I'll admit, it takes a lot for a rapper to impress me.
Especially if I have never heard of him or her before. My ear is specially trained to dismiss rappers like that on first listen, no questions asked.
So imagine my state of mind when, a few years ago, I was surfing the Web trying to find new music and stumbled upon a rapper with an unusual, almost silly-sounding name who was rhyming over breaks from N*E*R*D 's first album.
Of course I was intrigued right off the bat on the strength of the Neptunes, so I downloaded it immediately and was introduced to a confident, more-than-able rapper who had the knack to rap about more than just a handful of already played-out topics while incorporating the requisite witty wordplay and clever metaphors that Hiphop music seems to be well void of.
He is also from the Bronx, and Bronx rappers can never lose with me. Pause.
The rapper I'm talking about is Mickey Factz, a 23 year old wordsmith with a relentless work ethic that helped propelled him on his way to stardom.
At this past weekend's Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, where the above photo was taken, he was greeted like a bona fide star from those in attendance. The night before at the festival's opening reception, he was also given the same treatment from the crowd, who's members could be seen whispering "is that him?" before ultimately going up to the man to pay their respects.
The crazy thing about Mickey is that he continues to show growth in his lyrics and music, which includes (but is not limited to) songs recorded and released since January of this year.
Because of his style of clothing and choice of what type of music he can some times use, he has been thrown under the "hipster rap" umbrella, but a closer listen clearly separates Mickey from that bunch.
From "Breakout," a track from In Search of the Nerd, Mickey's mixtape composed of rhymes over N*E*R*D breaks that sparked my interest in the first place:
"Yeah my name is FactzNow when I heard that last line, I was convinced. But I figured that's all the music I was going to ever hear from him.
New jacks is liquor addicts
I'm messing with sweet bard
And y'all just snicker at it
Rewind the last line
Mick's a hood star.
No candy involved,
You just missed a good bar/Mr. Goodbar."
So imagine my surprise when less than a year later Mickey dropped Flashback Vol. 1: Back to the Future, another stellar mixtape . This one featured Mickey rhyming over beats of Hiphop past that defined a certain era, such as Incarcerated Scarfaces and BBD's Poison.
Over Main Source's "Live at the BBQ," Mickey handles his business:
"Live at the barbecueMickey then followed that up with a quick release of Heaven's Fallout, a high quality mixtape made up of mostly electro-style beats, and Mickey didn't miss a beat. Especially on conceptual songs like "Breathe Another Day":
Your rhyme skills are horrible
I'll put them on the grill
And fry them into particles.
Rappers are liars, it's comical.
Fronting like they're driving through,
But couldn't get a ride at a carnival.
Why would I honor you?
Factz is sonning you.
I'm so live I'll daughter you.
Guys, I'm warning you.
My style is phenomenal,
But I don't acknowledge you.
N*ggas don't feel you, they fondle you.
How could you stand there and be
Acting real like you're packing steel?
You'se a daffodil that uses Massengil."
"As I open my eyesBut even with those quality releases under his belt, Mickey showed no signs of easing up and released song after song, week after week, for what is now being marketed as 2 volumes of "The Leak," his weekly series of songs. Over The Prodigy's instrumental for "Smack My Bitch Up" -- a wild electronic beat -- Mickey blacks out like Forest Whitaker's neck:
I gotta thank God that I'm still alive.
I can still breathe,
I can still rhyme.
I ain't wake up in a jail but I shine/shyne.
Don't got a job, no 9 to 5
Live off the things I say from my mind.
And I'm grateful that I ain't die
Cuz I ain't ready to tell God hi.
Nah, I'm not a low-life rapper
I breathe for the people,
I don't got asthma.
Float like Casper.
In the winter you can see it in the snow,
It'll blow right past ya.
Feel the chill in the air?
Poetry in motion, feel what you hear.
Breathe through your ears, inhale my sound.
If this is your first time I'mma tell yall how."
"OK, stand back, I’m concentratingOther notable recent Mickey Hits include "Robot Rock," "Talk Yo Ish," and "Africa."
It’s about to get complicated.
Yall know I ain’t crime related.
But yall bout to get annihilated.
Some of yall need potty training.
Straight bitch, yall ovulating.
Got you bloody, better watch it buddy.
They say time is money, no time to waste it.
Are you sick of me? Go get your team.
I got a cold heart like Mr. Freeze.
Got cats all quiet like Mr. Bean.
You ain’t do dirt, you’re Mr. Clean.
Oh! So you grip the beam?
You don’t spit clips
You’re a gymnast on the fitness team.
I’ll blow you cowards to smithereens.
It’s a wrap when I grab the guillotine.
Spazzin on you, I’mma leave patches on you
Like you tryin to quit nicotine.
I’m far from a rat but I get the cheese
Never caught in a trap, I’m quick to weave.
I belong on the track like your chicken’s weave.
I’m calling you wack, you’re boring in fact.
I yawn when you rap, I be in my dreams.
And it’s time to attack, better hit your knees.
Some of yall cats need therapy.
I smack you up for a penalty.
Yall say yall sick? I’m the remedy.
You are not the guy, you ain’t never seen
Somebody out they mind with no memory.
If you want that life then keep telling me
You live a life of crime with no felonies.
You just put your life in jeopardy
And guess who’s Alex Trebek?
There’s no questions I’m the answer – unless
You feel you can pass my test
Sorry, but I’m giving rappers an F.
Yeah, I’ll damage your flesh
No I’m not Aretha, mad disrespect.
Rappers are chicks and guess who’s the pimp."
He has said that he expects his now-untitled debut album to be released by his label GFC some time next year.
Some videos of Mickey follows:
freestyling in the barbershop
SitDownStandUp.com interview and freestyle
Mickey's song Be Free, before he became a so-called Hipster rapper