Author Topic: DUBCNN: Exclusive Interview With Big Mike! (Geto Boys/Dr. Dre/Death Row/Six2)  (Read 1243 times)

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Dubcnn sat down recently with southern veteran, Big Mike. Many of you got to know Big Mike from his short-lived stint along side Bushwick Bill & Scarface in the Geto Boys, appearing on the group’s gold-selling ‘Til Death Do Us Part album.

Showcased on stand-out cuts like Crooked Officer, No Guts, No Glory, Big Mike paved the way for his debut solo album Something Serious, a project that featured the singles Playa Playa, Having Things and World of Mine.

What many people don’t know is that this New Orleans native first came up on the scene with his group The Convicts, who were courted by Death Row Records in the early 90’s. Big Mike spent a considerable amount of time working with Dr. Dre on the producer’s classic solo debut The Chronic, as well as having the good doctor initially working on what was supposed to be The Convicts’ Death Row debut.

In this exclusive interview with Chad Kiser & Jonathan Hay, Big Mike talks about some of the current projects he has in store for us, fills us in on the history behind the Crooked Officer track that was initially written for Dr. Dre, and discusses his time spent on Death Row.

Big Mike Exclusive Interview

Continue to hit me up on Myspace or email me with all your ideas, tips, and thoughts and be sure to leave feedback!


« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 08:03:23 AM by Chad aka Noncentz »
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Re: DUBCNN: Exlusive With Big Mike! (Geto Boys/Dr. Dre/Death Row/Six2)
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2009, 07:31:38 AM »
dont sleep on this its a dope interview!!

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gd interview, ther is a part 2 right?
 

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gd interview, ther is a part 2 right?

no, so far this is just one parter

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nice job once again Chad & Jonathan  :cheers:

Quote
Dubcnn: Big Mike, get us up to speed with what you have going on.

This is what I’m doing. I’m working on an album with me and Six2 called Southern Hydro, right? Me, Deuce & Erotic
:o i didn't know it was just these 3  8)
by the way, for those of you that didn't know: Big Mike is also featured on one of the songs from Six 2's release, Affiliated  ;)

Quote
Dubcnn: Right, you came out with Somethin' Serious, and I thought that was an exceptional project with tracks like “Playa Playa” and “Having Things”. Tell me about the making of that album.

Well, by that time I had moved to Atlanta just to get my mind right, but I took my work out there with me. After maybe six months out there I came back to Houston; I had free access to the studio, I was working with three different producers at the same time and I just went out and used my ideas and the producers got together with me and we made it happen.
nice, that's how it should be done  ;)

Quote
Dubcnn: You talked a little bit earlier about being out in L.A. with Dr. Dre and Death Row. Were you actually signed to Death Row?

Yeah, they had got at us; they liked us. I don’t know the details they had worked out with the owner of Rap-A-Lot to make it happen, but we ended up down there actually recording the album that was going to be released on Death Row. But with things the way they were there, even before the whole falling out with Dre leaving and what not, I just didn’t see my music coming out any time soon. So, when the Geto Boys’ offer came about I thought about it for awhile and I compared it like, ‘I’m out there with Dre; I’m out in L.A. with Death Row and some sh-t’s about to be popping off, but I wasn’t getting the attention’. I’m not talking about the fans ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’, I’m talking about the business attention, getting in the studio and them letting me know when I’m coming out. That wasn’t being provided to me and at the time I was hungry; I was ready to get it! But it was all love though; even after the Geto Boys album we still f-cked with each other, but it was after the big falling out that we all lost touch with each other.
looking back, he made the right decision  :)

Quote
Dubcnn: So, did “Mr. Officer” sound the same on ‘Til Death Do Us Part as it did when you were doing it with Death Row?

Nah, man, the music was on a totally different vibe.


Dubcnn: Did Dre produce the original?

Yeah.
man i wish Big Mike had it and could share it with us  :P

Crooked Officer is a nice song though, but the hook could have been done better


anyway, i'm really looking forward to what you guys got coming next  :)
especially that Erotic D feature, i'm really anticipating that  8)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 12:42:33 PM by Dre-Day »
 

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Props for the interview.  Gonna read this right now  8)

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Some more Big Mike interviews  ;)

Big Mike: Still Serious
November 21st, 2008 | Author: Andrew Noz


Time brings change and change comes with time. Big Mike brought his New Orleans swamp swagger to the Rap-A-Lot roster in the early '90s – cutting his teeth alongside 3-2 on the outrageously ig’nant rap masterpiece The Convicts (a concept album built around, well, being convicts) and pinch hitting as a Geto Boy on the classic Till Death Do Us Part. But he may have reached his full potential as a solo artist, establishing himself as a thinking man’s hustler, before his career was abruptly cut short by contract disputes and prison time.

