Sneaky Mike doesn't look like Lil B, as he claims in the opening track of his first solo release, I Look Like Sneaky. Known best as part of The Hood Gang — as well as for his legendary roller-skating parties thrown at the warehouse space in which he currently resides — Sneaky is a pervasive presence in Pittsburgh music. While his work is kitsch at the surface, there's something to the quirky comparisons to the Internet-bred rap star and his proclivity for Andrew W.K. party ideologies.
"I wanna use it to kind of trick unsuspecting kids into making it cool to be smart and to be a good person," he says of the EP's overall "party on, dude" sound. "This is like me trying to sneak up from behind and pull away the curtain; it's like a subversive move almost. Even down to the fact that my name is still Sneaky Mike."
The medium is most definitely the message, similar to Lil B's own product of silly ideas spun into spools of cultural commentary. The veneer of the album is pop dance party, explicated by a song entitled "How to Party," just in case you're not quite sure how to proceed. But wipe away the glaze of booze, sweat and confetti and you'll find a mature yogi and pop-culture intellectual.
"I feel inspired in some ways by surrealism and Dadaism," he says, "and then in other ways by the Beat poets — not so much about what they wrote, per se, but the way they lived."
The EP includes five remixes of the "Lil B" track, which act as both a platform to showcase a few of his Broke Whore Records label-mates and various other Pittsburgh producers. They're also a portal for Sneaky's fascination with commercially driven power of a remixed song, a sort of Dadaist notion in and of itself.
"Everything in our culture is just speeding up and re-consuming; it's like a snake swallowing its own tail and eventually the head will pop out with a third eye or something," he says. "I welcome it, it's just interesting."