Mickey’s debut LP The Achievement, is due in February, and to get things moving he lets this single out. It’s an interesting situation he’s in: the massive buzz from a few years ago has quietened down, and yet arguably his work has actually improved since then. An example: Mickey Mause was released around 18 months ago to less fanfare than previous works, and yet plenty of it still gets regular play in my world, which is as indicative of a time-tested mixtape as you could want.
On to this one- it’s a promising track, and will definitely get a few casual fans interested again. The production starts off in an upbeat, jazzy manner, before quickly moving to a thunderous, atmospheric beat that builds an intimidating soundwall out of bassy percussion, spacy synths and distant, light melodies. It adds a ton of gravitas to the verses, whilst the slight speed-up on the hook helps inject a touch of energy to proceedings, and finishes off what is a strong backdrop. Mickey’s raps are delivered with a quiet intensity throughout, working well with the beat for a focused performance that packs in a couple of typically-smart lines, along with the self-confidence that he’s rarely short of. his half-sung hook has a catchy, rather anthemic vibe to it, whilst Yela closes out with a good reminder of what he’s capable of, tongue-twisting his way through a solid contribution, and both finish off what is a very solid all-round jam. Worth grabbing, which you can do here.
Everyone and their horse has heard Kanye West’s interview with Zane Lowe, and now Mickey Factz grabs a couple of choice soundbites from that now-infamous conversation for a pretty strong hip-hop jam.
The production is one that’ll thoroughly assault your speakers, combining a thunderous percussion with a dash of vocal samples and bassy synth for an intense backdrop that adds plenty of aggression to Mickey’s raps. Those raps are enjoyable throughout, opening with support for the sample Kanye statements, and moving into a criticism of rap and further down into a mixture of rock and cultural references and bragging raps. It’s certainly not one of Mickey’s storytelling efforts- instead, it’s 4 minutes of consistent rapping in a bouncy flow that rides along the booming percussion well, and packs in a couple of strong wordplay sections. Worth a listen, and hopefully more music is on the way.
Hip-hop woke up. After several months of relative stagnancy and few highlights in the mainstream scene (underground heads, put your picket signs away), Kendrick’s inflammatory verse on Big Sean’s Control not only got most music fans talking, but also provoked precisely the sort of response he would have wanted from his rapping peers.
Many responded via Twitter, video or other means, and though none of those who were namechecked have taken to the studio to put out a response, several others have taken up the baton and either delivered a worthwhile response or used the opportunity to get a little bit of media coverage. The latter statement isn’t meant disrespectfully either- hip-hop is about as prominent in ‘water cooler’ and social media discussions as it has been in a rather long time, and it’s a great chance for some acts to get their names out to a wider audience. It’s tough to be mad at that opportunism.
The dust is beginning to settle, and though there’s bound to be several other rappers who are preparing responses (Joe Budden for one), now seems a good time to offer a quick recap on those who’ve offered musical replies to Kendrick’s barbed bars. Head below for a collection of the releases thus far (in no order). → Continue Reading
The limited-edition box set Mickey Factz: The Artistic Collection contains CDs with all the artwork of his 9 previous mixtapes and #Ynot. The twist- The CDs are blank. Mickey has made the music free and the packaging is the product being sold. Fans have the power to choose how they want to organise & receive the music. Datpiff.com hosts the mixtapes for free download and has re-released Mickey’s mixtape discography. Each mixtape contains never before released tracks such as “Locked Away (NERD Remix)” & “Click Clack“ Feat. Bruno Mars.
So #Ynot is a collection of my thoughts over the past couple of months. I’m having more fun.
Less than 2 weeks after dropping off his second mixtape of the year, #Y, Mickey’s back with the follow-up tape. It’s always fantastic to hear from the criminally-slept on rapper, and getting this chunk of material from him in such a short space of time certainly comes as a pleasant surprise, and whether its a remix, freestyle or original piece, he’s likely to deliver the goods.
This seems to have a good mix of the above, with the opener being over M83′s excellent Steve McQueen, the recent Black Tearz instalments finding a home here, and plenty more besides. Features are minimal here, though Big Sean’s favourite producer Key Wane comes through with a couple of appearances, and hopefully he’s delivered some of his better beats for those tracks. Free stream and grab below.
#Y is a freestyle mixtape that is the prelude to Mickey’s November 5th mixtape #Ynot.