HipHopDX caught up with Mike to reminisce on those classic records, to discuss The Convicts’ near signing to Death Row and announce his future recording plans.

HipHopDX: How did you get your start? What made you want to peruse rapping?
Big Mike: I come from a musical background. My father and a few other members of my family were really into music. So that's where the love for the music developed, [and] I knew I wasn't gonna sing. When I first heard rap - I think the first Hip Hop record I heard was [Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force's] "Planet Rock" [click to read] - I was like, "Okay, that's how I want to express myself." It was a way to express myself musically without having to sing or sit down and play an instrument. I feel like I was born to do it, that's why I took to it so fast and so easily.

DX: What type of music does your father make?
Big Mike: He does Jazz and Blues. He played with Buddy Guy, he performed for years in the French Quarter in New Orleans. He's a local favorite. He never really did anything on a wide scale, but he's a real accomplished musician.

DX: You were probably around a lot of great music growing up in New Orleans.
Big Mike: Yeah, no doubt. New Orleans is, in my mind, the music capitol of the United States, as far as the traditions and the history in the music.

DX: Was there much of a rap scene when you were growing up?
Big Mike: No, not really. It was just about deejays coming to the different neighborhoods [and] projects, pulling out the turntables and the speakers, and just throwing little block parties. You're talking about the mid to late '70s. I didn't see the Hip Hop scene really develop in New Orleans until like the '90s. And even then it was their own form, in the form of what they call bounce music. [Before that] we had a few guys who were following in the tradition of rap, like Gregory D. Mannie Fresh was his deejay at the time.

DX: When did you move to Houston?
Big Mike: I actually moved out to Houston around the age of like 15, but I was always back and forth between the two.

DX: What inspired the move?
Big Mike: My grandparents were living out here, so my Mom wanting me to have a better shot, to be somewhere that had more to offer to me than New Orleans, because we were staying in the projects. She just wanted me to have a better opportunity.

DX: It probably worked out well as far as your career goes, with the whole Rap-A-Lot thing going on.
Big Mike: Yeah, that kinda worked out. I thought I was gonna be playing football or something. But they had the Geto Boys at the time, Rap-A-Lot was coming out and it was like an outlet - [before them] maybe the only outlet down south was Luke records and they was into the booty music. We was into the street music, so...

DX: I heard Tony Draper had tried to sign you as well.
Big Mike: Well, me and Drape, we actually used to work together when we was teenagers at this restaurant. That's how we got together. I was letting him hear a demo that I did when I was about 15, He knew a person that was producing over there at Rap-A-Lot and he wanted to take the music over to him and let him check it out. But before then, me and Tony, we was like, let's go half and half on some studio time. His whole thing was having the record company, my whole thing was being a rap star. And it kinda worked out for both of us. It didn't happen [together], but we went in separate directions. He accomplished his dream over there with Suave House.

DX: How'd you make that transition to Rap-A-Lot then?
Big Mike: They had a little thing they were putting together, a group called The Convicts. They heard the demo that Tony had brought to them and they thought it'd be a good idea for me to be in the group. I just saw it as an opportunity to get heard and open up the door as a solo artist.

DX: So they put the Convicts together themselves? You hadn't worked with 3-2 prior?
Big Mike: I hadn't worked with 3-2 prior to that. It was just a situation I had stepped into.

DX: That's surprising because you guys had some real chemistry on that record.
Big Mike: Yeah, you know in doing the album we hung out. He would come to the hood and hang out with me. We clicked real well.

DX: The Convicts is one of the more hardcore, over the top rap albums ever recorded. Was that something you guys were shooting for?

Big Mike: You know what, a lot of the stuff was meant to be taken as being over the top, it wasn't necessarily our personal views. You gotta look at it like we're 18 year old kids. We're trying to get on, and a lot of the song concepts were basically topics that the label wanted [us] to make a song about. That's why when you started hearing me perform as a member of the Geto Boys, the songs concepts and the lyrics was different from what I had did on The Convicts. And you could tell throughout the years, when I started doing my solos, it was Mike, but it wasn't the same ideas as what you heard on The Convicts. So it was really just a project that they had in motion. I just came in and did what I did without straying too far from what they was doing.

