Here is a full transcript of an interview conducted by Juice Radio Music Director, D-Money, with Seattle artist, Mic Phenom. Mic is the latest winner in the radio station’s weekly competition called the Fresh Coast Faceoff after having defeated Shorte in a close battle that traded throughout before ending 130-123. To hear both parts of the full audio go to Juice Radio’s youtube account at http://youtube.com/gojuiceradio. In this interview Mic Phenom discusses his mixtape cover, the state of the battle rapping scene in Seattle, his thought process, the meanings of Mic Phenom drunk, Mic Phenom s***, and a Mic Phenom moment, and all the random things he said in between. After reading, feel free to comment with your opinions on topics discussed below to continue the conversation.
D-Money: What’s goin down? I’m D-Money here from Juice Radio with the latest winner in our Fresh Coast Faceoff, who goes by the humble name of Mic Phenom. Phenom has a huge following as a battle rapper and for major reasons, but I actually discovered him as an actual performer at a show at Rendezvous a couple of months ago. Mic recently put out his mixtape “What I’ve Been Doing” on bandcamp and we featured his track “Bless Me” which won our contest over Shorte 130-123. We’re about to get it in about some things, but first word has it you just had a rough weekend. Is ur vision just starting to clear up a bit now?
Mic Phenom: Man (laughs), I think it’s still a little blurry from the influence of being Mic Phenom drunk and babysitting. “The Adventures of Mic Phenom Drunk and Babysitting,” that’s gonna be my first movie.
D: Can’t wait to see that. Basically, this mixtape that you just released “What I’ve Been Doing” is kind of a response to what people say about you saying when is Mic Phenom going to drop his project. So, for real what have you been doing?
Mic: If you look at the cover that’s pretty much it (laughs). Smoking cigarettes, laying around, having sex with random women, and drinking, that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing. Every time I see someone who is a fan or someone that is in the Seattle hip-hop scene they always ask me, Mic when are you going to put something out? What have you been doing? Instead of taking that as a negative thing, I pretty much answered it just with the cover alone. Now everyone can stop asking me what I’ve been doing. If you really want to know what I’ve been doing here you go, just look, a picture’s worth a thousand words. That was my response to that. Plus, there’s a lot of things on the mixtape that explain what I’ve been doing, so you guys can go get that at http://micphenom.bandcamp.com.
D: Like I said earlier, you are a superb battle rapper. To me, it seems like it has become a lost art out here, but I’d like to know what are your impressions on the current battle scene in the NW and who else is really keeping the art going?
Mic: Seattle’s battle scene pretty much died around ’04-’05. I’m pretty much the only one that’s really been doing it consistently and on a national level which is why I love it because I get to make people take a look and see Seattle as more than just a west coast gangsta rap scene because that’s what a lot of people hear. First thing that pops into people’s head is Sir Mix-A-Lot and it’s more than just that out here, so I want to be the one people who’s out here in a different lane in keeping something going. You’re right, it is a lost art because battle rapping is like the NBA’s slam dunk contest. When you watched it before it was always the legend or all the super good players. Now, anybody can do it, but nobody really pays any attention to it. They’d rather watch an actual NBA game instead of just the dunk contest. I’m a fan of the slam dunk contest, so they’re kinda one and the same. I try to be the slam dunk contest battle rapper. That really just sounded kind of weird, but hopefully every one listening got this, and got what I was trying to say with that (laughs).
D: What about other artists in the area. Who have you worked with so far?
Mic: Iv’e worked with quite a few artists. The first artist that I ever worked with when I got here was Akeeno. Akeeno was the first person I ever really worked with. As far as project’s I’ve been on, I’ve been on Neema’s album, Iv’e worked with Spac3man, Fatal (Lucciauno), J. Pinder, Logics, Element of Second Family, Jay Barz, Dice who’s also one of my very good friends, I’ve done the homie Swade, my boy 9DM from Vancouver. I’ve worked with quite a few artists and I’ve even worked with some artists that I’m actually not going to name them because they suck (laughs), but sometimes money… I’m just keeping it one hundred (laughs). Sometimes you just need to go ahead and take whatever they’re paying you. It’s a music business. Sometimes you do what you don’t want to do to get where you need to go. I know some of those artists are probably going to listen to this like I wonder if he was talking about me. Yeah, I probably was.
