Mike Jones: Left For Dead
A few years back it was all about Mike Jones, the Houston
rapper who reached national stardom with the hit singles Back Then and Still
Tippin. His catchphraseWho? Mike Jones!was heard throughout the
clubs, and both fans and haters alike dialed the personal cellphone number he
shouted out in songs. I was the Lil Wayne of the game at the time, he
recalls. Double platinum, hottest young artistI couldnt go nowhere.
Unfortunately, the buzz eventually died. Despite the success
of his debut album, Who Is Mike Jones?,
Mike Jones left the Swishahouse camp over artistic differences. He then took an
offer from Asylum Records to create his own imprint: Ice Age Entertainment. The
subsequent output was lukewarm at bestThe American Dream EP, which Mike says, Never fully met its
potential, and a series of middling singles that went nowhere.
But Mike Jones kept his head up throughout his four-year
hiatus and is finally set to drop his second album, The Voice (April 28). It answers all the questions that
people want to know, he says. From his altercation with Trae at last years
Ozone Awards to his soured relationship with T-Pain, were definitely ready for
do you feel about The Voice finally coming out?
Mike Jones: I feel
better than ever. Its been too long. It aint nothing but politics that kept
Mike Jones: The
powers that be didnt like Cuddy Buddy, they didnt like Next to You, so
the fans got turned off, and it turned off the support system. But in 2008, the
records that people said were wack were big records. Drop & Gimme 50 was
a big record. Cuddy Buddy came out to be top ten in the record charts and so
was Next to You. People want to know, Whats up with Mike and Ozone? What
took him so long?
you tell me the specifics of what happened between you and Trae at the Ozone
Mike Jones: Thats
politicsI had bulls**t beefs, and I had to face everything. You should
ask them, because Mike Jones aint that type of dude. So for that to happen it
had to be the other person. I brought the dude to my club multiple times. I
dont understand why it happened, but we moved on.
Mikes Jones Next To You Video
me about the songs on the upcoming album.
Mike Jones: We have
a track called Boi! with Young Problemz. Its a track that claims, Boy I
have what you dont got. We have a record called Happy Birthday and thats
a record that everybody could play on they birthday. Everyday is somebodys
birthday. And I made it because I cant focus on peoples birthdays because all
these haters watching me so much to the point I feel like, Damn, yall
watching me like its my birthday.
about the single, Next To You?
Mike Jones: That
single was originally made in 2006. I wrote the song, and I had Nae Nae sing on
it because I was trying to get Ashanti or Mya on the record, somebody of their
caliber. So Nae Nae sung on the track as a reference at the time and everybody
that we sent the record to turned us down. So we kept it for ourselves, and now
its top ten. Nae Nae, shes an aspiring singer, and how you hear it right now,
is how she did it three years ago, and it aint been touched since.
did you leave Swishahouse?
Mike Jones: You see
a lot of people give them too much credit. They say that Swishas the reason
that I blew up. But its talent. Theres a whole lot of talent there that aint
moving nowhere. It started out with Ice Age Entertainment. I was already big
off the strip-club scenes, and they came to me. They had a bigger machine at
that time, and I got down with them.
after you left Swishahouse, why has it taken so long for your second album to
Mike Jones: Before
that, you got to understand a lot of people didnt believe in Mike Jones. Even
when Who Is Mike Jones? came out, a lot of people didnt believe
that album could pass gold. But I knew it was going to sell. They didnt
believe it, but they signed it. And now not only the album went gold, it went
Mikes Jones Swagger Right Video
then why did you leave?
Mike Jones: My
contract with Swishahouse was a yearly deal. From 2001 to 2004, I was with
Swishahouse. My contract was about to end in 2004, but we renegotiated, and at
that time everything was good. Then right after we renewed the contract they
started getting stinky. And people wanted to do this, and do that. And then I
thought, If yall dont believe in my vision, take me off. And they were
like, You acting like youre about to go platinum, and I said, I am going
platinum. And when it went gold, I was like lets get off, and I have creative
you own all the songs on Who Is Mike Jones??
Mike Jones: I own
half of them. On the first album it was 50/50. But [Swishahouse] got to split
it with Warner Bros. and Asylum, so they dont own half either.
seems like things were working out for you. But why did you release The
American Dream EP instead of an official album?
