Raised in north Houston's Stude Wood area, MIKE JONES began rapping in 2001. Going for self, he started his own label Ice Age Entertainment and earned a name throughout Houston with his self-distributed Ice Age Vol. 1. The buzz caught the attention of SwishaHouse owner DJ Michael Watts, so Mike Jones opted to curtail his own label and sign an artist deal with the indie powerhouse the following year. And with the release of his Swishahouse/Asylum/Warner Bros. Records solo debut, the world will soon konw exactly Who Is Mike Jones?
Already a household name throughout the South and Mid-West, Mike Jones gained regional fame on more than two dozen now legendary SwishaHouse "screwed-up" mix tapes. Known for his amusing metaphors, witty punch lines and charismatic freestyles, Mike Jones set himself aparet from other rappers by constantly repeating his name throughout his rhymes and hooks then following with the question, "Who?"
With a legion of devout followers faithfully answering "Mike Jones," the self-proclaimed "King of the Streets" has dropped three underground solos and spit unforgettable versions on highly praised independent compilation The Day Hell Broke Loose 2 and collaborative effort 1st Round Draft Picks with indie artist Magno.
"I used to go to clubs and give deejays my CD," he remembers. "They'd be like 'who are you?' And I'd be like 'Mike Jones.' And they'd be like 'who?' Mike Jones. Who? Mike Jones."
He continues, "Then I'd go home and tell my grandmomma I gave a couple of deejays my CD, and they didn't know who I was. She said, 'Just start saying who? Mike Jones. Who? Mike Jones.'"
Heeding his grandmother's words of wisdom, Mike Jones incorporated her marketing scheme into every rhyme. He even put his telephone number 281-330-8004 into his verses.
"The whole concept of the album 'Who is Mike Jones?" coming soon' -- she told me to do that," says Mike. "She was like 'give them your number to keep in touch with the people who're helping you move your momma out of here.' That's what I did."
The plan paid off, making Mike Jones an underground sensation. Unfortunately, his grandmother passed away before she could see her grandson's dream materialize. Mike Jones immortalizes his grandmother in a yet untitled song that will be featured on "Who is Mike Jones?"
"The fame was big in Texas," he says, "but when I got with SwishaHouse, it went from Texas to everyplace else." In fact, Jay Frank, head of programming and label relations, Yahoo! Music states, "Through most of 2004, Mike Jones was outsearching [Interscope's] The Game, so we knew that his first single would explode on Yahoo! Music. With over 500,000 plays every week, there's no doubt that Mike Jones will be a huge sales story for 2005."
That fame is extending even further as Mike Jones' jump off single "Still Tippin'" featuring label mate Paul Wall and Star Track signee Slim Thug is steadily heating up radio, MTV and BET audiences. Accompanying the video is a separate screwed version as well.
"I was hot off of Ice Age. I got with SwishaHouse and got hotter," he boasts. "Now that SwishaHouse is with Warner Brothers, we got even more hotter."
And he doesn't intend on cooling down anytime soon. Along with delivering one of the most anticipated CDs in the south, "Who Is Mike Jones?" will also include a chopped and screwed remix version of the album.
"Where we're from, (screw) is a big issue. People like to hear (music) slowed up," he explains. "Some people like it regular, but they might put the screwed version in and find out they like the screwed version, too."
"I think people wanna know what screw is about," he continues. "They've been hearing a lot about it, and they wanna experience it."
Soon the world will know what the southern underground has known for some time now and will have no reason to ask, "Who Is Mike Jones?"
--- from the official Mike Jones website