DX: Did you ever piss anybody off with that record? I imagine a song like "Illegal Aliens" might not have gone over real well in certain parts of Houston.
Big Mike: You know what? You'd be surprised. I don't think too many people would've bought that record to be offended. It may have happened, but I didn't ever have anybody approach me personally and say that I had offended them.

DX: Well I think part of it too, is that it's so over the top, it'd be hard to hear that and take it to heart.
Big Mike: Yeah to take it seriously, to take it literally.

DX: What did you think when Jay-Z sort of remade "1-900-Dial-A-Crook" on "1-900-Hustler"?
Big Mike: You know what, when I heard it I was like, "Damn... this sounds mad familiar." But I took it as a compliment, myself. That just was proof that there were folks out there on the east coast that was up on what we was doing.

DX: What was the atmosphere at Rap-A-Lot back then? Were you around in the days of J. Prince's car shop?
Big Mike: That was a little before I came into the picture. When I came, it was straight up. They had offices for the label at that time. I didn't really hang out a lot with the cats around there besides when we had to be somewhere, go to a video shoot. I'd go to the office or the studio, something like that. But, back that then it was pretty cool, it wasn't no hostile atmosphere or nothing like that.

DX: I know you guys were either going to sign with Death Row or you did. Can you talk a little about that?
Big Mike: At the time they was putting Death Row together and they was choosing artists to bring up. I guess they liked the whole idea of The Convicts, Convicts being on Death Row, you know what I mean? So that's how that happened. We get a call and they tell us we going to Los Angeles. It just happened like that. That situation came about pretty quick. It was unexpected. We were down there working on a project being produced by Dr. Dre and the production team that was producing at the time for Compton's Most Wanted - DJ Slip and DJ Unknown. We was probably halfway into it and things kinda slowed down at Death Row. They started getting real heavy into The Chronic project, so everything [else] got pushed back to get The Chronic out - which is understandable. I had got the call around that time that Willie D had made an exit from [The Geto Boys] and they wanted to have somebody come in and fill that void. I thought about it, things wasn't really moving at [Death Row] and I thought it'd be a good idea for me to go and do the Geto Boys album and get my name out there further, to be all good for when I dropped my solo project.

DX: I heard that "Crooked Officer" was supposed to be a Dre record originally.
Big Mike: Well what happened was, when we was down there recording, I had some songs that I was working on. I was writing for my solo project and I let Dre hear the song. This was the time they was putting together tracks for The Chronic album. He heard it, he liked the song, he wanted to use the song. But I didn't know that he wanted to use the song on The Chronic, because after that I had headed back to Houston and I used the idea on the Geto Boys album.

DX: Was it at all intimidating having to fill Willie D's shoes?
Big Mike: Naw, it wasn't really to fill Willie D's shoes. I'm Mike; he's Will. I don't do what he do, he don't do what I do. It was just mainly coming in there and just assisting the team.

DX: It worked out well. I think that's one of the stronger Geto Boys records to this day.
Big Mike: Yeah, if you take a survey, nine times out of 10, that album right there is the album. When it comes to singles, the most identifiable single would be "Mind Playing Tricks On Me" [click to read], okay, that was a hit before I came. But when they speak of the albums, it's always Till Death Do Us Part.

DX: I feel like that's also one of the first Rap-A-Lot joints that really has a distinctly southern sound to it. You guys were going for more of a Meters type of funk than James Brown or whatever was big in New York and on the previous Geto Boys records.
Big Mike: Oh yeah, that's because one of the producers that was responsible for most of those tracks on that album was from New Orleans, a guy named N.O. Joe. The Meters are out of New Orleans, so he used a lot of their percussion on that project.

DX: So between the two of you, there's a huge New Orleans influence on that record.

Big Mike: Yeah we really added that flavor, that seasoning to the entree.

DX: Did Bushwick and Scarface embrace you when you joined the group?

Big Mike: You know what, man, it was mostly business. I didn't take offense to that because I didn't come up with them. It was respect there, but it was mainly about business.

