Mission Man
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Mission Man

Oxford, Ohio, United States | SELF

Oxford, Ohio, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop


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



"obvious sincerity and sense of genuine love for the art"

Though you want to root for his obvious sincerity and sense of genuine love for the art, Mission Man is not a good rapper. His rhymes have about as much natural rhythm and cadence as a penguin in bondage—which is a shame, because the tonal quality of his voice is really quite pleasing, and even sounds a bit like Frank Zappa's. His lyrics are awkwardly phrased, and his style is closer to Sir Mixalot's than anything else. His backing tracks sound like a band composed of Les Claypool sniffing a whole tube of glue on bass, Bender the Futurama robot on TR-505 drum machine, and the Revenge of the Nerds guy on Casio Keytar. To his credit, he cops to his awkward nerdiness in "Ugly Child," admitting to a pizza face, Coke bottle glasses and a childhood admiration for Alex P. Keaton, but in the end, his earnestness just isn't enough to overcome the inferior quality of the music. - The Valley Advocate

""new form of torture""

...he should not inflict this musical pain on people...The lyrical content is bad yes. But his rapping is awful! ...The beat is awful, as is the rapping and the singing parts are even worse again...I have honestly found a new form of torture in "31 Hours Till What?" that I can sell to some dictatorship as a means of getting a confession out of someone...I have already lost 20 or so minutes of my life on what I would consider to be the worst album I have ever heard...

altsounds: he has SHIT written all over him.
Ffion Davies: who the hell would sign him to their record label expecting success?! idiots!
danreviewer:WOW... Absolutely NO. This is SHOCKING.
Candi H: OMG....it's too painful
Jack S: I'm already in hell after listening to the tracks.
altsounds: While we bask in the hell Mission Man has put us into you should consider trying to get the shit out of ears so you can hear this for what it is. The worst album in the world ever - which in itself is an achievement.
Matt D: if his mission was to make sure no one listens to him again. he's won there.
Ffion Davis:you need to visit a psychiatric unit if you think he's worth the paper he scribbles his nonsensical jibberish on before mumbeling them to his unfortunate audience.
Mission Man: The album title is about the uncertainty of life. It comes from the time I put in my notice at work to go on tour, and I had 31 hours left at my job, not knowing what the future would bring. Ultimately, I ended up sleeping in a closet for 9 months as someone who was really close to me ended up being too sick to work and needed a place to stay...Your opinion is your opinion, and I would never expect everyone to like my music...I have no ego when I make my music. Making it is first and foremost about helping me grow and learn about life. I accept that many people will not understand it, and I am blessed by those who do...I am completely comfortable with myself, and completely comfortable with this review because of it.

altsounds: Props to you for coming on here and explaining things a little more and taking the negative review on the chin. You sound like a really awesome guy that has gone through a lot in his life and has come through the other side an even better and stronger person because of it...keep doing what you are doing. You are the first person to ever get a negative review and actually be cool and understanding about it.

Mad props man and I hope life is good for you.

jack s: Much respect to you mate.
danreviewer: Agreed. Respect to you sir.
Cristina M: Respect, and thanks. If everyone in this industry was willing like you to accept a different point of view, there would be many more interesting discussions on this site...I may still not be a fan of your music, but I'm starting to see why some people may be so passionate about you
robinrenwick: i take it back.
he is a genius.
Mission Man: Thank you all. - Altsounds

"Number 1 Musical Act"

Page 24 (bits from the usa) by Aaron Nardi, issue number 89, November 2005

Mission Man has quit his job delivering pizzas to focus on his music career full time. Steve Buddendeck, Cory Muth, and Lou Caparelli are all huge fans and are even on his street team, which I believe helped Mission Man become the number 1 musical act from Dayton, Ohio or even the world. They also gave him the support and courage to do this. Anyone who hears his unique brand of music will smile so check him out at www.missionman.net...

