Mic One
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Mic One

Woodstock, Illinois, United States

Woodstock, Illinois, United States
Band Hip Hop Rock

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Jun
25
Mic One @ The Abbey Pub

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
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Mos Def said that Hip-hop is a lot of things. Prosecution, evidence, an out of court settlement, ad space for liquor luxury tenements, and the list went on. But what he didnt say Hip-hop was guitar chords, purple haze, and Crosby Stills Nash & Young covers.

But it can be. Mic One and DJ Risky Bizness, along with their band, are notorious for doing this. Their music is highly reflective of their influences and so is their show. Theyve somehow remixed or covered many tracks, from Purple Haze (go gargle some draino if you dont know who did this) to Sweater Song from Weezer.

But, long before they took the stage, there was a myriad of opening acts to sit through before getting to the beef of the show. While its expected that the opening acts arent going to carry as much energy as the headliner, on this particular night, they were especially bland.

GQ, Stephstaa & Layman seemed a tad bit out of place considering the crowd. Their performance was not lacking in any one particular sense, but the neo-soul group just couldnt get the crowd into their performance. Most people wouldnt expect to hear Floetry at a show for a rapper whos influences lie primarily in the classical rock genre, so it was extremely difficult for them to elicit a response from the crowd. Selling neo-soul to a rap/rock crowd just didnt work.

Following them was Matlock & Mic Logic, dressed up as a devil and a priest, respectively. They seemed to have a little easier time as far as eliciting a response from the people that were still filtering in at this point, but they have had better performances.

Linc & Hammurabi were especially surprising. Theyve done a few shows in the area recently and all of them were better than this performance. There was just a general lack of stage presence from Linc that made his set hard to watch, knowing full well that hes capable of better.

But the lack of quality opening acts was greatly overshadowed by Mic and the rest of the crew. Mic One & Risky Bizness are veterans when it comes to performing so the expectation was that the show would be entertaining and high-quality, and they didnt fall short of that expectation by any means.

Showing his versatility, Mic drew from multiple genres for covers/remixes and also played guitar during a few songs. For most fans in attendance, this was a nice deviation from the typical DJ-emcee duo that is everywhere in Hip-hop.

But even with Mics solid performance, the real all-stars of the night had to be the band. The drums were amazing, carrying beat after beat with precision and clarity that makes a drum machine sound like mud.

The covers included Creep from Radiohead, Sweater Song from Weezer, and Chicago from Crosby Stills Nash & Young. While Mics verses were nice additions to the tracks, the credit should go to the band for being able to play variations that allow for sixteen bars in between hooks, and being able to make it sound like a legit remix instead of a creation of pro-tools and a sampler.

At one point, the guitar player went into an amazing rendition of Purple Haze from Jimi Hendrix, including the vocals. And at the perfect time, the crowd was actually able to scream Excuse me, while I kiss the sky!

The night was not all covers, though, and tracks like Mamacita fed the crowds fix for original material. And after their performance was seemingly over, Mic and the crew came out for an encore that lasted another 25 minutes.

Credit should be given to Mic and the band, for putting on one of their best performances to date. If it wasnt for the lackluster performances from the opening acts, all who have performed far better on different days, the concert would have been as close to perfect as one could hope for. But it seemed like the openers had off days, and that never helps anything.
- illhiphop.org


Chicago MC ends self-imposed hiatus, will rock Abbey Pub Saturday
By Andy Downing
July 17, 2009
Nearly three years ago, Mic One (a.k.a. Michael Malinowski) walked away from the music business – an exit that was as sudden as it was unexpected. In the ensuing years, the MC, who had been making music since he was 16, limited his creative output to sporadic recording sessions in his home studio (though he can’t recall ever finishing a song). As he readies his comeback, the rapper confesses that his break from the music business was so complete that he went an entire year without penning a single rhyme.

“I didn’t do much of anything,” he said. “I was just set on working and being normal for a while.”