DX: Was it always the plan to just do that one record with the group and then move onto your solo career?
Big Mike: Yeah, my thing was basically that I didn't feel like I was a part of that. I didn't come up with them. Of course, you know the Geto Boys faces have changed. You had Sir Rap-A-Lot and Jukebox and Prince Johnny C and DJ Ready Red and then came 'Face [click to read] and Bill and Will. But I didn't actually feel like a part of that. I didn't have that same passion as if it was something that I had my hands on from the beginning. My whole thought frame was [to] go out and get some shine on the Geto Boys record, get that fanfare, get that acknowledgment and let it carry on and transfer into my solo career. If I had opened up my mouth, I probably could've been able to be on the next Geto Boys album after that, but hey my solo career was doing so well, so I was good where I was at.

DX: I see Something Serious as being your definitive record. What was the thought process going into that album?
Big Mike: Well with that record, that was a collection of songs that I had written over a time span from maybe like '91, '92, '93. I wrote most of the songs when I was in Los Angeles, fucking around with Death Row and a lot of the ideas were conceived way before then. I had wrote about a lot of stuff I was going through on a personal level, how it was for me out there in the streets. And it was so different from what Rap-A-Lot was used to doing. They was doing hardcore rap. If you listen to Grip It! On Another Level and things like that a lot of the lyrics was beyond gangsta, it was on some hardcore shit. So I'm coming from the standpoint of a young dude, out there on these streets, doing his little hustle, getting his little bread, his experience with the women, his thoughts about social issues and things like that. A lot of the young money hustlers in the streets was able to identify with me. I was able to speak about the same things that they was going through. And it was a lot of hunger, I was really really hungry when I was conceiving and writing those songs. You definitely hear that. It was definitely a good look for me, I was very satisfied with the project at the time.

DX: One of the songs from there that always stood was "Havin Thangs" [click to read]...
Big Mike: Pimp C actually submitted me that track when [UGK] had first come out. I think they had [just released] "Pocket Full of Stones" [click to read]. He slipped me that track, and I actually went out to Port Arthur and stayed there for two weeks with him at his home, just vibing and going through tracks, laying down ideas. I had actually sung the chorus myself [originally], but I liked Pimp C's voice, it had that crunchy sound. I thought it'd be a good idea, so I told him to go off and sing it. So he went and sung it and the song came out perfect. It was definitely a classic. And that's another song that touched on the social issues. It had a social undertone to it. But the track was so dangerous that it slid by people.

DX: That was probably one of the first times Pimp was signing on a hook.
Big Mike: Yeah. Matter of fact my album was the first album that they ever featured on. I had Bun [click to read] on the album too, he performed on a song called "On Da 1" that I had produced. I was just showing love to the cats. That's when they was really underground. I liked their style so I thought they deserved more opportunities to be heard.

DX: Now what changed between that album and Still Serious?
Big Mike: At the time Still Serious was coming out, Rap-A-Lot had merged with Virgin Records, Virgin/Noo Trybe. So I went from being hungry, just trying to get on, to being a commodity. For Still Serious, I didn't have much time to come up with song concepts as on Somethin' Serious. I was touring a lot, making appearances and different things like that. It took away from the time I would utilize for being creative. So I had like a patchwork of songs that I had recorded, maybe like 40 songs. I took them up to Noo Trybe and they heard certain songs that they liked that they wanted to be on the album. So now it wasn't an album that I had put together personally, just took my time choosing all the songs. It was more like a business and everybody involved had a say in it as far as picking the songs. I wasn't really too satisfied with the way that the record came out, but it did have some jewelry on it like "Burban & Impalas" and "All A Dream." And it did well, but I wish I would've had as much time as I had with Somethin' Serious for that album.

DX: What went down after that, you had a falling out with Rap-A-Lot?
Big Mike: Yeah, after that we had some contractual disagreements. That led into some other shit…

DX: Can you go into any details as far as the other shit?
Big Mike: Let's just say it got kinda ugly. It got ugly to the point where some things went down and I had to do some time. But things happen. I don't regret certain things, I do regret certain things. But the situation deteriorated between me and Rap-A-Lot after the Still Serious album. Even though we had another album that they released on me that was in production at the time, we was going through our problems. I was still under contract and they released that album, entitled Hard To Hit. That album really didn't get the proper attention that it deserved because me and the label was having problems at the time. So, of course, they wasn't putting no money into the project… So, I went and did my time and now I'm back out with a brand new focus, a refined sound. Matter of fact, I think I'm writing the best music of my life right now at this point. I'm just looking forward to making some new music and getting it out there to the public.

