Mickey Factz, headlining the GWHH-Presented Make A Mogul Showcase
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For longtime followers of the site, it should come as no surprise that Mickey Factz is one of my favorite emcees in the game, period. Mickey's rise in the rap game coincided with our rise in the rap site game, and in that time, his career has been an interesting one to follow. Since 2009, on the heels of numerous brand collabs and the XXL Freshman Class, Factz was prime to release his debut album, The Achievement.
Fast forward to 2013, and The Achievement has yet to hit stores. Mickey's ever-growing fanbase has been held over by free project after free project, highlighted by the critically acclaimed Mickey MauSe during the spring of 2012, where Mick channels an entirely different character 'MauSe' over an upbeat mix of samples of Danger Mouse. Unfortunately those samples weren't cleared and the label didn't push hard enough to release that project as the album — even after peers like Swizz Beatz and Lupe Fiasco pushed for it. That's just part of the story you'll hear above. Many fans have taken the long delay negatively without knowing the full story. I made sure to talk to Mickey in-depth about this to kick off our extensive interview when he came to Chicago for the GWHH-presented Make A Mogul Showcase last month. Listen in to understand the full picture on why The Achievement has yet to see release, and your presumptions will likely be changed. It's a great behind the scenes story that exposes the unfortunate politics within the music industry.
We not only looked back, but also looked forward. I continued the conversation to talk about what The Achievement will sound like in 2014 as it's full throttle ahead with the recent release of the first single "Zen" featuring Yelawolf. Mickey has a couple more singles waiting to see release: "Venice" (which he describes in detail) and some new details on "U (Q)" featuring Erykah Badu & Lupe Fiasco (yup!).
"There's an Erykah Badu sample on there, and she cleared the record and she's actually going to re-sing the record. The fact that I got this record — this particular record is about a girl that I met and just really have strong feelings for. I want to put that out because I feel like that's what hip hop is kinda missin' sometimes. We don't really have a lot of honest music about how people feel."
- Mickey Factz on the upcoming single "U (Q)" f/ Erykah Badu & Lupe Fiasco (13 min. mark)
He previewed "U (Q)" for the first time in Chicago, and for the first time last night in NYC with Lupe Fiasco rapping his part on stage (see: below). And from my experience, I can already feel the soul and get a sense of the superb storytelling from Mick. This one is on the short list of upcoming records to watch for.
So without further ado, press play and let the interview run in the background — it's a 24 min. podcast-style conversation with a candid and revealing Mickey Factz. In addition, find out more about how he got his run on the ongoing Tetsuo And Youth Preview Tour, his recent battle with Danja Zone, and even where his appreciation for fine art came from. Enjoy!
Mickey Factz — full interview with Gowhere Hip Hop (For Mobile Users):
Mickey Factz & Sgt. Tibs
Mickey Factz & Lupe Fiasco premiere "U (Q)" in NYC
The Tetsuo & Youth Preview Tour was an outstanding event. The tour's Phoenix stop was packed with fans the other night and Lupe Fiasco's performance was nothing short of grand. He performed too many new songs to count and every each one sounded great! Lupe's stage presence and on stage visuals made his performance pop and dazzle. His participation with the crowd was classy and hilarious as girls decided to become scantily clad and show off upper body parts to the superstar rapper. The tour is more than worth the price of admission. Tickets for the remaining dates are available here.
Check out the video for scenes from the tour and our interview with Lupe as he talks to Julian On The Radio about what fans can expect in the show, copy/paste hip hop journalism, why he doesn't listen to hip hop, and what's left to do for Tetsuo & Youth the album coming in early 2014.
Common, the rapper. Common, the actor. Common, the photographer?!
Common was host to the Canon PIXMA PRO City Senses event, and featured along with two local photographers (Kristyna Archer & Taylor Castle) to share their vision of the city through limited edition photography. There was a baseball theme amongst all of the artists' photos, and the photos were presented as a sensory experience in a gallery at Ignite Glass Studio. We walked in different rooms and were asked to use various senses like smell, touch, hearing, and taste (we got free hot dogs!) to create a new mood and perspective before the lights were turned on to view the photos. It was an interactive and innovative way to take in art, and surely an influence too, as we found out from Com himself.
