J. Cole may be hip-hop’s most popular everyman who raps about folding clothes for his pregnant wife, but Michael Christmas reps for the rest of us who are still trying to figure out how to get there—and continually fucking up in the process.
On “Not the Only One,” the first single from his upcoming album, the Boston rapper supplies a painfully accurate—and infectiously groovy—soundtrack to the struggle of being in your early 20s. From the fear of his rap career failing (he’s way too soft to be trapping) to more trivial issues like splashing the toilet seat while peeing, Christmas just can’t seem to win for losing.
His local rap fame isn't helping him out either. In the song’s accompanying video, directed by Christmas and Hunter Lyon, the Boston rapper gets put in a headlock by a bouncer and takes a shot of vodka to the face (literally) after hitting on a girl. Evidently, not a lot's changed since he rapped "no hoes on me, chicken heads don't flock" on 2015's "Look Up."
The only thing more endearing than Michael Christmas’ everyman appeal is his infectious optimism, though, which is why “Not the Only One” never gets too weighed down by its own worries. Instead, Tobi Lou’s smooth-as-hell hook provides comfort in the fact that we’re all in the same hole-ridden boat, which is just managing to stay afloat. “I’m still fucking up all the time / I know I’m not the only one,” he croons over Durkin’s bouncy production.
In Michael Christmas’ own words, “Not the Only One” is “for the kid who don’t wanna go out even tho they friends are on the back about it. This song is for anyone who be fucking up and it’s not on purpose you just can’t seem to get right. Like no matter how hard you try shit just be mad weird and you thinking why am I like this? But I can’t be the only one living like this.”
He’s not. And neither are you.