- Ride BMX (UK edition)

"Mission Man"

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Gary Milholland, better known on stage as Mission Man, is exactly what his name suggests — a man on a mission. The 30-year-old, straight-edge hip hop master has been “kicking out raps” since 1992. Mission Man has written more than 130 songs resonating with today’s youth, often dealing with relatable issues like losing his mother to cancer; basing one’s self-esteem on who you are, not what you look like; and delivering pizzas. Originally from Ohio, Mission Man sought out a full-time day job in Chicago, which he recently announced he was quitting in order to go on tour in support of his hip hop routine.
“I’ll be living the exciting life, including sleeping in my car, crashing at random friends’ and fans’ places and figuring out how to shower, eat and pay for gas on a daily basis,” Milholland said. “I’m actually very excited about it all, as I’ve done this on a smaller scale for 16 days.”
Mission Man kicks off his “Do What You Love” tour on Thursday, April 16, opening for the local Velvet Underground tribute band, the Falling Spikes. 9 p.m. $5. Mickey Finn’s, 602 Lagrange St. www.sonicbids.com/missionman. - Toledo City Press

"Rapper brings Do What You Love Tour back to Toledo"

June 25th, 2009

Gary Milholland missed a call for this interview because he was out smelling the roses.

“I had to get away from the computer,” he said. “I went to this beautiful garden in Columbus [Ohio]. Whenever the wind would blow, it would pick up the fragrance of all the flowers; it was fantastic.”

The 30-year-old is breathing in life’s sweet scents since he quit his Web marketing and maintenance job at a company in Chicago to pursue music full time.

Milholland is Mission Man, a hip-hop, rap artist.

“I quit at the end of March, and I’ve been on tour since then,” he said from Dayton. “At this point, I’m running out of money. I’ll need to get another job in a few weeks, but this is the longest I’ve been able to sustain [my music career]. It’s been a great experience that will lead up to when I tour again next summer.”

The musician is working on new material for his next disc, “31 Hours Til What,” and testing songs on his Do What You Love Tour.

“I basically wrote [‘31 Hours Until What'] knowing I was going to quit my job and go on tour because I knew Chicago just wasn’t working out, so I was figuring out what the next step was going to be,” he said. “It was sort of a self-motivational song as well as a positive, uplifting song to send out to other people.”

Not only is Milholland an optimist, he’s a thrifty man determined to live his dream. On his web site at www.missionman.net, he wrote some days he spends $1 to eat.

“I kind of stumbled across the fact that peanut butter can fill you up, even in small amounts,” he said. “I’d go and buy a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter; it costs $5 and it would last me four days. I’d have maybe two peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, two for dinner, and then do the same thing the next couple days.”

Mission Man has sacrificed a lot to make the music happen.

“I’ve been technically homeless because it’s cheaper; I don’t have to pay rent somewhere,” Milholland said, adding he stays with friends, fans and in his car.

“This has been an absolutely tremendous experience. I’ve laid the foundation, made more connections,” he said. “So I’ll go back, get an apartment, start working at Papa John’s, which I did for a long time, living in Oxford [Ohio] … I’ll be really trying to establish myself in a lot of cities in Ohio … and after I get established in those, save up some money and then go on the ‘31 Hours Til What’ CD release tour next summer. My goal with that one would be to basically tour at least 40 states… I don’t know what will happen after that; it could be my last tour; it could be the tour that would get me to the point where I could make a living off music.”

Mission Man will return to Toledo to play the Jeff-Fest benefit at Mickey Finn’s Pub July 11. He will take the stage at 5 p.m. Other acts scheduled to perform between 2 p.m. and 2 a.m. are The Killer Tomatoes, Intolerance and The Dougouts, among others. Tickets are $10. - Toledo Free Press

"Dead Scene Scrolls"

May 25th, 2005

Mission Man is a bizarre, one-man, straight-edged, hip hop act with super-personal lyrics.
- Dayton City Paper (Dayton, OH)

"Turns Heads"

By Eric Leighton on July 7th, 2005:

Mission Man continues to turn heads with his "very self-expressive hip-hop from a nerdy straight-edged nice guy." His stuff is truly odd and can be found at missionman.net. - Athens News

"Mission Man of Ambition"

By Mike Breen, CityBeat, Cincinnati, Ohio, November 30th, 2005


Mission of Ambition
"I let it all out with every exhale" is a line from the first track on Top 19.5, an abridged, "greatest hits"-type version of an ambitious new CD project from prolific local experimental Hip Hop artist Mission Man. The musician/rapper (known at birth as Gary Milholland) indeed lets it all out on the Complete Mission Man Collection, an exhaustive (and occasionally exhausting) career retrospective that includes 121 tracks covering nine years and over seven CDs worth of material. The disc also contains album liner notes and artwork, photos, lyrics and a couple of video clips.

