10 years ago this summer, you may remember Dave Chappelle’s Block Party — a free block party in Brooklyn featuring performances by Kanye West, Erykah Badu, The Roots, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, Dead Prez, Jill Scott, Cody Chesnutt, Big Daddy Kane, and the Fugees. I sure do, I bought the DVD of its documentary-style film (one of my first music DVDs at that).
That list of artists won’t be topped this year, but the bottom line is that Dave Chappelle is back to New York City 10 years later. The Roots, Erykah Badu, Janelle Monáe, Busta Rhymes, and DJ Premier are all set to co-headline with Dave Chappelle at Radio City Music Hall across three days this June, the 24th through 26th. He’s looking to apply the same formula of stand-up mixed with neo-soul hip hop that was a success at the Block Party. Now, a different, and prestigious venue. Chappelle will also be performing solo standup shows at Radio City from June 18th-June 22nd (already sold out). But NYC readers, and readers all around, here’s the weekend to plan a New York trip.
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 jusAt 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!