Mickey Factz
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Mickey Factz

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Jul
12
Mickey Factz @ Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Brooklyn, New York, USA

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Press


The industry’s current climate may be crippling major labels, but it has somewhat leveled the playing field for independent artists.

Whether creating an internet buzz via relentless track leaks or going spin for spin and countdown for countdown with chart toppers, today’s crop of indie MCs is giving mainstream acts a run for their money, literally. On Independence Day, XXLMag.com salutes the Big 10: the game’s most consistent, skilled, promising, entrepreneurial and talked about independent MCs. Without further ado, here’s the Big 10 in no particular order…allegedly.


Killer Mike: He’s a veteran. He’s often overlooked. But damn, he can spit (see,
“Killionaire.”) The former Purple Ribbon all-star is set to drop the
second set of his Pledge of Allegiance to the Grind mixtape series later this
month. Let’s not forget KM took home Best Mixtape Honors over Lil Wayne at last
year’s Ozone Awards.


Immortal Technique: This Harlem MC charges his rhymes with as much angst in each bar as he has anguish for the American government. His latest project, the Green Lantern-assisted The 3rd World, is another dose of sharp—and harsh—political commentary. The Evil Genius’ production may make it go down easy, but its still plenty filling.


Shawty Lo: It’s L-O! He’s not as underground as the rest of this list, but his story is at DIY as it gets. He funded the rise of D4L (Forgive him, if you can.), but instead of pocketing the funds, the Bankhead trapper flipped his money into his solo career releasing a series of mixtapes titled I’m Da Man, which spawned his breakout hit “Dey Know”—which is still burning throughout the summer—and the Shawty Lo dance. (Forgive him, if you can.)


Bun B: This Underground King’s reign has kept going despite the loss of his right-hand man Pimp C. The Port Arthur, Texas legend’s II Trill is a reminder of what was, what could have been, and what will be, in the aftermath of Chad Butler’s death. Man up, ‘cause Bun certainly has.


Jay Electronica: He’s either gonna be the new Q-Tip; a musical genius (who also produced for Nas, see Jay’s work on Nas’ Untitled)), the voice of hip-hop’s sensitive consciousness, and a penchant for having one of the baddest chicks on his arm (Hellloooo, Ms. Badu…). Or he’s gonna be the new Baatin; eccentric, moody, and fail to live up to his much-hyped talent.


Cool Kids: We don’t know what’s tighter, their jeans or their rhymes. But the Midwest duo of Mikey Rocks and Chuck Inglish sparked a rage for nostalgia with their kick-drum inspired beats and every man lyrics. They dropped a couple of EPs, and before their official debut, When Fish Ride Bicycles, arrives they’re hitting the ‘Net off with their recently released mixtape, That’s Stupid.


Curren$y: The former Young Money artist had a heater on his hands with “Where Da Cash At?” featuring Lil Wayne and Remy Ma. But the New Orleans native— and avid skate fan—didn’t let a little adversity set him back. He regrouped on his own and took to the Web, releasing the well-received mixtape Fear and Loathing in New Orleans. How’s that saying go? Kick, push…coast.


Mickey Factz: Downtown Manhattan (and eskay) favorite, Mickey Factz has been attacking the Internets with his weekly “The Leak,” a series of one-off tracks and diary-like entries detailing his inspiration for the songs. He’s like the new Crooked I. Except he’s not from California. Or wasn’t affiliated with Suge Knight before. But he has a better chance of actually releasing an album, so we’ll give him a break.


U-N-I: This pair of Inglewood rappers have helped to resurrect the Cali backpack rap scene (along with Pac Division who inked with Universal, so, goodbye indie days!) and ushered in a new era in L.A. amid all the gangsta boogie and clichés. Need proof? Check their remake of Wu-Tang’s classic cut “C.R.E.A.M.” titled “K.R.E.A.M.,” for Kicks Rule Everything Around Me. And they ain’t talking about Chucks.


Tanya Morgan: No, Tanya Morgan isn’t a female singer from the Soulquarians set. But they are Okayplayer hip-hop heads who got their start when they connected on the like-minded social site. Add a couple members here. Drop an EP, then an album, and now their newest project, the highly anticipated The Bridge, is garnering them more buzz than a U.S.soldier’s haircut.

- XXLmag.com


Hip-hop is not without its unique ironies: Who could have guessed that one of today's most self-consciously futuristic artists would hail from the storied borough of the Bronx, where the music was born, way back in our 1970s Kodachrome past? The coincidence is not lost on Mickey Factz.

"I'd like to think I'm everything that Afrika Bambaataa would've envisioned hip-hop to be in 2008, 2016, or 2030," says the lanky 22-year-old former paralegal. A lofty ideal, but Factz's thoughtful, easygoing manner is far from arrogant; what's more, he's got the neighborhood bona fides to back up his claim to be the famed hip-hop forefather's progeny. He attended Bambaataa alma mater Adlai E. Stevenson High School in the East Bronx, which also counts MCs Remy Martin and Drag-On as alumni. The experience was formative for the tricky lyricist and fashion plate, who fiends for kaleidoscopic skater streetwear.

"It was the competition," says Factz, slouched on a leather couch in a Lower Manhattan restaurant. "A lot of other schools came to ours to battle. Big Pun came by to check us out. If you were somebody in the Bronx, you had to have stomped through Stevenson at least once or twice." Like Bambaataa, Factz -- who grew up on gospel and then graduated to hip-hop as a teen -- dismisses the usual musical boundaries. "I want a cross-pollination of all genres, from electro to techno to pop to rock, because the urban communities aren't listening to just Jay-Z anymore," he explains. "They're listening to Linkin Park, Spank Rock, the Cool Kids, Kid Sister, and Panic at the Disco."

Factz's 2007 mix tape Heaven's Fallout demonstrated that eclectic curatorial taste. Few rappers would rhyme over tracks from the Prodigy, Röyksopp, and Mark Mothersbaugh's score for The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou; fewer still possess such a presence and versatility so early in their career. On the Internet-only song "I'm Sean (50 Shots More)," Factz raps from the perspective of Sean Bell, an unarmed man killed by New York police in 2006. But he also jokes about being "too Zoolander for 'em."

"I'm just trying to have a good time while bringing a little bit of positivity back," he says, grinning. And what could be more old-school B-boy than that?

Link: http://spinmagazine.com/articles/mickey-factz - SPIN Magazine (May 2008)


You can feel it in hip-hop. The old heads are getting their beach chairs ready for retirement, while the up and comers build their respective movements. The changing of the guard is upon us and it dons fluorescent hues, limited stock kicks and exclusive streetwear apparel. Yet there’s so much more to the new wave of talent then their garb. Echoing this sentiment is the Bronx native, Mickey Factz, who’s barrage of mixtapes (In Search of the N.E.R.D. , Flashback and Heaven’s Fallout) have been gaining a lot of steam on the information highway. But that’s not all he has in tow. He plans on leaking a track a week until his quest for global domination is complete. Meet one of the leaders of the new school.

Format: First of all, tell us about the GFCNY movement.

Mickey Factz: GFC New York is a creative consulting firm that deals with culture on a daily basis. We’re not just a crew or a team. The name derives from Dougie Fresh and we added the New York on it because we wanted it to symbolize that we are a business. I’m the flagship artist but we also do marketing and styling for different artists, production—as far as for movies and music. When people look at me they are looking at what GFC embodies. We also have a company named designAttic Inc. that does graphic designing. We also own Laced Magazine, which is one of the biggest sneaker mags out there.

Format: Your music, especially on Heaven’s Fallout, reflects a wide variety of influences. Where did they come from?

Mickey Factz: Every mixtape before Heaven’s Fallout had influences that came from straight hip-hop. There was that straight lyricism like Big Pun, Big Daddy Kane, Biggie Smalls, Rakim. But I started getting bored with making music like that so I was like you know what, I’m just a regular old rapper if I rap over this type stuff. And I wanted to be different and set myself apart from everybody else. In the process of doing
Flashback, I started venturing into Electro, Techno, House and Rock. As I was listening to that music, [getting] that feeling, that vibe, I was like this is the lane I’m going to run in. This is the lane I’m going take and run with and make it my lane so people could appreciate something that’s fresh and different but still has the grassroots of lyricism.

Format: You’re from the birthplace of hip-hop, the Bronx, but your music represents something futuristic. How do you stay true to the foundation of hip-hop but at the same time push hip-hop forward and in a different direction from what people see right now?

Mickey Factz: Afrika Bambaataa when he first started deejaying was deejaying break beats. And anybody who knows what break beats are, knows they sound like Electro and Techno music. That’s what break beats are! So technically what I’m doing is just rehashing it. I use an Electro/Techno sound on some futuristic shit and rap over it. But I keep the grassroots lyricism in there. I always gotta make sure, lyrically, I’m on point and that’s the Bronx in me when I do that. The beats may take a long time to get used to but you can never say they’re wack. It just takes a little time for people to get used to them because it’s a new sound. Basically it’s the future, and I’m looking to push hip-hop forward because everything needs to evolve. There’s no such thing as music being stagnant. There’s no such thing as anything in life being the same. So when someone comes to the forefront and says I want to change how music is supposed to be listened to, you can either gravitate towards it or not. Hopefully, you will because eventually it’s going to sound like this anyway.

Format: I feel like in hip-hop there’s a changing of the guard going down right now. Some of the cats people looked up to coming up are getting
older. So I wanted to ask you who’s apart of this new wave of talent that’s going to take up where they left off and where do you fit in that mix?

Mickey Factz: In the new wave, The Cool Kids, Kid Cudi, Wale, the Knux, U.N.I., Pac Division, Remo Da Rapstar, Theophilus London. All of these artists are creative and they all have different styles. How do I fit in the genre of all of this? I feel everyone’s trying to go left but I’m really going left but it’s a diagonal left. I feel like I want to be the Jay of this new movement. I want it to be like every time I drop something it’s hot and people rock with it. That’s some big shoes to fill but because I love hip-hop so much, it’s a challenge I’m willing to take on head first.

Format: I think any time something new comes along in music there’s a scramble to find terms to describe or categorize that new shit. And the term that’s been floating around for a lot of the acts you named is “hipster” rappers. How do you feel about that tag?

Mickey Factz: There’s no such term as a hipster rapper. I’ve never met a hipster rapper. Personally, I don’t agree with the term. I know people need to classify music but personally if you’re going to classify that type of mus - FormatMag.com


Sneaker rappers are too often lost in the quagmire between b-boys, d-boys and some insane idea that anyone who fondly recalls EPMD should rap. Mickey Factz ain't that. In fact, he brings real hip-hop chops to the fashion faux pas that are sweeping Brooklyn's gentrification. Factz is proving that real lyrics can be spit over electro beats--and non-techno, too.

Sounds like: Boom bap without the bum rap

Link: http://www.gfcny.com/press/URB_Mar08.JPG - URB Magazine


From the outside, or perhaps above, the underground world of music is less than glamorous. The image of acclaim is diluted to the point where, at least in the case of hip-hop, stars don’t really blow up quickly, but more so go from ashy, to moderately moisturized, then perhaps with enough luck and diligence, classy. But only if you scrape and scrap and drive your car around all 5 boroughs on E.

Enter our hero, Mickey Factz, stage right, to change the cast. With the name of a Disney character, but the might of another similar childhood [rodent] hero, M-I-C-K-E-Y F-A-C-T-Z (Donald Duck?) is tearing down what hip-hop used to be to make his own club of sorts. Mickey has created a culture around himself that is basically trying to make sense of chaos, trying to piece together what is left of the Valhalla we once knew as the music industry, which makes Heaven’s Fallout, his free for download mixtape, ad hoc. “Heaven’s Fallout is about a man who is trying to find himself throughout his trials and tribulations, his triumphs and his falls.” This could more or less serve as a microcosm of music now as we know it, shakily progressing towards what everyone hopes is greener pastures and bank balances.

Mickey, who stepped out to Midtown, by way of the Bronx, hopes to sever as both the prophet and Messiah, who walks amongst us from the land of hip-hop’s birth. In the near closed Cosi, with his own modest contingent, he laid out his vision of systemic change, paired with his own contribution to the game; a double-barreled coup on the law of old. “The hardest part would have to be getting everyone conformed to what I’m doing. What I’m doing is totally different from the norm and a lot of people that are holding down the industry are older people and are scared to take chances on the music I make so they are being reluctant. Once they see the movement and the core fan base then, you know…. it’s getting easier now, because they are hearing the music after seeing the fans.” This approach has the call of many tried and true underground rappers, who use a unique angle to break mainstream. The Kanye’s and Lupe re-brands who wish to come at a new demographic of divergent fans. So then one must ask, “Why Mickey?”

“I’m not a hip-hop artist, I’m a musical artist in general that can perform in the realms of rock, jazz, pop, techno, house, hip-hop, rap, whatever.” That said, that’s really not the case. The appeal of Mickey is that he is completely aware that you have to be everything, from your starting fan base- upwards, to reach the great beyond. That is the golden thread that holds Mickey together, and is sewn intuitively on the last part of his moniker: Factz. This idea is knotted into all of his work, and is where his popularity and talent come from. He’s not trying to play you for dumb, but in case you are (no offense) he keeps it light, allowing his lyrics to relate easily to all. “With this album, its gonna be amazing. Its a whole bunch of genre’s, we call it a cross pollination. Its going to be lyrical but simple enough for the people to grasp and hold on to.”

There is definitely a sense of accommodation that comes with this album, which Mickey is pushing toward finishing within the month. The list of producers is impressive, and includes: Precize, Machine Drum, Sean C & LV, Clyde & Harry, Scyience, Ron Browz, Omen, and Illfonics, and shows a dedication to making sure there is at least one track that everyone can vibe with. In kind, Mickey’s flow takes a similarly diverse approach, which he sees as tri-prong’d. “I would say my flow is rapid, eccentric and yet simplistic. It’s rapid because I like to rap over faster beats. It’s eccentric because I always have energy when I go on a beat; I’m always pumped. And it’s simple because whoever hears it will understand what I’m saying, even though I’m contextually deep.”

As the mega superstar is quickly evaporating from existence, the new hustle has become making a way for yourself that is memorable enough to progress from album to album. Mickey Factz has found such a method, and is digging in for the long haul. “Since the 80’s artists haven’t been making as much money off of albums anyway. I’m comfrotable selling a lot of records, but if it doesnt happen, then I’ll be ok, because I have money coming in from everywhere else. There are so many different avenues to make a profit from, and I’m going to be at the forefront of that.” There’s really no point in dropping cliches like “time will tell” because time , or anyone else, can’t tell Mickey shit, cuz if your last name is “factz”, what else is there to know?

Link: http://schememag.com/hip-hop/mickey-factz/ - SchemeMag.com


Mickey Factz is a part of that echelon of MCs who revere the late eighties and early nineties to the point where they relive it verbatim and aspire to bring it back to the charisma and creativity that produced the golden era. Don’t get it twisted; Factz isn’t stuck in the past. He is creating a new appreciation of Hip-Hop by being retroactive. He and his crew, GFCNY, a group of like-minded fashion obsessed New Yorkers, come together to offer Rap music that isn’t stale or overdone. Heaven’s Fallout(GFC) pushes the boundaries of what Hip-Hop is suppose to sound like. Mickey rhymes over an eclectic mix of beats from Electronica to Rock to House. He doesn’t involve himself in hood bravado or making it rain. However, he can name drop little known designers and brag about his travels around the world. He is definitely Lupe Fiasco’s contemporary.

And like the Midwest maverick he doesn’t dum down his lyrics with gratuitous violence or self-righteous preaching. On “Never Fallout” he rhymes over rock band Fallout Boy’s smash hit “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s a Arms Race.” His lyricism reclaims the song as more than a remix, but his own: Here goes the fright / Ni***s read the tabloids just to learn your life / But I keep my arms / So I’m ready to strike / When I reach out my arms / You can feel my might / And my wings expand / And I just take flight. He also breathes new life into Prodigy’s cult classic “Smack My Bitch Up.” Mickey matches the angry high energy of the song rhyming "Y’all know I’m not crime related / But y’all ‘bout to get annihilated.” Addressing the issue that he may be perceived as soft because he makes positive music, he attacks all naysayers with a barrage of rhyming ability that leaves little doubt that he can hold his own.

