We haven’t heard too much from you in the last few months. What have you been up to?
Right now, man, I’ve really just been working on album No. 2. A lot of people were worried that I would be a one-hit wonder and that I wouldn’t live up to the hype. I’ve kind of felt like it was time for me. I’ve been on tour. I’ve been from Asia to South America. That’s what a lot of people don’t know. A lot of the times that people are talking about me, I’m on the road working. I pretty much pulled myself off the road. I can make a lot of money doing that, but it was time for me to make some more music. I locked myself in the studio and I’m working on not having that sophomore jinx that everyone is so worried about.
How’s the album coming?
It’s coming along well. This is the first album where I actually have a budget to work with and get in the studio the right way. I’m focused 100% on my music and I’m making sure that the music is right for what the market wants and it’s right for what I want and it’s right for everything that comes along with the game.
Were you satisfied with the music on your debut album Music is my Savior?
It wasn’t an issue because I was involved with so many great producers who knew about my situation and they were working with me for free before I got my deal. The only difference now and how having a budget helps is I’m not worried about putting food in my stomach or paying rent. Now I can worry about getting in the studio and making hit records and not have to worry about all the other stuff that comes with being a man. I’m financially straight right now and just focused on music, which is what I love to do.
You mentioned how you had to pull yourself off the road. Have you been able to tour consistently in the last year?
Surprisingly, I’ve done very well, tour-wise, with the Music is my Savior album. Anybody that’s followed my career knows I’m one of the very few artists who get to have a tour bus before their album drops. I put my own tour together, the Music is my Savior tour. I linked up with Microsoft Zune and went on tour throughout the United States. I probably did 30-40 shows just off of that situation alone. And then I was able to go out of the country to Japan and South America. Because I had that big reggae remix, I was able to do a lot of the Caribbean islands. I can do a lot of places because I didn’t oversaturate myself. I can still go on tour and I have booking agents calling management trying to figure out possible dates. And that’s definitely been a blessing as far as my career is concerned.
Do you still get a good reaction to “This is why I’m Hot”?
I think that’s one of those songs that people loved when it first came out and then because it was played so much on the radio, they got tired of it. But now when they play it in the club or at a venue, they go nuts.
Are you still on Capital Records?
A lot of people have been asking if I was dropped by Capital Records and if I was on Geffen Records. I’ve never been on Geffen Records and I’m not on Geffen Records. I’m still on Capital and we’re working on album No. 2. Virgin and Capital merged last year and late last year, they got bought out and the whole EMI was taken over and now they’re doing a lot of changes, which is one of the reasons why you don’t hear a lot of EMI artists dropping new music. The company is trying to restructure itself and I’m going to make sure that they get the hits that they need to have on that label.
Are you happy with how things are moving at Capital?
Definitely. When you look at my career and look at maybe two years ago, to most people, I would be considered a nobody even though I was hustling for so many years to get into the music business. But for the label to come in after I’ve done so much groundwork on my own and make my record No. 1 in the country, I’m very much pleased with what Capital Records has done for my career. There are still a lot of things that I have to do to prove myself because that was such a big record. I have to live up to the hype. I have my hands full and Capital Records has their hands full.
“This is why I’m Hot” made you a household name and allowed you to tour, yet to a lot of fans you’re only seen for that. Could you say that song is both a gift and a curse?
Definitely. I would be lying if I said I didn’t. It’s been a gift because I’ve achieved what a lot of signed artists haven’t been able to achieve, which is the success of a single so huge. That was my first single out there. The curse is that people expect so much from me now and I don’t think that’s what music should be built on. I think the people kind of have a misunderstanding of success. People measure success in different ways and different realms. I go in and I say, “I’m going to make the hottest album of my life and if the people accept it, cool.” If 200,000 people buy it or 200 people buy it, I’m happy because I know whatever I put into my album, that’s what I believed in. Having a big record, you have to live up to the hype, but honestly speaking, I don’t think that’s going to be hard. I’m a versatile artist and I’ve been able to deliver countless styles and coming up with something different is not going to be a hard thing.
