-provoking MC by way of this thrilling debut.
“I wrote this track on a particularly harrowing morning. I woke up on the floor of my friend’s flat in a sleeping bag and my head was spinning with all sorts of turgid thoughts. So I found a cure: scrolled through SoundCloud and this was the first beat I found. Then when ham on some internal rhyme schemes. Et voila.” “
Listen to ‘A Horse Called Morty’ – BELOW: