Mic Geronimo is one of those MC’s that took
hip-hop through the nineties. He picked up on the gritty styles of the mid-years,
and dragged hip-hop through the flashy age, and now on to the independent frontier.
Not many people realize that in 1995, Ja Rule, DMX, Cormega, and Irv Gotti were
all riding on the tracks of Mic G. Nearly ten years later, where are they, where
With a friendly and most content nature, Mic
Geronimo puts perspective to his path and his direction. Geronimo understands
the ways of the world like a veteran soldier from the streets of Queens. Still,
unlike his contemporaries, Mic Geronimo perhaps cares more deeply about where
this culture’s coming from, and who it really concerns. All is unleashed, in
the words of a veteran rapper still hungry enough to force you to learn his
AllHipHop: My favorite track you ever blessed
was "Man Versus Many" with OC. That cut really earned you respect
as an MC. Could you reflect on the inception of that cut for the longtime Mic
Mic Geronimo: That’s what’s up! We just didn’t
want to do a song that sounded like everybody else’s. Mr. Walt did the track,
and we came in let’s just have fun. ‘Cuz me and O, we real cool, and when we’re
not in the studio, we just be spittin’. He was like let’s have fun, like when
we just be buggin’ out. Instead of trying to make a song for the sake of the
song. It was just one of them things: the right song, the right beat, the right
lyrics, at the right time.
AllHipHop: What’s your writing process like?
MG: It’s different, I’d say. Because I can go
to the studio, hear the track, and just write it right there. Or, I could take
it home and vibe with it. It all depends on how I feel. I gotten a lot better
in terms of just being able to hear something and put something to it right
while it’s in front of me. I don’t believe in rushing a song either.
AllHipHop: A lot of people believe your name
should be bigger than it is. A lot of your competition came up with one team
or one producer, and you didn’t. Has that helped you or hurt you?
MG: I guess you could look at it where it’s done
a little bit of both. In the beginning, I wasn’t so much inclined to being locked
into one sound because I never believed if you were, that it would allow you
to go where you wanted to go with it. I just like to feel real free in terms
of how I write. I don’t like to feel restricted about things. So, in my beginnings,
it was just like I didn’t want everything to sound the same. You throw the dice
with that like you do with anything else. If you choose to be versatile in picking
producers, then you choose to not rock in one sound that people might familiarize
you with. So it has it’s pros and its cons.
AllHipHop: And now, where do you stand with that?
MG: Well now, being that I have my own label,
and my own in-house production, it’s like, there’s probably a way could have
a sound pegged to us, in terms of your ear being familiar like, "Oh, well
that must be a rebellious track." But even with that, every producer we
have brings something different to the table.
AllHipHop: You mention that rebellious sound.
In most of your raps, you always seem to be speaking to an opposing force, be
it a person or greater. How do you conjure up that energy to do that?
MG: I just generalize it. I just look at it in
terms of not a enemy, but the enemy. The enemy doesn’t have to be anybody in
particular, the enemy can be things wrong in the game or situations I’m up against.
It’s just struggling and hustling.
AllHipHop: You started rhyming at fifteen which
is pretty late comparing to most. How’d you learn so quickly to be signed within
six years? And why so late considering you were brought up in Flushing, Queens?
MG: I mean it something I was always into, but
I didn’t really start taking it serious in terms of writing a rhyme and even
trying to pursue it til’ about that time. I always was deejaying, and I was
always into every other aspect, I think, of what makes hip-hop, hip-hop.
AllHipHop: We gotta talk about "Long Road
Back." Going independent, after a five year break, how does it feel?
MG: It feels good because there’s a side to it
where I gotta work and I gotta hustle. But you gotta start somewhere. Even when
it’s hard at times, I still take solace in the fact that I own my own company
now, along with my partners. That’s like a major accomplishment. That even makes
you go harder. It makes you wanna make everything work as it should. It makes
me just appreciate that fact.
AllHipHop: Putting this record alongside "The
Natural" and "Vendetta", how do you justify it or promote it?
MG: To me, out of all three, it’s my most personal
album. That off top, is like something from the first two. And as I said before,
putting it out on my own label, which is another thing for me. Just looking
at it, I just appreciate the fact that I’m here to do what I love doing and
being able to provide it to people. So I look at it as a stepping stone. While
the albums out now, it’s still able to go where it has to go.
AllHipHop: You sound like a working man though.
Is "Long Road Back" a prelude to another album, or what?
MG: Oh definitely because the way I think ahead
in terms of "The Long Road Back." That’s out there, and I want to
go where I think it deserves to go, but I’m also thinking of my next album,
which is "King of Pain." So, it’s like, I’m constantly working.
AllHipHop: You’re in the Queens circle, and heads are gonna constantly criticize
you and compare you against Nas, Mobb Deep, Cormega, and all them. How much
does that frustrate you?
MG: Sometimes it did. But now, I’m older, and
people are always gonna have something to say. And some people are gonna appreciate
you as being an artist in your own right. Some people are gonna look at you
as just another generic artist no matter how busy you get. That’s the same as
any criticism. I’ll take it for what it’s worth but it won’t deter me from doing
AllHipHop: The political question, he was a big
part of your "Vendetta" record. there’s speculation recently that
he criticized your work ethic, but what is the standing between you and Irv
MG: I see it like, honestly like Irv Gotti is
Irv Gotti and Mic Geronimo is Mic Geronimo. And we came in the game together,
but he does what he do and I do what I do. That’s about the fatherest I’d take
it with where our standing is, other than that, it would probably be a no comment.
AllHipHop: So there’s no working relationship
going on these days then?
MG: Not particularly.
AllHipHop: He’s a hot producer, and you’ve worked
with Large Professor, Buckwild, Preem. Is there one somebody, even on your in-house
now, that made you look your best?
MG: That’s hard. Honestly, I’ll never take credit
away from any of the producers I’ve worked with, it’s hard to narrow down. I
picked them at that time. And for what I picked them to do, they did their best.
That’s a good question that I never heard.
AllHipHop: Critics were hard on "The Vendetta",
and I still own it on wax and CD. I liked that record. There was one verse on
"Things Ain’t What They Used to Be". That rhyme was quotable, and
I’m curious to see what prompted you to write it?
MG: I just feel that there’s so many other things
out there that people don’t give enough attention to. There’s a lot of things
going on in the world that effect people, and they act as though it doesn’t
affect them. I can’t see something and not speak on it. That’s the kinda the
mentality I had during that record. There’s more going on then people sellin’
drugs, or shooting guns, or putting dubs on they trucks, or your chain or rolex.
Sometimes whether the world wants to hear it or not, you gotta stand for a cause.
‘Cuz if you stand for nothing, then you fall for everything.
AllHipHop: You seen hip-hop evolve in the last
ten. And you’re a hustler MC, but as a cat who loves hip-hop, how can we fix
MG: I think everybody really has to want to fix
it. Some people talk about it just cuz it makes them good to talk about it.
People really have to want to change it. People have to change what’s making
them so egotistical, so money-hungry, so power-driven. People don’t want to
change that, because sacrifice comes with that. Until people want to sacrifice
the bullshit, you won’t see that.
You can check out Mic Geronimo on the Lyricist
Lounge Tour this Summer, and check out Long Road Back available in stores