Mic One
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Mic One

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Mic One making a comeback"

Mic One making a comeback

Chicago MC ends self-imposed hiatus, will rock Abbey Pub Saturday

July 17, 2009 | By Andy Downing

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


"Who's the Illest? - The Album" (Cassette/CD/LP, 1998)
"Beer Cans" b/w "The Stick Up" (12"/CD Single, 2002)
"This is Me" (CD/LP, 2003)
"Backstage Pass (Bootlegs & B-Sides)" (CD/LP, 2005)
"Fiyah!" (CD/Digital Single, 2006)
"Bob & Juanita's Son - The Bootleg Compilation" (CD/Digital, 2009)
"Welcome to Chicago" (CD/Digital Single, 2010)



Psychedelic, Boom Bap, Rock-Inflected Hip-Hop is the best phrase to describe one of the most underrated artists hailing from Chicago's ever-evolving music scene.

Mic One combines multiple influences, from golden-era hip-hop to classic rock & reggae, into a non-stop creative roller coaster from the studio to his critically acclaimed live show. Backed by a full band, Mic effortlessly moves from original hip-hop productions to rock covers and back again, giving fans both old and new a show that rivals the biggest of MTV artists.

After 12 years, including a short hiatus, Mic One is still going  
strong despite the lack of mainstream radio play. His gifted talent as an emcee, producer and musician has led to Mic sharing the stage and recording booth with a number of prominent artists, including Busta Rhymes, KRS-ONE, Ice Cube, Scarface and Parliament Funkadelic's George Clinton to name a few.

Mic One is currently preparing for a fall release of his first full-length release since 2003's "This Is Me".