Mindy – Heartbreaker EP (2020)

Mindy’s debut EP intertwines the internet culture of 2020 with a necessary conversation about racial pride.



If anything America-related has thrived in the catastrophe that is 2020, it’s meme culture: amidst rumors of World War 3, a global pandemic, and climate-induced hellscapes ranging from Australia to California, we’ve remarkably taken to Twitter and Tiktok to express grievances through spiteful whimsy. As if jokes weren’t enough (which, in the case of 2020, they really weren’t), the year has also seemed to apologize for it’s faults by blessing us music-wise. With nine months down as of now, we’ve gotten highly anticipated LPs from the likes of Lil Uzi Vert and Fiona Apple, along with unexpected bangers from Roddy Ricch and Doja Cat. This year was a nightmare for the world. But, at the same time, it was what the culture needed.

On her debut EP Heartbreaker, rapper and The Thick co-host Mindy J pays homage to the light-heartedness we’ve embraced our predicaments with, while still managing to retain the unfuckwithable aura that often comes with the best MCs. It’s a playful contrast to a worldwide struggle that operates part societal snapshot and part time-capsule – whether you listen to it now or twenty years in the future, Heartbreaker is exactly what you need: therapy. And, for the artist, it’s a coming out party that screams I’m Here!!, a surge of momentum that gives listeners yet one more reason to look forward to her first full-length.

Every song on the EP samples, or is widely based on, a meme. The title track references Sean Buffington’s 2017 viral clip of a lavender-clad ( and visibly distressed) white woman who grows increasingly irritated by pentacostal cries as she flees the scene, followed by Heard About Me, the opening seconds of which allude to a Twitter gem from this past summer: Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the girls are not doing they thang, a woman pleads. BUT they not doing it. Throughout each, Mindy continues the thread of humor championed by internet culture, spitting scathing punchlines dipped in wisecrack that serve to remind consumers that though she may find them funny, she’s no joke. “He mad as fuck ‘cause he average, so he fell back like his hairline,” she raps in track one. In Heard About Me, she declares just that – that we’ve heard about her whether we like it or not – and that if we somehow didn’t, we better ask our lil’ friends to share their notes.

But of the many things that put Mindy’s debut EP over the top, her refusal to let playfulness overshadow racial pride – beyond necessary given this year’s events – is both omnipresent, and vehemently delivered. Though not as fun as meme culture or internet humor, no account of 2020 in the U.S is complete without addressing what has been yet another harrowing re-iteration of America’s true colors: there is virtually no room afforded to black or brown amidst red, white, and blue. 

Throughout the EP, it is made clear that Mindy knows this well. She raps extensively in the final few tracks about being of Haitian descent, loving the skin she’s in despite a country that tells her otherwise, and thriving in a personal world ruled by old Gods and black dignity. It’s the conclusion to a burst of personality that is the sharpest portrait of her artistry yet – Mindy J is here, and she doesn’t give a damn if that makes you feel some type of way. 

All jokes are aside as the denouement fades out.“This shit, I can’t take this shit off,” the voice of Oluwatoyin Salau, the activist who was killed at the height of protests early this summer, proclaims. “So guess what: Imma die about it. Imma die about my fucking skin. You cannot take my blackness away from me. My blackness is not for your fucking consumption, nigga!”

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