Are you trying to let the songs come naturally or are you searching for a hit now?
I think I have so many great musicians that tend to be around me and a lot of the great musicians, even on the up-and-coming level, they tend to gravitate towards me because of how musical I am. You got to see a different side of me on Music is my Savior and a lot of people are thinking that that doesn’t exist. The beauty is that I get a lot of musicians gravitating towards me and they’re amazed that I have the ability to be an all-around artist that now has the option to go into the studio and work with a lot of these musicians from different guitarists and producers. There’s all different genres of music and I’m going to incorporate that on this album.
You’re also still working with The Blackout Movement, who produced “This is why I’m Hot”. Are you doing anything differently with them this time around?
Blackout, to me, is what I think Dr. Dre was to Snoop Dogg. Blackout is always going to be those producers that I go to because I understand them and they understand that I’m talented. You’re always going to hear a Blackout record on a Mims album. The difference this time is that last time it was pretty much all Blackout. Now it’s still going to be Blackout and I’m also going to reach out to a couple of these heavy hitting producers and see how my sound kind of meshes with them and see if we can create something crazy.
What other producers do you want to work with?
Man, I’m looking forward to working with people like Danja. I’m also looking forward to possibly working with The Neptunes and maybe Cool and Dre and The Blackout Movement. But pretty much, a lot of cats that know me didn’t get the chance to work with me the first time around because of money or time. We’re definitely trying to reach out to those guys.
You sold over a million digital copies of “This is why I’m Hot” and toured off that song alone. Do you have to work even harder today to prove you’re not a one-hit wonder?
I’ll say this – you can’t make music for everybody and maybe that was my mistake the first time around. I tried to make music for everybody and that kind of got thrown back in my face. I didn’t realize that when you’re at a label, you can’t put out 15 songs for people to see. You can’t shoot 15 videos and you can’t work 15 records at radio and I think that was one of the biggest issues in my last project. Maybe I was a little bit naïve to think that every record on my album was a smash hit and that I was going to make sure that everybody was going to hear every single record. I thought that I would be bigger because of that and it was a rude awakening. This time around, I do have a huge audience now. 2 million people digitally downloaded my single and 3 million people bought ringtones from me and 400,000 people worldwide bought albums from me. I do have a fanbase worldwide and God knows how many people illegally got it. I do have a fanbase. Do I think it will be hard to connect with my fanbase? No. They’re my fanbase. But can I connect with the haters and the naysayers? I have to make sure that I angle my career so that people realize I’m not a newcomer that’s just here from one record.
How does trying to please both fans and the naysayers affect the music you make?
I think with the new project, I’m more in the zone of making musical production sound like that and not just getting on an MPC or looping a drum track and then just spitting words over it. I had the opportunity of creating a musical album and getting bass players involved and guitarists involved and drummers involved and having that live approach to music and having that live feel. That’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, but with money constraints, you can’t always take it there. My budget is going to allow me to work with a lot of special musicians and I think that’s what I’m going to be able to deliver on this album. If you liked the live feel of my last album, you’re going to get a lot more of that on this album.
Did a lot of fans overlook your serious songs on Music is my Savior because of the pop appeal of “This is why I’m Hot”?
Definitely. I definitely think…I wouldn’t say “fans”, I would say the naysayers, because the real fans are going to buy my album and listen to every single word and they’re going to go through the album and respect it. To be a fan of Mims as an artist, you would have had to buy the Music is my Savior album and listen to it from beginning to end. But the people who are criticizing me, I feel they focused on one record and they didn’t focus on me as an artist and if they would have taken the time out, they would have known. Be careful, I might speak up on that. I might bite the game in the back right now. I have the choice to do everything that they say I can’t do. I did it on my first album but they didn’t listen. I’m definitely going to show them that there’s more to Mims than “This is why I’m Hot”.
