Streets Is Talking: MIMS

Ever wondered what comes with having one of the biggest songs of the year?  Ask MIMS. The New York native gained national fame in 2007 with his hit single “This Why I Am Hot.” Featuring minimal production and a straightforward hook, whether you were in the South, North, East or West, the song was ubiquitous. The catchy tune found itself on more than two million cellular phones; spawning several unofficial remixes and street inspired freestyles. With that kind of national exposure most artists cruise into stardom with little effort. MIMS though would feel a mean backlash from the Hip-Hop community. Labeled everything from a one hit wonder, to a ringtone rapper, to just being wack; it seemed that we would never hear back from dude. But as of late he has been putting in his work to shut up the naysayers. Now working on his sophomore effort MIMS wants to prove he is far from one-dimensional. AllHipHop.com: So let’s start with the bubbling of “This Is Why I’m Hot.”MIMS: Originally I cut “This Is Why I’m Hot” when I was working out a joint venture with UBO (Urban Box Office). One of the reasons I was looking to sign with them was that they were going to cut certain amount of monies to my company American King and pretty much make sure we had enough money to push a single out there. The record I was pushing at the time was called “I Did You Wrong.” When they heard “This Is Why I’m Hot” they changed directions and push that first. We started in Florida and brought it all the way up north. I pretty much solidified myself in the South and that’s how I got my respect in New York.  AllHipHop.com: You get that popping and ink the deal with Capitol Records, correct?MIMS: UBO knew the record was going to chart. We were in negotiations with a couple of labels and one of them was Capitol Records. The same night Capitol Records cut the check, UBO filed for bankruptcy and folded. AllHipHop.com: In the last couple of years Capitol has not handled any major Rap related artists. Why take a chance with them?MIMS: I mean honestly it was for that exact same reason. They didn’t have a lot of Rap artists. My honest belief was that they were going to pay attention to my career because they needed it just like I needed a label to pay attention to me. Believe it or not there were a lot of labels jumping out of the woodwork wanting to work a deal out. They probably would have paid a whole lot of money but the question is was their roster free enough to come in and have that attention that my career needed.AllHipHop.com: Did you have any reason to believe that the record would take off like it did before it broke?MIMS: I knew when I was cutting the record in the studio that there was something special about it. A lot of critics get at me because they think I downplayed my lyrics. I hear all the redundant one hit wonder talk. This single incorporated a lot of things going on with me at the time. It incorporated somewhat [of] a positive outlook on Hip-Hop compared to the conventional “I’ll shoot and stab you” talk. I put as much into that record as any of my other records. AllHipHop.com: You caught a ton of flack from the public on the lack of lyrical content.MIMS: For me I had to brush it off. From the ringtone rapper label, to the one hit wonder label; to me none of that was the truth. I knew I worked hard. Every door was pretty much closed on me and I was blessed to do a simple record like that and take it to the next level. For me I had to look at all those positive things. I was no longer in the hood, I’m now able to put some food in my stomach and take care of certain people around me. I’m allowed to live a certain lifestyle and I take it as a blessing. I just kept it moving and I’m still keeping it moving.

“If I’m not mistaken, it was around two to three million ringtones. People aren’t stupid, they can do the math. That’s a lot of money you are generating… My record kind of broke that era of ringtone and digital downloads.”

AllHipHop.com: Breakdown the ringtone sales for me.MIMS: If I’m not mistaken, it was around two to three million ringtones. People aren’t stupid, they can do the math. That’s a lot of money you are generating. In my opinion, at the time my record kind of broke that era of ringtone and digital downloads. It’s that record that people can look back and say, “This was the first of its kind for the era.” Something like you definitely got to take it as an accolade and take it under your belt. So when everyone is saying “Oh you’re a ringtone rapper,” yeah three million. Who wouldn’t want that check?AllHipHop.com: Understood, but your debut album Music Is My Savior only does three hundred thousand copies which is disappointing considering all the airplay you had.MIMS: We did about four hundred thousand worldwide. A lot of people deemed my album unsuccessful in the beginning, with obviously the one hit wonder thing you said before, but when you go through selling eighty seven thousand my first week and within a matter for four weeks I moved two hundred thousand records, it’s an accomplishment. You factor in the ringtones, you factor in the digital downloads, you factor in the Microsoft sponsorship, and you put it all together and calculate how much money was generated you looking at almost eight hundred thousand albums sold when you put all that together. To me cats ain’t really doing that nowadays so for me to come in fresh off the scene and do crazy numbers on the digital sales and the album doing semi decent with the physical sales; now we can sit back and do the math and say this was a successful project. AllHipHop.com: Ok the single does what it does and you go with “Like This” which doesn’t really come close to what the first single did. Do things start to get funny with at the label?MIMS: Any artist’s deal with their label will be a love hate relationship at certain points in time. I nurtured “This Is Why I’m Hot.” It took me about a year to get that record notarized. I think with “Like This” it was a little bit different. Now it’s no longer on me to show and prove. I pretty much handed them the first record, and they made a monster out of it. The second record I wanted to put in their hands. It wasn’t necessarily a dud, it was still a top ten record at radio and it was still huge for me as a record. When you compare that record to the records of a lot of artists that are out now, they don’t reach that high on the charts.

“I wasn’t coming out dissing anyone; I didn’t have anything bad to say about anybody. I made music people were rocking out… For other artists to use me as the brunt of their jokes or freestyles, I take flattery behind it… My name now it’s being brought up.”

AllHipHop.com: Now the public is really throwing you under the bus. Did it make you feel in a way?MIMS: The saying is first they love you now they hate you then they love you again. For me I don’t look at it where I felt hurt by it. It is what is. I was successful to a point where many haven’t been able to reach. I’m not saying I’m better than anyone else, I just delivered something that was different. I wasn’t coming out dissing anyone; I didn’t have anything bad to say about anybody. I made music people were rocking out to and dancing to. For other artists to use me as the brunt of their jokes or freestyles, I take flattery behind it. Once before you didn’t know my name now it’s being brought up. AllHipHop.com: Is it true you have since left Capitol Records and signed with Geffen?MIMS: You know what, I’ve heard those rumors but I never left Capitol Records. I’m still an artist there. Wikipedia gets a lot of things twisted. My middle isn’t Tipawa, it’s Maurice. They said I have a lot of artists signed to my label that aren’t signed to my label. I’m looking at a later 3rd quarter release for my second album.AllHipHop.com: Do you feel the pressure of having to prove yourself this time around?MIMS: Definitely, the best thing about it is I’m the underdog so no one is rooting for me. When you’re the underdog you can get more fuel than a lot of other artists. When you got the whole world siding with you, you have no one to get respect from. Now I got everybody I can get respect from. There’s definitely some pressure on me to make things happen this time around. I’m going to make sure that the naysayers know I’m no gimmick or overnight blow up cat that just started rapping.AllHipHop.com: Recently there has been some tension between G-Unit and Rosci who hosts BET’s 106th and Park. 50 Cent went on to mention that you were one of the rappers Rosci has bedded. Can you file a report on that?MIMS: I heard about that. Let’s clear the air real quick. It’s not the truth. It never happened. Me and Rosci never had any sexual relationship. We never dated and never went out. I’m not apart of that issue so I don’t know what they are beefing about. Hopefully it will be cleared up because it doesn’t have anything to do with me.

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