While, technically, Mission Man's music could be called "Hip Hop," this isn't for your typical Rap fan. Milholland's an interesting writer, but his blunted, often deadpan delivery would send Eminem or Jay-Z fans screaming (and when he actually "sings," well, let's just say Biz Markie may have a new duet partner). With a lo-fi, home-recorded base, the minimalist tracks are arty and don't really follow any of the established blueprints, resulting in a collagist, spoken word-meets-experimental music aesthetic that isn't for everyone. It's a bit like "outsider art," where you can't tell whether Milholland is trying to sound like Nas and this is what came out, or if he is intentionally trying to create something as unusual and downright weird as some of the tracks are (even the oddballs in the slanted Hip Hop coalition, Anticon, would find most of MM's tracks beyond bizarre).

The full Collection is available at cdbaby.com/missionman4, while the shorter Top 19.5 set is offered only at shows. Both releases will be available at Thursday's CD release party at the Mad Frog in Coryville. For more on Mission Man, go to myspace.com/missionman.

- CityBeat

"Locals Only"

From CityBeat, Locals Only, by Dale Johnson, March 3rd, 2004:


Gary Milholland is on a mission to change how people think about Hip Hop

Interview By Dale Johnson

Gary Milholland, aka Mission Man, is attempting to take Rap and Hip Hop back to its roots of relating stories of personal experiences in a rhythmic flow, rather than just being all about the "byotches" and the bling-bling. He calls himself Mission Man for practical reasons.
"(The name) happened to fall between Method Man and Mo' Thugs," Milholland says. "When I started, they were big and I figured people would see me on the shelves in between them."

So what is the mission of Mission Man?

"I want people to realize that Rap, at the beginning, was about self-expression," he says. "I think that that got lost somewhere along the way. People tell me sometimes that they don't like Rap, and I don't always understand what they mean by that. I think 'The Message' by Grandmaster Flash is the best Rap song ever, and that's that kind of message that I want to have. I mean, I'm not from that background, but that's not the point. It's self-expression."

He began rapping back in 1992 at the age of 13 when a friend encouraged him to freestyle a rap. His first 30-second rap was a hit with friends (and himself), and the off-the-cuff verses wound up (in an expanded version) as the track "Inventor" on his first CD, 1996's Intro To My Mind. He began playing keyboards around the same time and added to his musical vocabulary around 1998, when he took up playing drums, bass and guitar. Besides rapping, Milholland also plays all of the instruments on his CDs, which include 2000's Out of the Shadows, the all-freestyle Put Down the Pen and his latest, the four-years-in-the-making A Different Kid. For live shows, he raps to an instrumental CD of his music. He also plays the guitar solos -- "It's kind of weird to say that there's a guitar solo in a Rap song," he says laughing -- and keyboards live.

Milholland cites his Rap influences as Run-DMC, The Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash and Tupac Shakur. "Even though Tupac was very gangster and there were a lot of things around him that brought about controversy, he always expressed himself. His ability to tell a story was very profound," says Milholland.

Musically, he says his influences are mainly derived from the music he grew up listening to. "Billy Joel, U2, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, stuff like that," he says. Milholland's music takes all of those influences (and then some) to make an interesting melange of 21st-century Hip Hop.

Milholland's songs tend toward his own experiences and views, but he tries to relate his music to the listeners' lives as well. He's found that his audiences, especially younger ones, respond to his music.

"(The younger audiences) are energetic and still have an idealistic view of the world while still having some teenage angst," he says. "There's a combination of both (of those elements) in my music."

Milholland says he's dissatisfied with the present state of Rap as presented by radio and MTV, because a more personal style of Rap seems to be absent.

"On the commercial scene, I don't think that there's going to be a lot of 'great' influential rappers," he says, not out of bitterness or envy, but more out of frustration with the direction that he feels Rap has taken.

"I want people to get strength from my music or my lyrics if they need it, or just a release if they want to have fun," Milholland says, summing up his personal and musical philosophy. "Certainly, that's more important to me than having the financial success and having a big crowd. I'd much rather be able to affect a few people's lives than get money from a lot of people and not have it mean anything."

