You can't be into
the mixtape game and not know the name DJ Big Mike. Over the passed 2
and a half years Mike has leaped into one of the main power players in the mixtape
market. Best known for his hard hitting street catalog Mike sat down with HHG
and talked with us about D Block, Kay Slay, who's hot in the mixtape circuit
and why "The Champ Is Here" mixtape he and DJ Green Lantern did with
Jada Kiss was a classic.
Ok first off Mike. Within these past 2 years you have climbed into one of the
elites in the mixtape game. What's been your key to success ?
Well with my grind right now, I'm just focused with giving the streets the best
quality mixtapes all around and remaining as consistent as I can.
The core of your following is generally a certain type of crowd in my opinion.
How would YOU identify your fan base ?
I wouldn't really stereotype myself into one specific type of crowd. I guess
my fan base is whoever looking for the newest joints out from the hottest current
artists in the game.
What did Big Mike grow up listening to ?
Where do I start ...Biggie, Nas, Lord Finesse, The Lox, Wu Tang... shit all
that. I'm from CT and we never really had an all Hip Hop radio station until
about the year 2000 so I was kind of forced to listen to everything music wise.
I always found a way to tape WBLS on 98.7 kiss (NYC) though ....even with the
There seems to be a lot of D Block on your mixtapes month to month. It was
said that you were once D Blocks official DJ. What's the situation with you
and D Block ?
The 1 thing people need to realize about D Block is that you don't need any
paperwork to fuck with them dudes man. They're some real dudes so when you fuck
with them it's on a different level. Contractually no I am not signed to D Block
but you see who dominates the majority of my cd's so I just try to show that
love right back to them.
Wasn't there a situation with you and Mobb Deep as well ?
Yeah well basically I was Mobb Deep's DJ for a period of time during this past
summer. I also traveled around with Jadakiss for a bit as well but ultimately
I missed the mixtapes too much so I fell back from the road and got back on
my mixtape grind. Obviously I still got love for both of those cats right there.
You get and listen to so many records. Who's putting out heat right now ?
In the mixtape game there are 3 to 4 main cliques that are killing it right
now. You got D Block, G Unit, Dipset, & Mobb Deep. Any good mixtape will
have some sort of new material coming out of any of these camps right now. There's
a ton of new cats putting it down as well ... Cory Gunz, Gravy, Maino, Prymetyme
to name a few,
Did you always want to be a DJ ? How'd you get into the mixtape game cause
that is where you got your start from right ?
I was always a DJ. I used to DJ and promote my own parties in clubs. Eventually
I met a cat who was real plugged in with getting music off the internet back
when a lot of DJ's didn't utilize the net to get songs. It was a working progress
from there until labels and artist started taking me seriously. I'm here though.
Your grind is incredible. At times you'll put out 3 tapes in a less than
2 week span. What keeps you on such a pace and how hard is it to keep that up
I'm just trying to cover every angle of the market.. Hip Hop, R&B, Radio
CD's, even slow jams. I'm at a point in my career where my name is so respected
on the street for putting out quality CD's that I can experiment with different
genres of music and see if it works. If it doesn't I'll fall back.
You get records sometimes where nobody knows how you got them or that you
were even putting them out. Do you get into any conflicts with labels or artist
for that ?
Me ? Shit YEAH ! I've had artists ready to kill, sue me ....shit you name it.
Fortunately at the end, most of them realize that I'm just trying to give the
streets what they want. Man if any of them knew some of the shit I go through
to get their music, a lot of them dudes would be shocked and some of them might
even be honored.
You don't have to name names but what was the craziest experience you had
dealing with that ?
Well at one point of time a certain artist threatened to sue me for 50 grand
for putting his song on my CD. That never transpired though. I've dealt with
a lot of funny shit in this game man.
Now you know I have to ask you this. The situation with Kay Slay. Not to
stoke the fire or anything but he did put out a mixtape dissing you on the cover.
You guys just did a mixtape prior to that a couple months before. There were
tons of rumors on the net going around and you remained silent about it. What
are your thoughts about that entire situation ?
Well with that situation a person that he and I (slay) are both familiar with
tried to ruin my name and drag me down with him cause of some foul shit he was
doing. Bottom line this particular individual went to the first 2 DJ's I had
prior differences with. One being Kay Slay and the other, I'm going to leave
nameless and he basically just tried to destroy my name. Bottom line though
I'm not here to go back and forth on CD's, that's not me dog. The streets don't
care about industry gossip like that. I'm just here to give people what I believe
they want which is the best possible product and value for there money.
What is your advice to somebody who wants to be the next Big Mike ?
Man you got to work 10 times harder than the next man to establish yourself
in this game and be taken seriously. Especially when you got a thousand DJ's
and a thousand more ways to get music now.
DJ Clue got into putting out albums, being on TV, his label. Green Lantern
is producing and is currently about to put an album out through Shady Records.
Kay Slay is A&R'in and he's already dropped LP's as well and enough can
be said about Flex. With all these other DJ's getting into different ventures
is there anything in particular you're looking forward to getting into passed
the mixtapes ?
I definitely would like the chance to one day put an album out. I still have
to lock down a few more markets outside of NY first. Commercial radio eventually,
satelite radio, all these different outlets play a huge role for when you're
finally ready to put out a legit product through the major chains. I need to
build a few more artist relationships also.
What's the best mixtape you've been a part of so far ?
Definitely " The Champ Is Here" with Jada Kiss and Green Lantern.
That was originally supposed to just be me and Kiss but I respect Green's work
so much that I thought he could bring a lot to the project. I'm not a hater
or a selfish type to want all the fame and at the end... the result in my opinion....it
was the best mixtape of 2004.
The Champ is Here was definitely a classic and some people actually like
it better than the LP. How did that whole project go down?
Well with Kiss being the underdog of the rap game and me being the underdog
of the mixtape game we just got that bond so he promised me his mixtape prior
to his official release. Like I said Green eventually hopped on board and for
a month and a half we hit him with every idea and instrumental he could ask
for. I even dug through old ass 12 inches out the stash for that project. Come
on man you got Jada the hottest rapper on the streets and its a tape with like
10 never before heard freestyles and songs ?? Game over man, that shit was basically
a street album. If you look at his track record dude never put out that many
freestyles out at that pace and to have em all on one CD .... Straight classic
When did you learn how powerful the mixtape game was ?
When I put out my "50 cent The Future Is Now" mixtape and I started
getting calls from all the major dudes in this game that I always wanted to
fuck with. That's the mixtape that really broke the ice for me. Good looking
to the dude who passed that on to me. (I ain't forget)
Your schedule must be hectic with all the tapes you're dropping etc. You
planning on going on a vacation this year man ??
Never !! I'm 25/8, 366'in it right now. Man it took me so long to get to this
point that I ain't planning on leaving or getting comfortable for nothing.
No doubt Mike. Dope interview and thanks for taking out time of your schedule.
You want to leave any shout outs ?
Word good looks to HHG for the interview. Shout outs to my family for grinding
out with me on every project. D, Kara, Joe and definitely the supporters in
these streets for the constant support and love man. Ya'll definitely keep me