Common talks about his photography — how he drew inspiration from his sensory experience of his hometown of Chicago and the concept behind his photograph "1st Base" (seen below). "1st Base, you gotta start somewhere."
"The sounds of the city.. I've throughout the years come home just to ride around Chicago, and feel how the smell of the city and what it sounds like, so I can write songs because I wanted it to be rooted where I come from. And I think all your citizens are important when it comes to making art."
As you can see, Common is very aware of his city, whether he's capturing it through photos or making music from its environment. Com even brought it back to growing up on Dorchester!
Plus, he shares some new info on the art he's most known for: his music. The central theme of his upcoming EP (to drop later this year) and album (2014) is now revealed, as Common also mentions he's been working with No I.D. & Swizz Beatz for the projects. Watch above to find out that theme and what to expect musically — a bonus, to finding out more about Common, the artist.
"1st Base" — a photograph by Common
(All images above and in the video were printed using the PIXMA PRO printer.)
I had the chance to catch up with the homies Krewella when they were getting set to rock the house at Maya Day & NightClub. The entire club was slammed body to body on an incredible Sunday afternoon. It was my first time experiencing the venue and it was nothing short of amazing. The ladies actually remembered me from back in Chicago! We go back from the club days.
Sidenote: I'd do asian carryout for Jahan and Yasmine any day of the week. In person, they are stunning ...even if they haven't showered lol!
Could you imagine an event with EDM and hip hop all in one? Thankfully it’s 2013 and the team and I got to catch the the Aokify America Tour kickoff at the UIC Pavilion which features Steve Aoki, Waka Flocka, Pharrell and Borgore. The crowd was energetic and ready for the Friday night which brought nothing but entertainment, crowd surfing and dancing.
The event began the right way, with a performance from Waka Flocka. After Waka's set where the crowd cheered and sang along, we caught the humble rapper backstage. His dressing room was filled with friends and good vibes who came out to support Waka’s first performance back in the states after touring Europe. Getting comfy on the couch, we sat and chatted about more than just his upcoming works. Waka takes a seat with an open mind, ready to talk about anything and everything. He let’s loose and tells us about what’s in his journal(s), his From Roaches to Rollies(hosted by DJ Scream) mixtape and inspirations growing up in a household filled with 30 people. Blessed and successful at age 27, Waka has a lot more in store for him when it comes to making music and reaching his goals and dreams. Sit back and enjoy the exclusive chat with Waka Flocka and keep a look out for more from the American rapper.
Derrick Rose came back home on Sunday to officially launch the adidas #DRose4 in front of thousands of Chicago's youth at the United Center! The extravagant event held by adidas was not only for the shoe, but also for Rose to show some love and inspiration to his home city through a fun series of activities like a shooting game with some lucky teenagers. The crowd was also treated to a special guest performance from Big Sean, who performed a series of his hits at the beginning and end of the event.
We were amongst the media covering the festivities courtside and we were able to get some words from D. Rose and Big Sean for the video above.
The video is a highlight reel of the entire event that also features:
- A chilling introduction of Derrick Rose
- Rose talking about the changes in his game, how he feels mentally and physically going into the new season, and keeping kids on the right track.
- An all-star slam dunk contest judged by D. Rose & Big Sean
- Benny The Bull trampoline dunks over the Luvabulls
- Big Sean talking about being at the event and supporting D. Rose
- Big Sean shooting the J... does he make it?
- Big Sean performing "Beware"
Salute and special thanks to adidas Basketball for putting on the "all in for Chicago" event. Also to D. Rose and Big Sean for their words in the video and putting on an entertaining show for the youth — a main takeaway from the #DRose4 launch!
