Chicago rapper Monster Mike takes on the porpoise police | The Listener | Chicago Reader

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Chicago rapper Monster Mike takes on the porpoise police

His new video, by local crew New Trash, may be your only chance to see a cetacean fight a katana duel.


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Take that, CGI porpoise with Guy Fieri hair! - COURTESY NEW TRASH
  • Courtesy New Trash
  • Take that, CGI porpoise with Guy Fieri hair!

A few years ago, Reader contributor Jack Riedy did a deep dive on local DIY video-production crew New Trash, whose cheeky low-budget videos have made them a go-to for local artists looking to make a splash without breaking the bank. I thought of Riedy's story on New Year's Day, when Chicago rapper Monster Mike dropped a deliriously feverish New Trash video for the single "That." Mike stars as the hero in a grindhouse homage; he's on a mission to take down the cops who gouged out his right eye. Pretty routine for a revenge fantasy . . . except that the cops are all porpoises.

New Trash's computer animation, with its 3D marine mammals and detailed cityscape, looks like an immersive video game I'd waste hours playing. The real Mike is green-screened into this surreal world, and he clearly had fun rampaging through it. The pastel colors and glossy violence of the video complement the dark tones that ripple through the song. Mike set this single to "chill," and its dreamlike synths and brittle, ruthless percussion tease out the bounce in his blunt delivery. Even if you aren't watching Mike win a rooftop katana duel with a corrupt porpoise policeman while you listen to it, there's plenty of fun in "That."  v

The Listener is a weekly sampling of music Reader staffers love. Absolutely anything goes, and you can reach us at

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