Still, all eclectic and creative risks aren’t good ones. His songs for the ladies border on corny. “You Remind Me,” sounds like a musical score to some fancy RPG game. “Let You Go” is all White girl 80’s pop, complete with synthesizers and a mediocre singer on the hook. Heaven’s Fallout is more hits than misses though. Mickey Factz steps out of the box on this effort and raises the bar on creativity. His personal style is retro, but the energy he brings to the music is modern and futuristic. He’s definitely one of the front-runners for the leader of the new school.

Link: http://allhiphop.com/stories/reviewsmusic/archive/2008/01/30/19212059.aspx - AllHipHop.com


Since gracing the pages of our Styles Ahead issue back in September (Issue 77, True Originals feature, pg98) as part of the GFC collective, Bronx emcee Mickey Factz has been gaining momentum in the rap game with a relentless presence on the scene and on the web. As “The Voice” of GFC, Mickey has made it clear that he’s not going anywhere, anytime soon…so get used to him.

Drawing the inevitable comparisons to Lupe Fiasco and Kanye West for his intelligent yet playful wordsmanship, and a knack for staying laced up from the ground up, Factz is displaying the growth, creativity, and universal appeal that many New York hip-hop artists have seemed incapable of. With his latest opus, Heaven’s Fallout, Mickey promises to whet the collective appetite of a starving hip-hop community.

With previous efforts, Mickey has traveled to the past and the future, but he’s back in the “now” with this one. Spitting daggers over some familiar, and not-so familiar, arrangements from the worlds of rock, alternative, and electronica, Factz makes light work of an intimidating beatstorm, and manages to keep it undeniably hip-hop. Heaven’s Fallout allows us to excavate the mind of a conflicted, young man on the verge of success, questioning the strength of family ties, the authenticity of friendships, and the bonds formed in romance. Along the way, he takes time to thoughtfully address the state of hip-hop and the fickle clamoring of the streets, never neglecting his signature shit-talking and dexterous flow. With Heaven’s Fallout, Mickey Factz has raised the bar for the mixtape circuit, and has dug his Supra sneakers a little deeper into hip-hop’s soil. Visit www.gfcny.com to download Heaven’s Fallout for free! Konichiwa Bitches!

Press Link: http://blog.trace212.com/archives/649 - Trace212.com


Adlai E Stevenson is a public high school in the southeastern part of the Bronx. It’s where Afrika Bambaata went, and where he started his first group, the Bronx
River Organization. The school’s recent contributions to hip-hop’s legacy are more modest; they include Ruff Ryder member Drag-on and Terror Squad alumni Remy Martin. “They both went on and did their own separate thing when the time came,” says Mickey Factz, a Stevenson alum with a fluorescent flow who spent some of his younger years rapping with the two. “My grind is a little slower,” he adds. “It’s taking a little longer, but I’m out for the longevity.”

Twenty-two-year-old Factz sees himself as a temporarily independent artist—remaining on the fringes of the mainstream until the right major label offers him the right deal. Before that happens, he’ll continue his current hustle: YouTube shorts where he gives his $300 sneakers to a homeless man, tireless MySpace promotion and a series of themed mixtapes he posts for free download if you hand over your email address. On Searching For the NERD he rapped over instrumentals from the Neptunes’ band and Flashback found him taking on hiphop classics from the ’88-’95 era, but for his latest, Heaven’s Fallout, Factz claims his
own sound—incorporating electro, house and techno rhythms and samples the same way Spank Rock folds in Baltimore club or Kid Sister uses Chicago juke. “Hip-hop seems to change every five years,” says Factz. “Now I wanna be at the forefront of this electric sounding music.”