- CityBeat

"Mission Man Plays For a Cure"

From the Miami Student, Miami University (Ohio) student newspaper, September 20th, 2005

Mission Man plays for a cure
By: Kellyn Moran
Issue date: 9/20/05 Section: Community

Many of you have heard of him and some may have seen him in action. He calls himself Mission Man, and he can be found performing his rap music in Oxford, Cincinnati, Columbus and even Jacksonville, Fla.

During the day, 26-year-old Gary Milholland can be found delivering pizzas for Papa John's, but at night he pursues his true passion - rap.

He calls himself Mission Man because he is on a mission to change the way people view hip hop.

"I started rapping when I was 13. My friend told me to 'Kick a rap'," Milholland said.

He memorized his first rap and it is now the 32nd track at the end of his CD.

On Saturday, he performed at the Balcony uptown as part of an event called Playing for a Cure. Mission Man was part of a line-up of artists, which also included Enemy Up and The Fine Lines.

The proceeds of this annual event go to the American Cancer Society.

Milholland organized the event last year and now plans on making it an annual event.

"I'm going to try to have one in Oxford and one in Cincinnati next year," he said.

"I really want to make a difference by giving as much as possible to the American Cancer Society and uniting people around trying to find a cure for a disease that touches almost everyone in some way," Milholland wrote on his Web site.

There is significance to the time of year the event is held. Milholland's mother passed away from cancer in September and the concert is in part a way to memorialize his mother.

According to Milholland's Web site, "my goal was to honor my mom's memory as much as possible and raise money for the American Cancer Society at the same time."

Though Milholland lost money the first year he held the event, he doesn't regret the time and energy that went into organizing it.

"The fact that I gave so much of myself to the event and put more into it than I thought possible truly honored my mom's memory," he wrote.

Among the crowd at Saturday's show, there were avid fans as well as new listeners. One Miami University junior said Mission Man delivered pizza to her twice.

"He delivered pizza and then gave me his CD and told me to listen to it," Jessica Basista said. "Then he gave me a flyer for the show."

Jessica was glad to give money to the cause and even sang along with a few of Milholland's songs.

If you are interested in catching Mission Man in the act, check him out at 10 p.m. Oct. 19 at Stadium. He also plays a few gigs in the Cincinnati and Columbus areas. You can find more information on his Web site at http://www.missionman.net.
- Miami Student


1997 "Intro To My Mind"
1999 "Delve Deeper"
2000 "Transitions"
2000 "Out of the Shadows"
2004 "A Different Kid"
2004 "Antis Trype"
2005 "Put Down The Pen"
October 10th, 2006, "Indiependent"
March 15th, 2010, "31 Hours Til What?"
May 10th, 2011 - "liberty island"



Mission Man makes music without ego in order to grow, as a person and as a musician. Self-taught, with no classical training, Mission Man started rapping in 1992, and started playing instruments in 1998. He now plays the drums, bass, guitar, and keyboard, as well as produces all of his own music, writes his own lyrics, and makes his own music videos.

Music has saved Mission Man's life several times, including after losing his mother to cancer in 1994. In honor of his mom's memory, Gary has put on a series of benefit concerts, with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. Since 2004, the events have raised a total of over $1,000 for the ACS.

Gary makes music because he loves it. That's why his signature track is "Do What You Love." He uses music to grow as a person, to learn about life, to get through bad times, and to enhance the great ones. His love for music is strong enough that he chose to be homeless so that he could save money while on tour in 2009.

He is releasing his 10th album, "liberty island" on May 10th, 2011, and going on tour starting May 11th to support the release of the album. His official tour kick off is May 12th at the Mad Hatter in Covington, KY with May 11th being a pre-tour open mic warm up at South Park Tavern in Dayton, OH. Through a combination of 6 full shows, 3 extended open mikes, and 8 other open mikes, Mission Man is again taking the necessary risks to make a living from his music. He will be sleeping in his car for most of the tour because it's worth the sacrifice to live his dreams.

Musically, his greatest influences are 80s pop (primarily Prince, Michael Jackson and similar artists), 80s hip-hop, Dr. Dre and Will Smith.