Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1099

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Mic Righteous: Check 1, Check 2, Check Mic

Mic Righteous
Mic Righteous

Mic Righteous is full of beans, and rightly so. After years of perfecting his craft and murdering numerous freestyles, his debut E.P. proper "Open Mic", which is only a few tunes short of being a full album, has gone to number one on the iTunes hip-hop chart on the first day of release. A good look still.

âIt went to number one on the hip-hop chart in the first 45 minutes of sales,â he says happily. âIt also went to number 8 in the official album chart. It went to number 2 in the hip-hop charts in Australia, Sweden, Ireland and also New Zealand.â

Thereâs nothing like years of hard work paying off. As with most hip-hop loving emcees a hobby changed into a career over time. Things were, unfortunately, made much harder by some tough real life. While he calls the nice seaside town of Margate home, things were far from peachy for him as a youtâ.

âThe transition happened when I met my manager. At the time, I was living in a four bedroom house on my own. I was 15 years old. I could barely look after myself, I didnât really have any social skills. The house was a bit of a mess, it was actually deemed unsafe to live in by the council. The council visited the property and they were like, âno one should live like thisâ. The heat didnât work, there was a hole in the floor. Damp everywhere. I was invited to a local studio by some lads who found out I could rap. The set up couldnât have cost more than 50 notes. Jack, whose now my manger and best friend, almost a father figure, he made me into an artist, surrounded me with good people, his friends, and just taught me the ropes. â

"Open Mic" is well worth your time. With seven tunes and no duds, itâs easy to see why itâs been so well received and big things are expected for Mic Righteous. The first tune "The Pen", which many longer term fans of Mic Righteous will already be familiar with, is a brilliant rumination on the essential tool every emcee needs. Ever since Pharoahe Monche wrote "Stray Bullet" from the perspective of a hollow point and Common described hip-hop as a girl on "I Used To Love H.E.R.", ânuff people have flipped that style of rapping from different perspectives. Up until now, no one has come up with a concept concerned with the worldâs most powerful tool, something so central to hip-hop.

âI wrote that when I was like 13 or 14,â he recalls.â I was inspired by Nas rapping about being a prison cell (on "Last Words"). He received the reaction he deserved when he performed the tune for the first time. âI was at The Coronet to see Lowkey and Immortal Technique and there was a ten minute break. My manager just threw me to the lions. I ended up going onstage and I spat 'The Pen' acapella," and it just killed it. Ed Sheeran was like âyou have to record "The Pen", you have to lay that downâ¦.â I spent a day or two figuring it out and doing a bit of research and just jotting down sentence after sentence scribbling it out and rearranging stuff.â And then it was ready. While "The Pen" is very, very impressive, the best tune on "Open Mic" is undoubtedly "Hold Me Down." Producers Tom, Dick and Harry, who are responsible for all but two of the albums tracks, deserve massive props.

âIâm just grateful that those guys crossed my path. Theyâre responsible for 70 per cent of the production. I just think that live sounds beats everything. I love hip-hop, I love those Premier sounding beats but when I heard that track I knew they had to produce my whole EP.â

The production trio should definitely, in that case, be all over the album. Thereâs no release date in sight as of yet. "Open Mic" will have to do what it needs to do first. But Mic Righteous is ready when the time is right.

âWhen I released my first mixtape, I had my second mixtape done already. When I released my second mixtape I had 'Open Mic' in the can. I like to always stay one step ahead. Thereâs plenty of material in the can. Definitely a lot of material thatâs album worthy.â

Mic Righteous "Open Mic" E.P. is out now on N/A Records


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Words Russell Myrie

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