Nothing but laughs with the best electronic dance music group. Govia and I met up with Krewella in Las Vegas during EDC Vegas weekend and let me tell you, everyone at EDC was anticipating to see the group perform. Thousands of people packed their stage and the ambiance was just a thrill.
Krewella talks about their favorite foods, what they do when they get in to an argument and their upcoming bus tour that every one should experience. Sit back and enjoy this interview at Daylight in Las Vegas where we sweat in 105 degree weather, laugh and talk about the in's and out's of Jahan, Yasmine and Rain Man.
The CK One Music Lounge was another go-to spot to be at for Lollapalooza weekend if you weren't at the festival during the day. Exhibit A is this private performance from Eve, who performed a high-energy mix of classics and new cuts from her summer album, Lip Lock.
The intimate and exclusive setting allowed the crowd to interact with Eve in between songs, which gave the performance even more of a family feel. As a first-time viewer of Eve in person, I came away impressed with her engaging vibe and overall style. I was swept up with the crowd in all the fun when her classics came on like "Who's That Girl" and "Tambourine", both documented above. Plus, I'm seeing more and more that her Lip Lock album is nothin' to sleep on as the intro track "Eve", which leads off the video above, really resonated in person too. All in all, it certainly sounds like I enjoyed the performance doesn't it? So did the rest of our team and those in the CK One Music Lounge.
Give another one of our #GWHHVideos a look-see above and also browse below for a sampling of what the CK One Music Lounge was like. As Eve shouted out in the video too, shoutout to BMF Media once again for putting together the dope event and atmosphere.
Every year at Lollapalooza, I feel like there's one legendary hip hop act that either graces the main stage or a jam-packed after party. This year, it was Salt-N-Pepa in the latter environment at the ASOS Rocks After Party at the Hard Rock Hotel last Saturday night.
Before they took the stage, we got a chance to sit down for a candid talk with Salt-N-Pepa, as they updated their fans on...
- The 25th anniversary tour for the 'A Salt With A Deadly Pepa' album
- Their thoughts on Nicki Minaj, and if she could have made it in their era
- A message to today's generation of artists
- What else to expect from Salt-N-Pepa going forward
Right after the interview, we got as close as we could amongst the die-hards to capture their full-out show where Salt-N-Pepa performed all their biggest hits including "Whatta Man", "Let's Talk About Sex", and my favorite: "Push It", complete with a couple of dancers and a well-planned routine. It was pretty surreal watching the legends take me back to my early childhood (or the hilarious Jeffster cover on 'Chuck'), as the concert was a shoulder-to-shoulder party in the pit right in front of the stage. The true Salt-N-Pepa fans were having a blast up front: dancing and bumping into random fans all the while. Great times. It was an honor to see them perform and talk candidly above. Because, no matter your generation of hip hop fandom, Salt-N-Pepa is a must-see!
Other standout performances at the #ASOSRocks After Party this weekend were courtesy of Emeli Sande (whoo, she can sing.) and Angel Haze (whoo, she can rap.) More photos and a recap of our three nights at the #ASOSRocks After Party coming later today! Shoutout to BMF Media for putting on yet another fantastic weekend of events, year after year here in Chicago.
Logic is one of the most talented artists in the game right now, and the video above will show you why you should check him out at a venue near you. The House of Blues show in Chicago was a sold out, high energy orchastration, where Logic performed hits from his whole catalog along with a heavy emphasis on his new project "Welcome To Forever". Throughout the show he spoke of peace, love, and positivity — a message I appreciate his help in spreading, in combination with incredible lyrical ability, break-fast delivery, and a fiery authenticity that what he says, he means.
Just coming off his own tour, Logic also jumps on board 'The Cud Life Tour' where he'll open up alongside Tyler The Creator for the moon man Kid Cudi. All three artists have amazing live shows where they get the crowd extra hype, which is why I believe this is going to be one of the best tours this year. In conclusion I'll let the video speak for itself, with one final statement: Gowhere Hip Hop <3's Logic!
Previously: Kid Cudi "Cudi Zone" x "Memories" x "Day 'N' Nite" Live at SXSW 2013