Mr Midas

You grew up in Long Beach, LA, where you got confronted with police brutality, racism and crack addictions. Looking back, how did those experiences contribute to the man that you are today?
First off, my childhood was very, very, very unstable. My Pops was a rolling stone like most of the other kids in my situation. He married my Mom and they divorced after a couple of years. My Dad was always around but mostly in and out of my life after that. I definitely seen him but it wasn’t like living with him or anything like that. Pops was as a player. My Mom was a smart lady. She was all by herself with three kids and kept it going until she got remarried to this guy from Detroit. He was a d-boy. He knew Detroit money in the dope game was way better than Long Beach/Compton money cause it was less competition. We moved to Detroit and into the Jefferies Projects. My house was the spot and the spot made money. We had oozies laying around the house and had heads walking in and out. My Mom started getting high.
The door got kicked in and my step dad went to jail for a little time. I was collecting cans, pumping gas, selling popcorn, whatever it took to get money. I started off watching out for rollers making $10 here, $10 there. When they started getting me work to pump out, Moms thought that was enough. This was the third grade and she said she thought she was losing me then. Detroit is the grimiest. Trust me. She put us on the first thing smoking back to Long Beach. Little did she know of the gang shit popping off back home. They had Longos and shit when she was growing up in the Beach, but banging and crack was at an all time high now. It was an epidemic. I never banged cause we moved around so much. I went to 17 schools in three different states. I learned to adjust to everything. The new nigga gets picked on everywhere. I was always the new nigga. I been moving ever since. I didn’t have a chance to rep one specific block cause I wasn’t there long enough. I pick up a little something from everywhere and everyone and I stay doing it moving. I lived in Long Beach, Compton, Carson (DA), Paramount, Detroit, Montbello (CO), Hawthorne, and spent a little time in South Central.

You started writing poems and lyrics at the early age of 5. How did you develop and train your skills?
Once again that goes back to my Mom who taught me how to read and write before I knew what the word teacher meant. We did writing exercises with the big lined paper and I caught on pretty easily. I used to write her love letters. The further she got into drugs, I started writing letters about how drugs were changing my Mom into somebody else. They started rhyming together the more I would listen to Run DMC and Kurtis Blow on the radio back then.

Some of your influences are 2Pac, Motown artists and Run DMC. How did you adapt any of their styles into your own?
The thing I like most about Pac is that he didn’t give a fuck what you thought about the songs he was making. He was going to make whatever songs he wanted and say whatever was on his heart. He made songs for everybody. Niggaz don’t realize that out of all the songs Pac wrote smashing cats lyrically, his biggest charting songs were “Keep Ya Head Up” and “Dear Mama”. This is why I write songs like “Pretty Black Girl” and “Inside” cause they’re issues that are on my heart and I would be doing a real injustice to those who knocked down walls for me to get here. After all the shit I’ve been through, I’m just now realizing that I may not benefit from the sacrifices made, but a young cat coming up like me just might. That’s what makes it all worth it.

In 2005 you were diagnosed with a brain tumor. How did you experience this intervention and what role did music play in the recovering process?
I started off 2005 with a seizure that came out of nowhere. The doctors ran tests that showed a tumor in my brain. They told me it was benign but I needed to have it removed or risk a possible problem later. I can’t lie, I was scared. My wife and the rest of my family held me down. By God’s grace I walked the next day after surgery. Some of the nurses were looking at me like I walked after years in a wheelchair. I had another seizure the week after my surgery. They told me not drive for a few months so I played with my son everyday and took some time to rest my body and soul. I hardly wrote anything. My nigga Cac, RIP, got killed a couple weeks after my surgery. That itself took a toll on me. I’m good now. Lets get it.

You launched your own label, Jagadan Records. Why did you decide to establish your own label and how are you able to execute all related tasks?
It’s extremely difficult to do the day to day operations and still put out quality music in a consistent way. I get a lot of help from my co ceo’s, Ali and Gwendolyn Joyce. We’ve been successful with a shoe string budget and will be putting out a variety of music once we decide on a distributor. Jagadan was established because I wasn’t going to wait around for someone to tell me if they thought I could move copies or not. I got on my Killa Cal grizzly and got to smashing out songs. People tell me almost daily that I inspire them to do what they only dreamed of trying. Its bigger than rap music.

