Jermaine Dupri, often not fully recognized for his phenomenal talents as a produer, is a proven hit-maker for artists such as: Usher, Da Brat, Kriss Kross, Lil Jon, Young Bloodz, Xscape, Lil Bow Wow, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Aaliyah, Jay-Z, Ludacris, Toni Braxton and countless others. His extensive catalogue that screams talented, remarkable, and revolutionary has just gotten another name: MIKKEY. He always pushes the bar, where no other producer dares to go. He continues to create new sounds that compliment the artist and send trendsetting ripples throughout the music industry. As he has recently been appointed President of Virgin Records Urban Music, a new division at the label, Jermaine Dupri has made the most brilliant decision by signing Chicago’s finest Mikkey. Music insiders are regarding this as a remarkable genuis move as other labels are betting on their marketing power to attract fans, Jermaine Dupri seems to be betting on music’s fans ability to recognize good and real music. Mikkey is expected to give Virgin Records the foundation that it needs for it’s Hip Hop division.
How did Jermaine Dupri pull this artist that was in a 3 way bidding war? Mikkey explains, “I have no stage name, I am about reality, not conjuring up some phoney name, I just am who I am. Jermaine Dupri respects that.” Mikkey continues, “I could tell when we met. It was crazy. I had a couple offers elsewhere that I was ready to pull the trigger on, but NO I.D. had a relationship with JD and said before I sign I should hear the (explicit) sh**. He heard it, loved it, doubled the offer on the table, and the rest is history. We’re about to change the whole perception of Virgin.” If Mikkey sounds a bit confident, that’s because he already has fans from Jada Kiss to Kanye West. Jermaine Dupri adds, “I am confident that no other artists on other labels can touch Mikkey. He could easily go up against a 50 cent or any other artist that has been in the rap game for years, and shut them down.” Mikkey interrupts, “Yes, I am not into the rap beef thing, but I am quick to pull a House Niggas card. But I have to go on record saying that JD has a tremendous history of success, and just by taking on the Virgin job, this shows tht he is both a risk-taker and a visionary. I’m going to help him do what no one has done before, make Virgin a credible rap label.”
Mikkey in the bowels of the ghettos of Chicago, was primarily associated with killers and hustlers. He has seen horrendous acts that go on daily in the hood. Mikkey always had an intellectual spark and such an impeccable flow that it was recognized throughout Chicago. In fact, one night, unknowing to Mikkey, he had a special visitor in the crowd, Gil Scott Heron. And after hearing Mikkey’s delivery, flow and uncompromising lyrics, Gil Scott Heron was very determined to take Mikkey out of the streets lifestyle. In fact, Gil Scott Heron came out of his reclusive space to train Mikkey for several years, about politics, war, society, and the world as we know it. After what seemed to be years of training, Gil Scott Heron finally gave Mikkey the approval to televise the revolution. Gil Scott Heron explains, “I’ve given up on rap music until I met Mikkey, it was a lot of good beats with no real substance. It seemed that rappers only talked about drugs, and exploiting our people no real art. Mikkey on the other hand will provide a different vibe, and I am passing him the baton to televise the revolution”. Mikkey reveals, “The news programming will never report it, because they are too afraid to go into the cold streets of the ghetto, they don’t want their reporter to get shot, stabbed, or emotionally stained by those horrific acts, but I serve as the field reporter, for not only my neighborhood, but ghettos around the globe. It’s universal.” Gil Scott Heron has passed the baton to Mikkey, and believes that he can bring the trendy sounds with his flow and wisdom.
Mikkey is not new to the “rap game” by any means, he and Kanye West formed a production company called Kanman productions, early in 2000. They were an inseparable team in Chicago. Kanye signed to The Roc, and Mikkey made other career moves. Many still regard Mikkey, Kanye West, Common and NO ID as the power houses of Chicago. Some regard this Chicago rap rebirth as a trend. But Mikkey adamently disagrees with the rap criticis, “Chicago is everything that Hip Hop embodies: poverty, struggle, spirituality, racism. It was only a matter of time before we started getting some light. Mikkey plans on bringing to Virgin Records and the music industry at whole a gritty, revolutionary, consciousness and truth that has been missing since Ice Cube’s Death Certificate. “Man Death Certificate changed my life. Cube was the most gangsta out but [he] wasn’t a dumb nigga, and definitely wasn’t a house nigga. He pulled no punches. I plan on carrying that torch.” Mikkey’s CD Nat Turner’s Revenge is expected this fall. This CD is expected to have beats, music, delivery, and lyrics that are so revolutionary that it changes Hip Hop as we know it. Mikkey has lyrical arsenal to murder the competition for years and years and years. Shemia Miller, marketing consultant explains, “Some artists, the marketing department has to spend billions of dollars to promote it’s almost like they are purchasing fans, with Mikkey he will go platinum I think, by word of mouth.” Jermaine Dupri has changed the face of Hip Hop and Virgin Records with this new artist. Jermaine and Mikkey are creating a revolutionary sound to Hip Hop. No longer are fans going to be purchased with marketing dollars, but they are going to be honored by providing real Hip Hop music as it was in yester-year. Mikkey’s last question to everyone involved, “You aint scared of Revolution is you?”