At first, it sounds like a simple case of creative exhaustion; the rapper said he was “burned out” and found little inspiration in the hip-hop being made at the time. When pressed, though, he admits his record label at the time was nudging him in a creative direction that he could never fully embrace. “When I was coming up, it was at the same time as Eminem, so the label was always pushing me in that direction,” said Mic One, who refrains from taking shots at – or even naming – his former employer. “That was one thing I hated. Right away you get the Eminem comparison – like he’s the only white rapper alive.”

Indeed, the single “Beer Cans” from the rapper’s 2003 effort, “This Is Me,” sounds like an outtake from the “8 Mile” star’s oeuvre, complete with celeb name-dropping (J.Lo) and forays into sophomoric humor. “Went and spent the rent/All on beer,” Mic One spits over a loping beat.

The rapper refuses to hold any grudges, however, saying he fully understands why the label would push him to emulate Eminem. That said, he’s enjoying the creative freedom this current rebirth allows, mentioning Run-DMC, De La Soul and the Roots as constant sources of inspiration in the way they bridge genre divides. Along those lines, Saturday’s Abbey Pub set will likely include a host of unexpected covers alongside old favorites and a smattering of newer songs (written in a creative outpouring over the last two months). Backed by DJ (and South Side native) Risky Bizness and a full band, Mic One, an avowed classic rock fan, is known to dot his fiery performances with tunes by everyone from Jimi Hendrix to the Beatles.

“I understand what I can get away with … and I’ve never been more comfortable [as an artist] than I am now,” he said. “It did suck to disappear for a while, but that time away was therapeutic. I’m ready to hit it hard.” - Chicago Tribune


Discography

Who's The Illest - The Album (1998), This Is Me (2003), Backstage Pass (Bootlegs & B-Sides) (2005), Bob & Jaunita's Son (2009)

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Bio

What do you get when you combine skilled song writing, stellar production and stand-out performances? You get a gifted, talented and successful recording artist...unfortunately, this bio is about Mic One.

All comedic attempts aside, Mic One has been a staple in Chicago's hip hop scene for over a decade, independently releasing a hand full of music's critically acclaimed albums to date. To place him in just one genre is difficult. Influences range from hip hop's golden era of the late 80's and early 90's, to the timeless sounds of classic rock, hence coining his sound "Pyschedelic, Boom Bap, Rock-Inflected Hip-Hop".

A rarity in this art form, Mic One retains complete ownership of his passion. From creating the tracks to penning the sometimes controversial, although always thought provoking lyrics, Mic refuses to alter his vision to please the masses on this album. Combining his sharp wit with an offbeat view of society, his songs range from humorous to poignant while steering away from a watered-down, saturated market.

In a city where success in hip-hop has been difficult to attain, Mic has achieved a level of success which is quite admirable considering the lack of mainstream air play his album has received. With the recent success of Chicago hip-hop, his name is continually mentioned when the topic of up and coming artists is discussed. Although his climb to success has been gradual, Mic's talents have been recognized by a number of hip-hop heavyweights who have requested him as an opening act, including Busta Rhymes, KRS-ONE, Ice Cube, Scarface, Cam'ron and even Parliament Funkadelics's George Clinton to name a few.

Then there's the live show, and to simply say show is an understatement, the atmosphere can be better described as an "event". He performs his shows with a full band, including guitar legend/producer Kevon Smith and the world-renown DJ Risky Bizness. His onstage antics are more rock star than street rapper, without affecting his credibility as a respected emcee. With a large female following serving as a base, his crowd is largely eclectic, with fans ranging from underground heads to hipsters. In addition to traditional hip-hop, he's critically acclaimed for changing up his own originals, and even throwing in some obscure covers. In an ode to his influences, which range anywhere from rock and soul to reggae, you can expect to hear covers ranging from Radiohead to Bob Marley, leaving fans in amazement at the seamless transitions between genres.

Mic recently came off a brief hiatus to sign with Midwest powerhouse Sound X Entertainment. A new album, video and tour are all in the works and scheduled for a 2010 release. What the future holds for Mic One is unknown, but what is known is his desire to be considered one of the most revered songwriters/performers of his generation.