D: (Laughs). Appreciate you keeping it one hundred on here, but who’s some people that you haven’t had the chance to work with, but you’d like to?
Mic: I really want to work with JusMoni. That’s a very good friend of mine. I’m really a big fan of her. I really wanna work with Geo. I can’t forget Language Artz. I did a couple tracks with Language Artz. La is probably one of my top three emcees out here. Oh yeah, I’ve worked with Brainstorm of Dyme Def. Unfortantly, D.Black is not doing music anymore, but he’s definitely someone that I really respect and I wish I had the chance to do some music with him. SK, from Sport’n Life. I wanna do some music with Action Jackson and Adra of Fly Moon Royalty. They’re super dope. They’re over at Sport’n Life too. That’s pretty much it as far as people I really want to look forward to collaborating with because they all bring something different to the table, and I know that working with people who are of a different lane pretty much can enhance what I’m capable of doing to open another door for me and get me to where I gotta go. Just becoming an overall better artist. Oh, I can’t forget Grynch. I gotta shout out David G. That’s the homie. “Mention Dave,” that’s going to be our song on my project. Definetly, gotta shout out Grynch. That’s pretty much the lineup of people I want to see myself working with. I wanna find some more soulful artists who can bring something different to the table. That’s pretty much it (laughs). Oh, Lace Cadence too. See I keep thinking about people and forgetting people, and Eighty4 Fly. I really want to work with Eighty4 Fly, that’s the homie. I really want to get him on next project too. That’s going to be a dope song if we ever get it done.
D: (Laughs). Basically, listening to you talk right there you always got a lot of things on your head. It must be why you are successful as a battle rapper. You think?
Mic: Yeah, because I always think. Somethings always turning in my brain even right now, even though I’m going through writer’s block. I always got something going on in my brain whether it has to do with music, what’s going on, on TV, who was that girl that just came by and spoke to me because I still have no clue who that was. I think I know now but I dunno. Actually, I think that’s my friend’s neighbor but whatever. There’s always something going on in my head. I’m always thinking of something funny to say. Like, if anybody could see my facial expression while we’re doing this interview, it would be so much more funnier and it would be hilarious. You should get one of those HD cameras so everyone can get the feel of how hot it is in the car and just the beautiful surroundings of Beacon Hill.
D: (Laughs). Mic Phenom got jokes.
Mic: My brother Sez Batters actually calls that that Mic Phenom S***.
D: Speaking of Sez. You actually got some fame in the bloodline. Your brother, XV, I think is really underrated. What kinds of advice or what kind of role has your brother played in your life?
Mic: He’s my younger brother so he’s always really supported me. Even when there’s been times where I’ve been like, man, this is just not going anywhere for me, he was like, bro, don’t even say that, because my brother has been taking music serious longer than I have. He’s been doing it since he was fifteen years old and he just turned twenty six. I’ve been rapping for longer but he’s been doing it as an artist for the longest. Way longer than me. I watch him and I watch my brother Sez, and I watch my cousin Slim, and watching them and their work ethic. Honestly, if I had their work ethic I’d be a lot farther musically than I am right now. That’s what I’ve been doing is exactly nothing. My work ethic is also right there on the cover of the mixtape with an empty bottle of corona and a cigarette.
D: Speaking of all this, what would describe as your kryptonite toward moving forward with your career?