His Mickey MauSe mixtape was a thoroughly excellent project that still recieves regular attention in my iTunes, and it’s good to get more new material from one of the more intelligent rappers in the game. A collection of freestyles is a great way for Mickey to remind those listeners of his capabilities, something that’s arguably required given he’s been relatively silent over the last year, aforementioned project aside. Mickey’s no fool with beat selections, and I’m sure the choices will be an enjoyable bunch, so be sure to grab your free copy below.
The production is lively and diverse, combining keys, spiky guitars and some head-nodding percussion for an alternative-inspired beat with a hip-hop twist. Mickey’s raps are generally strong, and whilst a couple of the rhymes are a little easier than we’ve come to expect from Factz, it’s more about the superb storytelling dynamic of the songwriting, a style that Mickey’s certainly one of the best at using. The vocals on the hook are harmonic enough to give the song a nice cool down period from the intense verse, and this is a good hip-hop track that hopefully spells the return of more frequent material from Factz.
NOT work safe. Also, anyone under 18 needs to watch something else.
I’ve been enjoying the soundtrack to the Mickey Mause documentary so much that the opportunity to check out the actual documentary and all of the accompanying visuals hasn’t arisen. That being said, this was the standout track and seemed a good start to hunt down the video series.
The video takes full inspiration from the title and lyrical content, as the Mickey Mause character gets an close-up and personal photography session with a more than willing model. Despite the obvious sexual overtones of the video, there is something oddly captivating beyond that (I’m being serious!), possibly down to the general cool vibe of the Mause character and the ridiculousness of his daily life. The audio is an excellent blend of classic Mickey Factz storytelling with a thick electro production that sacrifices tempo for depth and power. Mickey’s raps are simple and to the point, setting the scenes perfectly, whilst the intense, rugged electronic tones give the track a raw, attitudinal edge that feed into the character’s cool vibes. Worth a watch (if you’re of age), and definitely worth a listen; grab the excellent Mickey Mause mixtape here.
To celebrate the life of Keith Haring I decided to have a free flowing moment in art. With the assistance of Jake Bouvy, we create a piece of art that tells a detailed story of the time period Mause (Mickey Factz) lived in.
Following on from his excellent trailer for the Mickey Mau5 project, Factz releases his first audio offering from the project. Sampling Nas’ iconic NY State of Mind, the production blends the inherent grit of the aforementioned sample with a light, positive piano melody for a contrast that works well with the broken, conflicted mindframe he exudes in the trailer. Equally, the raps boast a mixture of realism, reflection and storytelling, which also accurately portrays the freeform thoughts of the artist.
The video’s made up of historic clips, images that represent lyrical snippets, and a few shots of Mickey from the trailer. The constant change works with the dynamic of the raps, whilst the diversity of clips makes for an easy watch. Worth a look, and I hope to hear more soon.
After a long hiatus, Mickey Factz emerges with his short film/documentary trailer entitled Mickey Mau5. One watch of this trailer, and you feel as though Mickey’s having his ‘moment’. What do I mean by that?
Consider Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreak. It was a step away from the norm, and into something that delved deeper into his psyche. That’s exactly the emanation given here, as this raw, rough documentary footage both figuratively and vocally strips away Mickey the rapper, and digs into Mickey the creator. Valid and poignant points are made (in particular, discussing how music has become an outlet for the rich versus an expression for the common person is something that crosses my mind daily), alongside a combination of historic scenes and shots of Mickey in relative isolation-even on a busy bridge he just feels out of place, and that really pushes through beyond the camera.
The question mark symbolism suggests his isolation is borne out of a need for answers (possibly creatively or otherwise), and I’m looking forward to this documentary (and of course, the accompanying soundtrack). Hopefully there’s more info coming soon, though if the frequency of question marks in the video are anything to go by, it’s probably deliberate that you leave with more questions than answers.
Taken from the upcoming Need For Speed: Nitro soundtrack, Mickey Factz comes through with a pulsating, uptempo track that will certainly get the adrenaline flowing. His flows are on-point as usual, and whilst his lyrics are understandably grounded slightly from their usual lofty heights, he compensates by bringing a progressive delivery that rightfully anchors the song around Jade’s catchy hook.
A little background on Jade: she’s a very talented vocalist who released a wonderful little EP a little while before this site was birthed, one that really dominated my listening for a considerable period following its release. She now works as part of the Blind Benny duo, and will hopefully rise to prominence with this relatively big co-sign. Worth grabbing both the aforementioned EP and this track, which is available below.
For the many people who miss the creative wit of Charles Hamilton, I penned a letter in audio form about the backstory of my relationship with Charles. I hope this letter will revive the young upstart on his return.