Mike Jones: If you
listen to the first album on the Intro I said, Be on the lookout for the
next album, The American Dream. It was going to be an album and
a movie. I was pushing that project, but when the label didnt believe in my
vision, that f**ked everything up. It never got the full potential that it
Age Entertainment had a pretty strong roster from D4L to Shawty Lo
Mike Jones: I mean
at that time I was showing love to everybody who wanted to come out and get
that love because Im used to people not showing me love. I felt what they went
through. D4L was one of them. T-Pain was another one. T-Pain, he was new to the
game when I came through and showed him love.
Mike Jones: I'm n
Luv (Wit a Stripper)? Didnt anybody at the label want to play that record.
Mike Jones put his foot down, demanded and gave all his effort to play that
record. So we created the ground for T-Pain to have that record, and during the
process I did a song called Cuddy Buddy. So I was like, Cool, I did that for
you, you come and do this for me. And when I did that, Jive said that we
couldnt do Cuddy Buddy with T-Pain. But when Im n Luv (Wit a Stripper)
came out I was showing love to him.
you spoken to T-Pain recently?
Mike Jones: I havent
spoken to T-Pain since 2006 or 2007. In 2005, I did I'm n Luv (Wit a
Stripper), I brought him to Club Ice Age, I got him two or three different
kind of grills. I mean T-Pain did his thing, like he was supposed to, because I
knew he had talent. When the label didnt believe in Cuddy Buddy, when it got
time for me to really put it out there, I was trying to reach out and get the
same love, but I didnt get that love back.
always thought T-Pain was going to be successful?
Mike Jones: I knew
he was. Thats why I got T-Pain in like two or three records on The Voice.
A lot of people will hear these records and theyll be like, Oh! Where did
Mike get all these records? Ive been having these records years ago.
AllHipHop.com: Was he
ever officially under your label?
Mike Jones: He was
never officially under my label but in the video he was rocking the Ice Age
chain. At that time a lot of people werent behind him like they would be right
now, just like people didnt believe in D4L. I got behind people that I knew
that were talented.
you ever regret that you didnt sign him?
Mike Jones: That
aint what I was trying to do. I was just trying to network and make
relationships. I aint trying to sign everybody and get money off everybody.
Im just trying to say, when it came down for me, I just thought a lot of
people could have put their foot down for me like how I did for them. Cool,
theres no beef, or nothing.
Mikes Jones f/ T-Pain Scandalous Hoes
AllHipHop.com: So if
yall get down now, yall could still do a record?
Mike Jones: Yeah,
itll be done, but it aint going to be the way it was. Thats what I explain a
lot in this album. I mean people could see all the fake smiles, and fake
handshakes, but in reality people left me for dead.
thats just part of this industry. Youve never put on a fake smile?
Mike Jones: If I
did, then I wouldnt have done the song with D4L. Im getting behind a group
that dances, move they legs, and I wasnt tripping about how they did they
you feel the same way about D4L and Shawty Lo as you feel about T-Pain?
Mike Jones: Shawty
Lo is a different situation. I still see him. Theres lot of people that still
show me the same love that I showed them. It;s just some people dont. Even Lil
Wayne was on Cuddy Buddy, he wasnt able to show up to the video, but he
still let us know, he wasnt just hiding behind the label.
there anybody else on Ice Age Entertainment?
Mike Jones: Oh, its
me by myself now. When the label didnt believe in the project, a lot of people
thought I was left for dead, so a lot of people distanced themselves. And Im
glad they did. Now it showed me who is real, and who aint real. I had all
these records people didnt know about, and now Im top ten, and people try to
come back, but I dont need them. I got so much music Im already working on my
third album, and its called Expect the Unexpected because Mike
Jones hits them when they least expect it.
Mike Jones Cuddy Buddy Video
how people didnt expect you to lose so much weight?
Mike Jones: I mean I
try to get on the treadmill every morning for about 10 to 15 minutes. I stopped
eating fast food, and started eating Subway sandwiches. In about four or five
months [weight] took off on me. I went from 290 pounds to like 190 pounds. I
aint have nothing but time, it wasnt like I was on a crazy tour. I just ate