After you released your first album Malitov Cocktails, you teamed up with Flomasters Inc. How did that come about?
D Cash is my cousin. He’s been helping me get things popping off in the Bay for a little while now. I was on The Watchoutnow Mixtape produced by Rick Rock featuring Federation, Frontline, Balance, FAB, and some of the Bays’ heavy hitters. He got me on the tape and niggaz didn’t know who the fuck I was at the time. The Bay don’t fuck with a lot of cats that aren’t from The Bay as far as music is concerned, but its been open arms ever since. When Cash started working with the Flo Masters I was doing guest work with them. We had been smoking, drinking, clubbing, and everything by then, When one of the artists dropped off, I stepped up and went to bat for my dudes. Its all love with the Masters. My niggaz grind, grind, grind.

Does Jagadan Records still exist or is Flomasters your number one priority right now?
Jagadan is me and as long as I’m rapping and putting out material then Jagadan is alive and well. I’m actually started a new company called Gang Green International and it consists of new artists I’m putting out and all my connects I’ve gained from all over the world. You don’t have to rap or produce to rep Gang Green. You just have to respect the rules of the game and make plans and actions to put our poverized people worldwide in a position to take care of their families and so on and so on. Once again its bigger than rap music. Gang Green/Jagadan is #1 and Flo Masters Inc is #1A. It’s a challenge but we get it done.

You have worked with a variety of artists and producers. Which collaboration was the most memorable and why?
Probably my nigga Cac, RIP. He picked me up after my first seizure and took me to the studio when the doctor said I couldn’t drive. He told me an album ain’t official unless Midas on it. We lost him a short while later. His drive and determination was inspiring. The good die young. I started off the rap as real I always am, “This time last week/I was barely breathing/ in the ambulance seizing/ couple different IV’s in / you can’t tell me shit/ about divine intervention/ I was brought back to life/ brought back from lights”. This was special cause after my first seizure my blood pressure was 180/120 which is almost the equivalent to a stroke. I’m supposed to be here.

Could you name some highlights in your career so far?
Everything is a highlight because I was told that I wouldn’t even make it this far. Lyrically, I’m respected by the hard heads and ladies love my songs and their honesty. My songs have been played on the radio. I’ve done shows with some of the greats I grew up listening to. I sell records all over the world. I got a couple of videos out. The thing about me is I never get satisfied. I’m so far away from where I want to be that I don’t count the highlights. I just keep at it everyday. If I sold 10 million the first album, I wouldn’t rest until I pumped out 10 million and one.

In his own words:
Flomasters Inc collective: Against the grain. Eclectic. Scraper music with the ice cream.

Midas’ signature sound: Street. Conscious. Club. Lyrical.

What separates Midas from other rappers: I make the songs mothafuckers is scared to make.

Current state of West-Coast hip hop and what should be changed in order for it to progress: The current state is uplifting. So much heat is under the radar it aint even funny. We need to find away to put more hot niggaz on once we get on to diversify the music and keep us from the drought we’ve been experiencing the last 10 years since Pac died.

Almost Famous: That’s how I feel right now. The general public might not know me by face but my name is definitely ringing bells around the world. I can’t wait to bring it back to the Beach City and throw a parade on Santa Fe. I’m getting close to the position I’ve worked so hard to put myself in for the last 10 years. Lets get it.

You will be releasing a new album, called Almost Famous. What kind of vibe are you going for with this album and who do you have on it?
My first album, Malitov Cocktails, set the bar high for me conceptually and lyrically. With Almost Famous, its almost like I want to show the world that I don’t really have a particular style. The worse thing to do is put a writer in a box and tell him to hoola hoop. I’ve recorded about 40 songs for it and I’m still in the studio cooking up the best of the best. Most likely I’ll keep the features to a minimum to highlight what I bring to the table. I like it better that way anyway. Cats will have features on their songs just to have another voice on the song. Everything I put out takes days for me to write. My whole movement is strategic, calculated and well thought out.

How did the process go in the studio?
Usually I listen to the beats first then I write songs based on the feeling. Some beats will sound cool when you first listen then next time you listen you don’t get the same feeling you got. I’m getting more and more patient with letting the song come to me. I used to get frustrated with how long it took me to write songs but the songs kept coming out fire. So now, I take my sweet ass time. (laughs)

What other projects are you currently working on?
Wow. What projects am I not working on? Flo Masters Vol 2 coming Summer 2006, Rob J Official f/ Mr Midas Grimiest Mixtape Vol 5 coming Spring 2006, Gang Green International street album coming Spring 2006…Almost Famous album and DVD…coming when I’m done wit it.

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Geplaatst door bowie op 9 mei 2006