Interview: Mickey Factz
by Winston "Stone" Ford
Is Mickey Factz the Internets most hated rapper? A quick Google search would likely confirm so. However, there is more than this Bronx-based MC than the so-called hipster-hop label that people try to put on him. In fact, contrary to popular belief, Factz is a monster on the mic, and is bringing beats and lyrics that bring hip-hop forward. His weekly Leak series as well as his mixtapes have gotten Factz Internet buzz, which he has parlayed into profles in such magazines as Fader and Urb. Facts is steady on his grind in ’08. Check his weekly Leak series and the MySpace.
So how did you get started in the NY Hip-Hop Game?
Well, you know, I got started in late 2005. I put out some records, and they didn’t get the attention they were supposed to get. I put out this mixtape called Kings of The Bronx with my boy J’von Bishop and that got on Mixtape Mondays on MTV….got a couple other placements but not until I started to do things by myself did things really start taking off for me. 2007 was like a fastbreak for me, thats when I put out Flashback and Heavens Fallout. This year, it was the alley oop and right now I’m one of the artists at the forefront of the new movement in New York City. Next year is gonna be the slam dunk. I’m gonna take over everything next year.
The first time I heard you, you were rapping over that song from the Geico commercial [Royskopp – Remind Me]. And you rap over instrumentals that wouldn’t be considered traditional hip-hop. Is that he music that you’re checkin’ or is that something that you use to distance yourself from the crowd?
Well, I think it would be from both scenarios. I just got bored with music. When I was doing Flashback, the original Flashback had over 40-50 songs. I was did about 50 old school tracks. And it just sounded dated. It sounded soooo dated. It was ridiculous how dated it sounded. So I had my boy Precize, do most of the tracks over for Flashback. And as he was doing it, I was saying to myself “yo, this is some other shit!” And then we did the geico record and I was like”yo, this is amazing.” And after that record we did the Fallout Boy Record. And then after the Fallout Boy Record we did the Mark Ronson record “Stop Me.” “After we did “Stop Me,” that’s when I started looking for different types of records on my own. Man I found everything! It was a whole new world of music and I was like “Wow! Shit, this is dope!” After that it was about finding different sounds and different types of music.
That really rejuvenated me. I didn’t know what I was going to do after Flashback Volume 1 and Heavens Fallout literally rejuvenated me. It took me to that next level of music and it inspired me. And its not just sampling other music, now Precize [producer] is making music that he wouldn’t normally make, and I’m rapping about things I wouldn’t normally rap about. You know what I mean??
Yeah, that’s cool man. I actually got tired of hip-hop a few years ago and the music you’re rapping over is stuff that I’m actually checking right now.
It’s just something that rejuvenates your ears, and the fact that people hate on it, is funny to me.
So what do you think about the haters and that “hipster-hop” label? Acts like SOUL Purpose are going at The Cool Kids and message board hate?
I love it. As long as nobody disrespects me on a record I love it. If I really have to show ‘em then I’ll let ‘em know: Listen, I grew up in the Bronx baby! Battelin’ is what we do for fun. That’s all we do is battle. We battle 8 people at a time, you know what I mean? So I’m waitin’ for the heat. I revel in it. So if you want to talk about Mickey Factz in the chatrooms and the boards and on the blogs…I take that and put it into my music and I’m literally goin’ at whoever talks about me. It would be inadvertently goin’ at you but trust me, its goin’ there, and its goin’ at you. I’m just waiting for a rapper to do it so I can show em that ether was started in the Bronx. Ether was created in the Bronx.
But do you consider yourself “hipster-hop?” Are you down with the Cool Kids and these new artists?
Nah. I don’t even think they’re a part of that group. I’m definitely not a part of that group either. I grew up in the Bronx. The first time I ever seen a hipster was in 2007. It was early 2007 when I started going on shows with The Cool Kids. Before that I ain’t never see a hipster. I’m not hipster rap. I’m not hipster-hop. Its just
Global Music, ya know? Global music. Especially with the music that I’m going to be putting out. It’s so left people ain’t going to be expecting it.
Its sad, you know what I’m sayin’? People are trying to classify me as something that I’m not trying to be classified as. I look at it as uber hip-hop or progressive hip-hop. Uber music…global music. That’s
what it is. It’s stuff for the world…..it’s not just for the hipsters. Its stuff for the dudes on the Block. It’s for the girl that doesn’t have a parent trying to make it through school. I’m making original music.
Yeah, to tell you the truth, I think the music is just evolving…
So anyway, back to the music. Are you signed right now?
Mickey Factz is not signed. I’m unsigned for now. Right now, I’m looking to establish my label GFC New York. It will be a label to be reckoned with. I already have three artists that I have signed. I am the flagship artist. I’m not signed to a label, but I’m making moves that a label should make.