Mic: Vagina. Vagina is my kryptonite (laughs). Alcohol is my kryptonite. Did I mention vagina is my kryptonite? And vagina (laughs). NBA 2K11 and vagina. Somebody’s going to hear this interview and my mom is going to hear this interview, and she’s going to be like what the hell? So, mom if you’re hearing this, I’m sorry, I’m just being honest. Anybody that is listening to this like, yo, I can’t believe Mic just said that, I apologize I’m just being honest, I’m just being me. You can ask Larry Mizzell when we’re out at an event kicking it and I see him somewhere and we’re talking and I have these things that’s called a Mic Phenom moment. We have Mic Phenom drunk, Mic Phenom s***, and we have Mic Phenom moments. Larry will tell you that we’ll be in mid conversation and an attractive girl will walk by and I’ll stop whatever I’m saying… and then go right back to the conversation. That’s a Mic Phenom moment, and those have been my vices and my kryptonite over these past eight years since coming over to Washington. Vagina (laughs).
D: What’s next for you though?
Mic: Right now I’m trying to get the right line up for my next project, it’s an EP that I’m working on, all original songs. I’m hoping to drop it in December. I want to drop it Decemeber 12th, which is my birthday. Not too sure if that’s going to happen. I need to get out of this writer’s block stage. I have another project in the works right now. I’m not allowed to speak of it or I’ll be destroyed by one of my favorite artists. I’m not allowed to say the name because it’s a very classified project, but it’s called “Welcome to Pleasantville,” and we’re looking to have it out in October. It’s going to be a surprise to anybody. When everything is all said and done people are going be like, yo, when did this happen. It’s going to be nuts. It’s going to be crazy… You have just witnessed a Mic Phenom moment.
D: (Laughs). Where on the web and the social networks can people keep up on Mic Phenom?
Mic: I’m everywhere. Google me (laughs). Nah, you can find me at twitter at @MicPhenom. It’s like I’m singing a Mickey Mouse song. M-I-C, P-H-E, N-O-M on twitter. Everyone has a myspace but I don’t really use that anymore. Facebook. I don’t even remember what my facebook link is. Yeah, I don’t so twitter is the best way to catch me. I’m always on twitter. I’m always tweeting about some randomness. I’m always retweeting something about vaginas and the stupidity that is of this world, and I’m always promoting local artists. I’m always supporting the Seattle hip-hop scene. I want to be a part of making Seattle get the shine that it is supposed to because Seattle really deserves it. There is so much talent out here and we don’t really get the attention that we deserve, and it really sucks because the talent out here is amazing. There’s not just one style. I like creative rappers and everyone that I listed their all creative and they’re naturally talented and don’t like to force anything… (Listen to full audio for this long random bit about Neema, people that have been on him to put music out, and things that are better than Tha Carter IV)… Oh yeah, you guys can type in on youtube. You can see all kinds of battles and stuff. I like to battle. I’m done battling though. No more battling unless I’m getting paid. I might try to put on a battling event up here, but it’s hard. Pause. Pause. Hopefully I can get everything together out here and get Seattle on the map somehow. I really want to be that person to get Seattle in the limelight. I know everyone is chasing for that same position, but I want to be the one. I have a feeling I am going to be the one. I can guarantee that. I know this for a fact.
D: Alright, there you have it. Probably that answer is the longest answer in the world (laughs). This guy is all reading off his text messages and s*** (laughs).
Mic: That’s that Mic s***. That’s what I’ve been doing. I should have had my phone in my hand on my cover too cause I’m always on my phone. Even with females that I’ve kicked it with. I’ve lost a lot of females before because I was always on my phone or they would go through my phone. That’s not the case now. I’m always on the phone. That’s that Mic s***. That’s what I’ve been doing holding the phone (laughs).
D: Thank you Mic Phenom. Thank you for coming through and I hope you are the one.
Mic: Thank you, I’m glad that I could have been a part of this and being a part of the competition. Shout out to Shorte too because he was killing me in that competition for the the longest. Can’t even front, he was demolishing me, but I’m Mic Phenom. Things go my way when I want it to go my way. That’s Mic Phenom s***.
Interviews are now available at charge with D-Money in audio only or videotaped with that option plus full transcription on this column more! Please email D-Money with all enquiries to [email protected]
The only way to get a free interview is via winning the Fresh Coast Faceoff, as Mic Phenom accomplished most recently and thoroughly entertained us. Vote on the current one to decide the next interview at Juice Radio’s like page at http://facebook.com/gojuiceradio.