For Lost Boys, Neverland is a place where time stands still, a metaphor for eternal childhood, immortality, and escapism. For hip-hop artist, music producer/director, label exec, and content creator Andy Mineo, his fourth studio album, Never Land II, is a place of rediscovery. He reclaims his child-like wonder and reconnects us with our own.
A follow-up to the first installment of Never Land released in 2014, Never Land II is a concept album inspired by the film “Hook,” starring Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, and Julia Roberts. In the 1991 update of Peter Pan, directed by Steven Spielberg, an adult, Peter Pan battles Hook to save his two children who were kidnapped and taken to Never Land. In the process, he recovers his child-like sense of imagination. The film’s story parallels Andy Mineo’s journey of life, faith, and art. In addition, it exposes his internal struggle to protect a child-like sense of imagination and adventure while growing older.
Most people who are just discovering Andy Mineo, can single every lyric of his viral hit “Coming In Hot,” ft Lecrae produced
by Sak Pase. Insanely popular on social media, “Coming In Hot,” has over 80 million streams collectively and was recently certified Gold selling over 500,000 by the RIAA. Celebs and influencers: Will Smith, Kim Kardashian, Jordyn Woods, Kristen Bell, Common, LeBron James, Toni Braxton, and more have all posted content using “Coming In Hot.” An unofficial sports anthem, Steph Curry calls it his theme song! The song is already a favorite for sports fans who have heard it spinning during The Super Bowl, NBA Finals, posted on the social pages of Fox Sports, ESPN MLB, and more!
A New York native, Andy is a social media juggernaut with over 1.2 million followers. He is a born communicator with comedic timing who is known for his reflective lyricism! He writes, directs, and produces many of his music videos, including a viral YouTube web series called “Saturday Morning Car-Tunez,” now in season three with over 1 million views. Car-Tunez gives fans another glimpse into his creative process and personal life.
Never Land II includes several interludes, “Am I…” and “New Father,” narrated by Andy’s mother, Fran Mineo, who passed in 2019. She introduces us to young Andy before he was even known to the world as C-Lite. His mom gives us insight into Andy as a kid, and Andy invites you in into his mind on “MPJ Freestyle!“ “MPJ Freestyle is a song about all the things that have been on my mind lately,” shares Andy. “I recently developed a friendship
with Denver Nuggets/NBA player Michael Porter Jr. (MPJ), and we have a lot of private conversations about the sports and entertainment industry and how it tests our faith. So I dropped a line in the song ‘Lord keep your hand on MPJ that he goin’ keep his pants on and behave. There’s a lot of married men in the NBA who got shorties in cities on NDAs,’ alluding to one of our conversations. He heard the song and loved it, so I decided to name it MPJ.”
Andy and Lecrae reunite for “Been About It,” also produced by Sak Pase. The two go digging in the crates, visually remaking the album artwork of some of the more iconic hip-hop albums of all time in the music video. Visuals include Dr. Dre Presents The Chronic, Nas’ Illmatic, De La Soul’s 3 Feet & Rising, and more.
In a recent interview on the new podcast, Curious Mike, hosted by NBA player Michael Porter Jr., Mineo candidly answers his question about white rappers in hip-hop culture. “I think when you appropriate and don’t appreciate (or reverse), it’s a very different response,” he shares thoughtfully. “I know that I’m a guest in this whole thing. Hip-hop is formed from Black Culture, and its dope that I get a chance to honor the culture and the music that is part of it. It’s because I show respect, and I’m adding something to hip-hop that I feel comfortable saying I’ve been about it. With the music video, I wanted to pay homage to the greats who continue to lay the foundation for hip-hop. I’m creative and see things through an artistic lens, so it was in alignment for me to pay respect through the album artwork!”
On Never Land, Andy shows there’s more to the lyrics and witty wordplay! He rides the melody on “Nobody’s Coming.” takes another music detour from hip-hop, with Mineo singing the entire song! So, you’re listening, thinking that Andy’s coming in with a verse but then realize he’s singing the whole piece. “I was in my Red Hot Chili Peppers bag for Nobody’s Coming. It’s a melodic, guitar-driven record that’s moody, sad, and vulnerable, and I wanted to use that as a backdrop to ask people to learn to be the answer to their prayers.
One of Andy’s favorite collaborators, Wordplayed, is featured on “You Know The Drill.” “Words and I dropped a mixtape called “Magic & Bird” a few years back. Our chemistry in the studio is unreal, so we decided to record “You Know The Drill together,” shares Andy. “We challenge each other on the bars and push each other every time we create.” In addition, he links up with another artist friend, Chandler Moore, on “Working On It.” The high-energy dance record communicates the struggle we all have trying to get better at something we always fail. “I mention many of the things I have struggled with, mainly being a workaholic, being forgetful, and my response is usually ‘I’ve been working on it.’ But, musically, I wanted to explore new sounds on Never Land II and make something different than what I normally do.”
The reflective lyrics on “Cross My Heart,” the album’s closing track, were written at the height of the pandemic. “Cross my heart and hope to live forever, I hope that this pain don’t last too long,” takes on a different meaning for Andy, who contracted Covid after getting vaccinated. Its lyrics are also the prayer of a Lost Boys; to live forever to reach a place like Never Land where the inner child is protected!
Andy Mineo’s Never Land II is filled with adventure, sprinkled in fairy dust, and will take you away from yourself! Think good thoughts and fly; Never Land II awaits you! Follow @AndyMineo everywhere.
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