Factz rarely speeds up his crisp lyrical cadence to match an aerobic tempo, instead he finds his stride in the breaks between epileptical beats. The rhythm on “Talk Yo Ish”—built from a sample of Uffie’s “Hot Chick”—stutters like a CD stuck on a scratch, but he makes the track swagger, turning sound into onomatopoeia and bragging, A
Sidekick 4?/ Yeah, I got one straight from Taiwan/ And I got Marty McFly kicks on. Factz’s hunger for fame led him away from his career as a paralegal a year ago, though he says he’ll likely return to law school
after giving the rap game a shot. Besides, his current wardrobe of gold sneakers and space aviator sunglasses is a better fit for how he wants to present himself to the planet. “I was always somebody who didn’t want to be like everyone else,” says Factz. “I need to be looked at. Gawked at.”

Link: http://www.gfcny.com/press/theFader_issue51_a.JPG - The Fader Magazine


Discography

In Search of the N.E.R.D. (2006) [Mixtape]
Flashback Vol. 1: Back to the Future (2007) [Mixtape]
Heaven's Fallout (2007) [Mixtape]
The Leak Vol. 1: The Understanding (2008) [Mixtape]

Rockin N Rollin (2008) [Single]
Rockin N Rollin (Remix) ft. The Cool Kids (2008) [Single]
I Like Your Supras (2008) ft. The GFC All-Stars [Single]

Photos

Bio

From the streets of the metropolis of the world, when asked if he'll be bringing New York hip-hop back he simply replies, "Why bring it back, when I can move it forward." This progression, the evolution of the music is what he embodies, and the cultural embodiment of that movement is what he is the voice of; GFCnewyork.

Born in the Bronx, the birthplace of hip-hop, Mickey Factz was exposed to music at an early age. As a child his father would rap to him, untill soon enough Factz would start reciting his own rhymes. Mickey watched music videos, studying the performances of his favorite artists. This combination led Factz, at the early age of 8, into a love affair with hip-hop that continues to thrive till this day.

As hip-hop has culturally evolved from it's original days, of the b-boys to that of the d-boys and so forth. Mickey Factz has been steadily crafting what he's coined as "Uber" music. When asked what "Uber" music is, he gestures at the sky and says, "undeniable global music...I don't care where in the world you are, you're rockin' to this shit." To Factz hip-hop music in it's truest essence is about being able to rock out on any track like the forefathers did and currently that lack there of in the genre is what's stagnating its growth. "The music my generation and younger are listening to has expanded beyond funk and soul, we're listening to rock, electronic, house and so forth. I'm always going to be clever with the wordplay and lyrics, but very few rappers can do that on a Royskopp record. That's the lane I ride in. I'm going to do me, and trust, you'll love me for it."

Taking actions into his own hands, he and a several a like individuals, formed GFCnewyork to breed new blood and breath into New York street-culture. Instead of putting his music and career in the hands of folks who don't see the progression and lack the understanding of how to nurture the culture, GFCnewyork would be the movement that would. "We're in a new age of hip-hop where limitations are those imposed by the artist, themselves. Not the labels, not the radio, and not the mass merchant retailers. Everybody's looking to point fingers and blame the other one, instead of the man in the mirror. There are endless amounts of resources and networks at our disposal. My music will get to the masses whether it be through traditional or non-traditional mediums. It'll be the day when something or someone other than myself stops my progress." His confidence and destined outlook on his music and career, is why Mickey's in full control.

"In evolution, only the strong survive. Those unable to adapt to a changing platform or culture, will be left extinct. So I am what you would refer to as, Natural Selection." Having dropped 3 critically acclaimed mixtapes, currently being courted by labels seeking his energy and movement, and his work alongside cultural advocates and trendsetters, his intentions are for longevity as he focuses on building his music, persona and movement into a brand present in today and tomorrow's street and pop culture. His lyrical prowess and music has placed him in a class all on his own. Mickey Factz is determined on positioning himself amongst a league of legends. He's here to rep the true essence of hip-hop culture and expand upon it's definition worldwide, till the whole world is screaming, "IT'Z MICKEY!"

www.gfcny.com
www.myspace.com/itzmickey
www.imeem.com/itzmickey