When we received your freestyle over Tyga’s “Coconut Juice” beat, it was labeled as a Tyga diss, yet I couldn’t find any lines in the freestyle where you were going at Tyga. Was the freestyle mislabeled?
I don’t diss people on records, man. I met Tyga at the MTV Awards. We shook hands. I think he’s a cool person. I don’t know him much more than that, but I wouldn’t put that out on someone’s track and diss them unless it was a real problem. And there was no disrespect in there. I saw the video a few times and I loved the record and how he flowed on it. I figured it was a good time to do something different from Mims’ standpoint. You hear lines about me being aggressive where people may say I’m talking about somebody. I’m not talking about somebody. A lot of people hated on me and I’m getting my aggression off there. But that wasn’t intended to be a diss record and I don’t want people taking that the wrong way. Definitely not. It was just me being a rapper.
I think people just try to hype situations up. I mean, a lot of people say a lot of different things about me, none of which probably ends up being true. But I’m not a confrontational person, man. I don’t look for confrontation.
In listening to the freestyle, it sounds like you’re getting tired of the overuse of the Vocoder in rap songs.
I’ll tell you this, man. I’m not necessarily tired of it. I think I feel like everybody else though. “Oh, boy, another Vocoder used on the record.” You can take it with a grain of salt and say that everybody is doing it now and that’s why I did the “Coconut Juice” record. It wasn’t targeting everybody who was using the Vocoder. It was to show that I could do it too with no sweat. There have been some monster records with Vocoders. Look at T-Pain’s biggest songs and Lil’ Wayne’s “Lollipop”. I’m definitely a fan of that. There’s definitely a way that you can use that Vocoder that will allow you to make some great music. I’m a rapper and a fan and when I turn on the radio and hear all of these records with Vocoders and maybe only one, two or three of them are hot, and that’s just what it is. That’s just me being a rapper. There’s records like “Lollipop”, “Put On” and “Sensual Seduction” by Snoop. You have to say that that’s creative and rappers are going out of their element to create a different sound.
A lot of rappers have mentioned you on mixtapes or in freestyles. Was it ever hard not to respond to those jabs?
I mean, I let it fizzle. My thing is you’re mentioning my name on a mixtape. That means that I did something crazy enough for you to mention my name or maybe you’re trying to just get a little fame off of what I did. If you’re doing what you’re doing, then you don’t have to worry about what I’m doing. A lot of cats said they were doing better than me, then you don’t need to worry about me. If you’re doing better than me, then why do you have to mention my name? I don’t need to talk to talk about nobody because I know at the end of the day what I’m doing with my life. I know that I’ve been on tour and I know that I’ve been some places where you never hear people’s rap records being played but you heard my record. I’ve sold ringtones in a lot of areas and I’ve done hip-hop shows and I can play to a rock crowd. I can play to a crowd in Sweden and Berlin and all these other places that artists can’t get to. I don’t need to mention you in my eyes. I’m doing what I love to do and I’m doing it very well. Why these cats are out here putting my name in their records, you have to question it. I’ve never said nothing about them and I’ve never intended on lashing out at an artist, but you’re still mentioning my name. Congratulations. Keep my name in the public. I’m happy about that.
When are you looking to drop your sophomore album?
I’ll put it like this – I don’t have a definite date on the album, but I know that my single is coming real soon. I’ll be dropping that sometime in the end of June or in early July. I think the world is ready for another Mims record. They probably want to see what I do; if I’m going to bring the pain or just be another one of those guys that just fade out. I think probably come the end of June or early July, I’ll be dropping my next single and I’m going to angle it from there. If I get a good response from that, I’m going to want to drop something else to show them that there’s more than what they think. I want to get three records out before I drop my record this year. It will definitely come this year.
And I might be dropping a mixtape real soon. I’m so energized in the studio and I’m doing a lot of different freestyles and songs that I never would have wanted to do before, but now that I got that kind of energy on me, it’s sparking me on that level and I might be dropping a mixtape real soon just to show people a different side of me, so look out for that real soon.