|Related Articles: Music, All|
Hip Hop’s Digital Messiah?
by Matt Crawford on Feb 27, 2009
Mickey Factz has reached a simmering buzz with a continuous stream of free music online that showcases his lyrical versatility and hints of Kanye’s braggadocio, Jay Z’s swag and Pharrell’s couture. It’s a good look that some say fits perfectly with "hipster rap", the latest label du jour tossed about freely among the new era of wild-style hip hop acts. The New York rapper, who sounds equally comfortable on a Lykke Li remix or a 9th Wonder beat, spoke with SF Station over the phone during a break from working on his debut LP The Achievement. He makes his San Francisco debut at the Rickshaw Stop on March 6th.
SF Station (SFS): Do you have a drop date for your album?
Mickey Factz (MF): Not yet, but we are looking at a release date before the end of the year; possibly summer or early fall.
SFS: What is the marketing philosophy behind all of the free music that you have released on-line over the past few years?
MF: I use the mixtapes as a means of promotion for Mickey Factz to get my name out there the way it should be. I also did it to solidify my place in the on-line community. When I started getting into music in 2006, the first place we went was on-line. We dominated that, as you can see the buzz that came from a heavy online presence.
SFS: It seems like you have to be as equally savvy with marketing, as you are with your music. Do you agree?
MF: I totally agree with that for the simple fact that it’s not just music and sounds. It was actually precise precision and being able to tackle the visual aspect for consumers. I was also a visual artist, not just someone who was putting a song on-line every week.
SFS: Why do hip hop acts put out so much free music?
MF: I think it’s because we appreciate the struggle. As hip hop artists, we come and go very fast. In order to stay in the game, you have to do something very innovative. When people were still selling CDs in 2006, I came along and started giving it away for free.
But there was innovation even in other eras. Prince gave away his music for free in France through the newspaper. There are different ways of distributing music outside of selling CDs. CD sales are messed up everywhere, not just in hip hop.
SFS: You call yourself the “Digital Messiah.” How do you plan to save the game?
MF: With my music, I am going to pursue licensing and other areas to save the game because no one wants to buy CDs. People are going to say, ‘This kid is the digital messiah, and he is leading the revolution with how music is supposed to be distributed.’ Everything I’ve done so far, nobody has done. I’m ahead of the curve.
SFS: What do you plan to tackle next?
MF: I have a Honda commercial dropping this week. It’s a campaign that is on-line and on television. I’m working with some other campaigns and some telephone stuff --anything that has to do with media.
SFS: You’ve been grouped with the Cool Kids and several other artists that many consider to be the new face of hip hop. What separates you, as a group, from everyone else?
MF: We love doing what we do. We are not afraid to push the boundaries in music and take our genre to the next level. I think that’s what separates us from everyone else.
SFS: Can you describe the visual aesthetic that you mentioned earlier?
MF: When you see Mickey Factz, you will see he is a charismatic character, very fashion-forward and animated. I think that is what brings people to Mickey Factz and his brand, because people want to be cool at the end of the day sometimes. People don’t want to be tough all the time. I don’t know a lot of people that like being tough all day.
SFS: And that has led to the new label that is popping up all the time around you: "hipster rap"…
MF: I love hipster rap.
SFS: What is hipster rap?
MF: That’s a good question. What is hipster rap? I don’t know what it is, but whatever is, I love it. I just know Mickey Factz ain’t a part of that. People say that I’m a part of it, and I just say 'OK'. Put me in that genre, but I’m going to break out of it soon enough.
Mickey Factz performs at the Rickshaw Stop on March 6th. Tickets are $10 and the show starts at 10pm.
by Matt Crawford on Feb 27, 2009