I don’t really need a label at this point. I’ll probably get a label to help out with some stuff, but then I gotta dictate what they do with my career. I will always have my career in my own hands. They’re gonna sue me if I was signed to a label. I’m just gonna put it out, and I don’t give a damn what they say. If I do it on my own, then I can do what the hell I wanna do. That’s how I get my name out right now.
So as far as production on the tracks, are they all in house?
Everything is in house. Everything is done by Precize, Illfonics, Ibe or Soundsmith.
That’s cool. Yeah, there are probably about three of your tracks that get constant spins on the iPod. Automatic, Don’t Be Light, and the track that you did with Travis from Gym Class Heroes. How did you hook up with Travis?
I’ve known Travis for about a year now. He was on the original remix for the Fall Out Boy record, with Kanye and Lil’ Wayne. I recorded my verse with Travis and Kanye in the studio. I had to get off the song though cause everybody and their mother jumped on the song: Lupe, Tyga, Paul Wall…it wasn’t a good look for me. I wanted to showcase ME as a new artist breaking out. And after all those other artists jumped on it I was like hell no.
So, my boy Omen has a record called “Overdose On Life” off the album Be The Judge, and he got me, Drake and Travis on the record. And we didn’t link up together to do the record…we did it all on the ‘net. But I just recently saw Travis at the Kids In Da Hall Party at SOB’s and he ran up on me and said “what you’re doing is absolutely incredible, and whatever you need I will do.” And that tells you right there…I haven’t seen Travis in a year and he tells me whatever I need I will get.
So what’s the response been like on the streets to the music?
Heaven’s Fallout is at about 20,000 [in downloads] right now, if I’m not mistaken and The Leak…we got 650,000 listens in one week on Imeem.
It’s crazy. that’s all I know. It’s crazy.
Yeah, it is, when label budgets are getting slashed and music sales declining. So what do you think about the state of hip-hop right now? A lot of people said that New York sort of fell off.
Well, it never fell off. It’s just that people forgot what it’s like to be a New York artist. We are the cockiest artists ever. If you can make it in New York then you can make it anywhere. We breed some of the greatest things that come out of culture in the world. So when people start looking at other sources for their inspiration, such as the South…such as The West, such as the Midwest….then we have a
problem. Look at the foundation. Look within yourself. That’s what I did. Look for yourself. Afrika Bambaata was doing this in the early eighties. I’m not bringing back what he did, I’m moving forward with what he did. I’m taking what he did to the next level. And he’s proud. I never met him and I could tell you that he’s proud. I’m trying to bring back culture, and I’m trying to move it forward. As far as New York hip-hop goes…it’s not
goin’ nowhere. And now that I’m here, it’s definitely not going no where. I’m actually making songs that the masses would love.
And that’s what it takes to be able to stay in hip-hop. People want me to be lyrical all the time. If I’m lyrical all the time then I will end up never coming out of the shell. I have to make music that will keep me in the limelight all the time so I can continue to put three or four songs of lyrical strength on the album. If not, I’ll fall to the wayside.
So what’s the next step? What’s the next move for Mickey Factz?
The next move is The Leak baby! Every single week. And then, we are going to be doing some touring. I’m gonna be doing a three week tour in Europe. I”m going to be doing a couple other shows in the city and
around the state. But that’s basically it man. A lot of features….a lot of surprises are gonna be coming up on The Leak. A lot of inspirational material is gonna be coming outta The Leak. Yeah….I can’t wait.
Oh, and more videos man! My videos are gonna be on MTV and BET. I’m an unsigned artist with videos on MTV and BET….come on! Gotta show love to the unsigned artists.
That’s all we do here at The Couch Sessions! But you gotta come through DC though.
DC? Yeah, I’m gonna be hittin’ that real soon. If the money’s right I’ll be out there man. From the looks of it, we’ll be there very soon.
So this is a question we ask every artist we interview on The Couch Sessions? What’s the top 10 songs your’re checking out on your Ipod?
The top 10 songs? I actually have this playlist right here. So let’s see.
1.) Lil Wayne – A Milli
2.) Mickey Factz, Drake, Travis – Overdose on Life
3.) Justice – Stress
4.) Mickey Factz – Pick Up the Bass
5.) Jade – Up and Out
6.) Mickey Factz – Rocker
7.) Nakim- I Get It In
8.) FKI, Mickey Factz – Looking Fly
9.) Kid Cudi – Day and Night
10.) N.E.R.D. – Spazz
Is that 10 records?
Yeah man, that’s 10.
Yo, much thanks for the Interview.
Definitely, my brother.