Nice to see this sort of brotherhood in a genre fraught with resentment, and Mickey comes through with a very enjoyable storytelling track here. Whilst Charles deals with his perceptions, Mickey adds a little perspective and humanity to the controversial character with some solid descriptive rapping, including some very interesting anecdotes (Mickey’s beef with Wale?! I wasn’t aware of that one!). Worth a listen for sure.
For a man who drops as much music as Mickey does, he has a serious dearth of music videos. Not really sure why, but regardless he’s picked a very solid all-rounder here for a rare visual.
It’s pretty difficult to dislike Marsha’s voice, and her soulful hook slides in smoothly alongside Mickey’s clear and witty raps, undoubtedly making for one of his more rounded, ‘complete’ tracks to date. That’s not to say it’s his best material as it isn’t, but it’s one of the few that feels more like a song than a rap.
Video is solid and cleanly produced, giving the ever-confident Mickey some valuable face time, alongside a couple of nice cameos from his peers. Fairly regular motif-wise, throwing in some artwork to highlight the ‘culture’ part of the track, alongside a few feelgood and celebratory scenes that give this a nice positivity. Nothing classic, but it correctly uses more simple devices to filter Mickey’s natural penchant for trying a bit of everything. Track can be found on the Heaven’s Fallout re-release.
When Spree Wilson sent this track over, I felt like I was in a bind and bound actually. Through his guitar strings, I speak from the heart about how I feel about life. Open your hearts.
You can certainly hear that Spree influence here, with a lively guitar-driven backdrop ensuring Mickey has a busy and active production to weave his raps into. Solid raps as always from Mickey, combining his conscious style with a clarity and simplicity that makes for very easy listening. Nice blend of alternative and hip-hop, and another solid entry in the May-Hem series.
Beautiful People is not all about physical attributes. True beauty is from inside and the motives carry out. Here’s a story about Maria & Sean. Two people who’s lives are ugly but have ulterior motives.
Part 4 of Mickey’s May-Hem series, and he takes on another mainstream beat with Chris Brown’s dance-infused single. Once again, it’s a great use of an addictive beat, as he laces it with two thoughtful, very captivating raps that display his storytelling skills very well. Another great instalment of this impromptu series, and another not to be missed.
Chris Brown-Beautiful People Remix ft. Mickey Factz
Poetry in the purest form over a BEP instrumental. My thoughts broken down in a symbolization regarding the things we’ve accomplished and things we have issues with. Enjoy. May-Hem part 3 comes, and though I don’t actually know what the instrumental is (one of you lot must, surely?), I have to say it’s a very strong track. Not knowing the instrumental probably works in the tracks favour here, as there aren’t any preconcieved notions and the synergy between beat and raps feel a lot more organic: the uplifting beat suits Mickey’s considered raps, assisted by a simple flow that rides this production very smoothly. 3 for 3 by my count.
This is my 2nd entry [in the May-Hem series]. I wanted to touch on an actual topic. Genocide in Africa and how that’s just as detrimental as the war in the Middle East. I hope people take this into account.
Huge fan of this production, and I’ll admit I was cautious about his chosen topic clashing with the beat, but it does manage to work very well. The winding, atmospheric synth is the key to that success, adding to the contemplative nature of Mickey’s raps, whilst Mickey’s razor-sharp flow makes the most of the high-tempo percussion. Much like his 1st entry, this is a remix that’ll be tough to top.
I’m working on lots of things but sometimes it feels like I’m not doing anything. To quench the people’s thirst, I will be releasing Fearless, the first of 7 releases with streamless conscious flowing, a freestyle that’s actually thought out and well written. I have a deep appreciation for my followers and I hope this accepted by them.
Probably my favourite Drake track, and Mickey comes through with some smart bars to really stamp his authority on the smooth, mellow production with typically thought-provoking, clever raps that he packages into a few different deliveries. The best remix of this track to date, and runs the original very close too.
Wow, have no idea where this came from! Well actually I do, Mickey Factz tumblr, but I had no clue he was dropping a new mixtape!
If you’ve been paying any attention to what we’ve been telling you over the last year or so, you’d know that Mickey is one of the most talented and introspective rappers about. With a huge amount of backlog when it comes to music I’ve not checked this out yet, but it will immediately jump ahead to the top of the pile. Judging just from the title of this mixtape, it’s going to be the type of music Mickey makes best.
Click here to head over to his tumblr to listen to a stream of the mixtape, or click below to download it.
Prior to listening, I feel both good and bad. I feel good because it’s nice to see UK talent getting love from respected US rappers, and it’s also good to see it being Mickey specifically as he’s good with this eclectic stuff. However, I feel bad because I’ve listened to about half of Blake’s album and it’s not great (that’s being very kind…), with songs often sounding very badly organised.
