Editors’ Notes When the Florida rapper broke through in 2017 with “Murder on My Mind,” the song was striking in its unvarnished account of shooting a friend who would die in his arms; a year later, some would say it incriminated the rapper, who is currently facing trial—and potentially the death penalty—for the alleged 2018 murder of two affiliates. (Melly maintains his innocence.) These are dark circumstances under which to release your debut album, but the mood of Melly vs. Melvin is surprisingly upbeat, like on “Bang Bang,” where Melly floats over a buoyant flip of Nelly’s 2008 hit “Body on Me.” But then there’s “Two Face,” essentially the album’s thematic cornerstone, on which he breaks down the dueling sides of his personality: “I’m a slimeball, and I’ll admit it, dawg,” his more devious half confesses.

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