Back in the day, in order to be a singer, you actually had to be able to sing. So someone like me who likes to sing but can’t hit a note to save his life, made me feel like being a singer was impossible. However, thanks to my favorite music genre, hip-hop, I have watched rappers like Andre 3000, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Drake and more find ways to find their own voice when it comes to melody. Yes, autotune is used for a lot of the rappers who turned into singers such as Travis Scott, Young Thug, and Post Malone, but I find it interesting and dope how hip-hop artists are experimenting in finding different ways to create their own melodies. These are the thoughts that crossed my mind while seeing  and company perform on Friday, December 29th, at MilkBoy.

West Philly’s own Miles Chancellor is a hip hop artist who was inspired by TDE’s Black Lip Pastor Ab-Soul & October very own Drake in his early stages of his career. Nowadays Miles seems to love creating melodic tunes over playing with words, especially after his most recent album Act II, Philophobia: Side A. It looks like Miles isn’t allowing anyone including his own thoughts to keep him in a box and if that’s the case I think that’s dope. The show started off with a DJ named Krispy playing his mixes to keep the crowd entertained until the artists were ready to perform.

Ruffin | photo by Melissa Simpson for WXPN

Friday night seemed like a night for different types of melodies to be played. The first performer was Pauly X.S. who to me sounded like a rapper/singer performing joints from his To Keep It Short EP. Ruffin followed up next, performing original tracks like “Cotton Candy,” and “Cosmo.” I was feeling those songs and Ruffin’s production sound to me was similar to LA singer Leven Kali. Singer Max Swan stepped on the stage along with his musical weapon of choice, his saxophone. Whether from his voice or his horn instrument, the crowd enjoyed hearing Max perform original joints like “Filler,” as well as a new track called “Let Me Know.” It was then time for the main act known as Miles Chancellor to take the stage.

Miles Chancellor and Max Swan | photo by Melissa Simpson for WXPN

Miles started off his set with “Easy” while performing melodies with the assistance of Max Swan’s saxophone. This was my first time hearing Miles Chancellor sing, so I didn’t know what to expect. What I did not expect was to see how much his fans really loved him. Whether it was his heartbreak tunes like “Knight Rider” or “It Ain’t That Deep” which seemed to be the crowd favorite, everyone was excited to see Miles Chancellor perform. His track “Starcrossed” was a pop track meant to have folks moving, and looking at the crowd dancing, it looks like the goal was met. There were definitely some tracks from Act II, Philophobia: Side A that I enjoyed and after leaving MilkBoy that night, and overall, the show made me curious to see what other kinds of melodies Miles Chancellor has in store for 2024.