Fortunately, the music has paid off here. Mickey’s spoken word-style verses make use of the ambient, atmospheric production Blake creates (some of his productions were good, he just can’t sync vocals), and throwing in the original vocals for the hook adds some much-needed structure to James’ work. Mickey’s lyricism takes advantage of the minimal nature of this beat too, and his thoughtful and reflective style is helped considerably by a unique delivery. Definitely one to check out for both the alternative and the hip-hop fans.
After 4 years, it has returned. The Re-Release of Heaven’s Fallout, arguably Mickey Factz’s most noteworthy project, returns with higher sound quality and 4 new songs. Mickey: “After going through old files, I stumbled across a better sounding Heaven’s Fallout and I didn’t want to neglect the fans by not giving them this. To add incentive, I recorded new songs just for them.” New songs such as the high energy “Distressed” and the in-depth story telling on “Feather” match well with classics such as “Stop Me” and “Something About Us”.
I can attest to the original mixtape being rather good, and it was indeed the project that got me into Mickey in the first place. Definitely one for your collection if you don’t have it, and certainly worth grabbing for those who already do!
Very few people have taken this uptempo, futuristic Daft Punk production on. Sway did a great job with his effort, but there’s no denying Mickey can really take it to this sort of production and he most certainly brings his best here.
Riding this tricky instrumental with consumate ease, Mickey goes with a midtempo delivery that works very well and brings his intelligent, memorable raps to add a great twist to the original production. Very much worth a listen: it’s a shame he didn’t loop the instrumental and keep going!
Mickey Factz-Distressed (Derezzed Freestyle)
Apologies for my sporadic posting in recent days. I’ll be more than making up for it today, so be prepared for an onslaught in the next few hours!
I’m not familiar with J-Lie, but the other three rappers on the track are certainly well known, and all four combine nicely to deliver a very solid all-round hip-hop track. The airy synths are fantastic here, giving the track a spaced-out, relaxed feel which is embellished by thudding bass hits. Each rapper comes through with decent raps, each tackling the track with similar flows but varying lyricism. Award for best verse probably goes to Curren$y, though only just as the others certainly do their thing too. Very enjoyable piece of new school hip-hop.
On occasion, Mickey Factz grabs a lightning-fast beat and frankly goes nuts. He’s great at creating uptempo, breakneck hip-hop and comes through with another one from that mould.
Cheetah’s Revenge boasts some high intensity, high speed flows from Mickey, as he comes through with his typically honest lyricism and crams it into a rapidfire delivery that further enhances the man’s credentials as a gifted rhymer. Solid production that does its job of keeping that high octane feel, with the percussion doing most of the work as synths phase in and out. Something a little different, and one that’ll slide right in on any club/party playlist.
“Consequences. Repercussions. 2 results of the decisions we make. In the end, we all have a debt owed that we pay. Some pay over time, some pay in full and some, it seems, never stop paying…The Tearz end here“.
Mickey continues his impromptu daily series with this one, again coming through with some conscious, gripping lyrical matter. He’s been really on-point with this collection of tracks, and this is another one that’ll certainly get you thinking.
“Tearz are innocent beings that trust the eyes in their lives to protect them from a world that they are struggling to understand. How can tearz know the difference between joy & pain?”
We’ve had part 1 and part 2, now we have part 3. Tackling probably the most sensitive of subject matter of the three tracks to be honest, and not one we often hear in hip hop. This is every bit as good as the last two parts, so be sure to download.
Will we see a part 4 tomorrow? Who knows, expect to find out via his Twitter page soon.
“In music, some subjects are forbidden, some are taboo and others are as transparent as the very tears we cry. Walk with Mickey Factz as he takes you on a journey to see the world through his eyes. What you see may make you think, it may make you feel, it may make you change….Black Tearz…This is the beginning”
OTU favourite Mickey Factz serves us a nice slice of storytelling hip hop. As with a lot his best tracks, this starts out as a sombre affair, which then switches up for a frantic finish. Looking forward to part 2 already.
A short freestyle on US radio, Mickey takes to a version of Lloyd Banks’ Start It Up beat to drop some nice rhymes as ever. It’s only around a minute and a half, which certainly leaves you wanting more. As a result, I’ve thrown in another freestyle on the same beat by the ever-listenable rhymes of one Mr. Talib Kweli. His is a little longer, and a great bit of hip-hop from Talib. Call it an early Christmas present!
Mickey Factz-Start It Up Freestyle