Mike Mictlan
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Mike Mictlan

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"Should I say anything special?" P.O.S. asked at the start of Doomtree's Fifth Annual Blowout at First Avenue, as if he and the rest of the group haven't already said enough on their stellar string of albums over the years. The club was sold out based on the strength of that material, as well as their notorious live shows. He didn't end up saying anything too momentous between songs, but he proceeded to tear the roof off the club along with Doomtree's four other emcees, who hadn't shared the same stage together since last year's Blowout. The group didn't show any signs of rust as they incisively ripped through material both new and old during the fabulous show.

?The Blowout was structured the same way it has been in years past, with the whole crew coming out for a short, half hour set at the start -- kicked off by a spirited version of "Gander Back" -- before each individual emcee took over for 20-minute segments, leading up to the group reuniting for an explosive full-lineup finish.

Besides the live debut of plenty of new material from False Hopes XV, other highlights of the night included both Cecil Otter and Dessa experimenting with their sound while performing with live bands. Otter fronted a group that featured bass and drums, while Dessa had a three-piece, with a guitar, clarinet, and stand-up bass (played by Twinkie Jiggles from Heiruspecs), which added depth to new material from her forthcoming solo record, A Badly Broken Code. Dessa also brought out Aby Wolf (who had made an appearance with the full crew earlier in the night) to lend her lush vocals to a song. Both groups added a natural, organic element to tracks that were already packed with emotion and intensity.

?A technical glitch prevented the premier of Mike Mictlan's "Prize Fight" video directly before his performance, which seemed to throw him off a bit at the start. But Mictlan still delivered an energetic set that featured a fiery version of "Hand Over Fist" and a tempestuous "Game Over" with P.O.S. and Sims, who each delivered tight, animated performances as well. P.O.S. (who flew in from D.C. just for the show, and was due to play Atlanta the next night) dug through his entire catalog during his intense segment, and seemed genuinely appreciative of the massive and adoring audience who sang along to every word of "De La Souls." He closed with an impassioned, fierce version of "Purexed" that was one of my favorite songs of the night.

?But this was the Doomtree Blowout, after all, so of course the best parts of the evening were when the entire crew performed together, along with DJs Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger, who kept heads nodding all night long. Doomtree really has nothing to prove at this point, but they put on a show filled with both intensity and purpose as if they had to win over the capacity crowd all over again. So tunes like "Accident," "The Wren," and "Slow Burn," which are dynamic and energetic to begin with, were given an extra bit of venom by the band's determined delivery. The three hour show flaunted the varying talents of each member of Doomtree, and that diverse mix of styles and personalities added up to a volatile and high-spirited performance that left the crowd energized and awestruck. - City Pages, Minneapolis MN


Doomtree's Los Angeles-reared rapper turned his steaming, red-faced onstage delivery into a fiery and surprisingly funky solo debut. The funk comes courtesy of beatmaker Lazerbeak (aka Aaron Mader of Plastic Constellations). While riffing on his tangled roots in songs like "L.A. Raiders Hat" and "Northstarrr," Mictlan simultaneously proves he fits the Minnesotan MC mold with a confessional, personal tone. (50) - Star Tribune, Minneapolis MN


Fall is officially Doomtree season, with the majority of the collective releasing solo records over a three-month period. With Hand Over Fist, MC Mike Mictlan and producer extraordinaire Lazerbeak add another worthy piece to the Doomtree arsenal. While Mictlan is more self-referential and cocky than his crewmates, what separates DT from a lot of rap collectives is the pervasive team feeling, and even with the heavily biographic content on Hand Over Fist, a "we" attitude still permeates the album.

Much of the record is used to establish Mictlan's persona: namely, his relocation from L.A. to Minnesota and the cultural acclimation to the move. Predictably, this culminates with a reminiscent "L.A. Raiders Hat" and Midwest shout-outs like "Northstarrr." Mictlan seems to prefer lightning-speed, tongue-twisting raps but wisely uses them in moderation, including "Shux," which features guest P.O.S. trying to outpace his host. Hand Over Fist is a concise record, electing to vary the pace rather than stretch things out with skits and interludes. - City Pages, Minneapolis MN


With his lightning-fast rhyme patterns, adept lyrical prowess, and hard-hitting delivery, Mike Mictlan brings the gangster rap edge that keeps Doomtree from sliding down the precarious slope into emo-rap territory. The Los Angeles transplant, who moved back to Minnesota on the strength of his old friends in Doomtree gaining prominence, sounds like he emerged from the womb rapping, touting an experienced and methodical style that is never less than commanding. On his 2008 debut with producer Lazerbeak, Hand Over Fist, the rapper also known as BAMF The Butcher crafted an instant classic that blended political themes, life experiences, and exceptional wordplay. - The AV Club


Doomtree puts on a good show. But even when all the crew's on stage, when female emcee Dessa's bopping around and P.O.S. is yelling in the mic, Mictlan stands out. He rolls his eyes back in his head, reaches out to the crowd and fuels intensity through his mic.

The stuff he's recorded is good, but to this point, nothing matches him live. - Minnesota Daily


Discography

Deity for Re-Hire - EP
Hand Over Fist (with Lazerbeak) - LP

Photos

Bio

With mainstream appeal, surgical precision, and unshakable crew love, Mike Mictlan is an unparalleled force in the underground. His live show is a spectacle of sweat and laughter and fury and communion. You could search every venue in every city, but you will not find an emcee in rap music with more heart than Mike Mictlan. No hype, just a simple guarantee. He believes in the music, the movement, and in his crew of friends. To see him in person, and to hear is voice, makes it hard not to believe it too.

Mictlan is a native to Southern California and a current proud resident of South Minneapolis. His style has roots in both scenes. In his delivery, he’s a rapper’s rapper and a technician. He can stick fast stuccato runs, flip a pattern, and freestyle long after everyone else has gone to bed. But he’s also a writer who doesn’t shy from big themes and personal narrative. In his latest collaboration with Lazerbeak, Hand Over Fist, Mictlan employs his understated poetry to epic effect. The album goes by in a pageant of imagery: of fire and flight, long odds and close calls.

Mike met the founding members of Doomtree during his junior year in high school. In response to his deliquent streak, Mike’s parents had sent him from their L.A. home to live with his uncle in Minnesota. (No, the Fresh Prince storyline is not lost on us, please save your letters.) Living with his uncle and attending Hopkins High, he met P.O.S, Lazerbeak, MK Larada, and Paper Tiger. Although Mictlan soon returned to L.A., the Doomtree family tree had taken root. As the collective gained momentum in Minneapolis, Mictlan received more and more phone calls urging him to move to the Midwest. Five years later, he got off a plane with 2 duffel bags and a footlocker, ready to go wherever Doomtree was headed.

Mictlan now tours with the group and as a solo performer, making converts and fans in every city.