DX: Are you still putting out the album with 6 Two?
Big Mike: You know what, me and 6 Two, the company that we was working with on that project, we had decided not to jump all the way into bed with them. But we did manage to get a pretty good chunk of the album recorded. He has some things he has to attend to, I have some things I have to attend to, but we speak on the phone regularly. And someday soon we gonna get back into the studio and finish that project.

DX: What do you have coming up until then?
Big Mike: I'm working on a new album right now. I'm maybe like 16 songs deep into it, I'll probably record 30 or 35 songs and go through and choose the tightest out of those. We're looking to release it sometime in the Spring, or maybe late February or early March. I got a title, but I don't want to put it out there right now, because it's so tight I don't want anybody else to get up on it. I want to keep it under wraps until it's released.


Big Mike; interview May 99 #116

^^^^he used to break and pop ^^^



^^^^ he brings up Geto Boys and Scarface on the two last pages ^^^



Big Mike interview in Rap Pages August 1997









Scarface speaks on Big Mike and Geto Boys;
Scarface interview in Rap Pages November 1993


read rest of the interview here;
http://www.dubcnn.com/connect/index.php?topic=202202.100


Some reviews;


Big Mike; Still Serious review in Rap Pages June 1997




Big Mike; Hard To Hit review in The Source May 99 #116





Big mike; Something Serious review in The Source August 1994 NO.59




Related threads;
THE DEFINITIVE Death Row Records/Tha Row Thread (Big Mike)
+
Best rappers out of Louisiana (Big Mike)
+
Audio from the project with 6-2
 

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Great interview. One of my all time favorites from Rap-A-Lot. Good to hear Southern Hydro is still all systems go, that is going to be one hell of a album.
 

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"Still Serious" Was A BOMB Album, I Hope He Has Mike Dean On Productions For His New Material !!!!!!!


WEST !!
 

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Props to all those that have dropped their comments so far!

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edit: thanks ;)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 03:45:33 PM by Dre-Day »
 

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lol @FACE  hatin kuz michael came n stole the show ..

man i remember i've lost friends behind the big mike vs scarface debate...niggas argue me down til this day that face was seein mike on the mic..

big mike ate face on every fuckin song on it
 

Chad Vader

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lol @FACE  hatin kuz michael came n stole the show ..

man i remember i've lost friends behind the big mike vs scarface debate...
niggas argue me down til this day that face was seeing mike on the mic..

big mike ate face on every fucking song on it



Although I sort of agree that Mike was up there with Face.... (at the time)
Scarface had something to say about the GB situation as well;  ;)



Scarface speaks on Big Mike and Geto Boys;
Scarface interview in Rap Pages November 1993


read rest of the interview here;
http://www.dubcnn.com/connect/index.php?topic=202202.100

 

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lol @FACE  hatin kuz michael came n stole the show ..

man i remember i've lost friends behind the big mike vs scarface debate...
niggas argue me down til this day that face was seeing mike on the mic..

big mike ate face on every fucking song on it



Although I sort of agree that Mike was up there with Face.... (at the time)
Scarface had something to say about the GB situation as well;  ;)



Scarface speaks on Big Mike and Geto Boys;
Scarface interview in Rap Pages November 1993


read rest of the interview here;
http://www.dubcnn.com/connect/index.php?topic=202202.100


i bet bushwick will say the samething mike was sayin...face always been the diva of the group
 

Chad Vader

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lol @FACE  hating kuz Michael came n stole the show ..

man i remember I've lost friends behind the big mike vs scarface debate...
niggas argue me down till this day that face was seeing mike on the Mic..

big mike ate face on every fucking song on it



Although I sort of agree that Mike was up there with Face.... (at the time)
Scarface had something to say about the GB situation as well;  ;)



Scarface speaks on Big Mike and Geto Boys;
Scarface interview in Rap Pages November 1993


read rest of the interview here;
http://www.dubcnn.com/connect/index.php?topic=202202.100


i bet bushwick will say the samething mike was saying...face always been the diva of the group


Could be,could be.... but as far as I remember Bushwick as not spoken about this in any interviews.

But like I always says;
The truth is probably somewhere in the middle  ;)


new Big Mike and Rick Ross; Animals produced by Chops


+1  ;)
« Last Edit: March 23, 2009, 12:24:48 PM by Chad Vader »
 

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great interview, props

and I have to say it too, as much as I dig Scarface, especially on his older records, as an MC, Mike really ripped every song he was on on Till Death Do Us Part.And on a side note, that's one of my most favourite albums of all time
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/iQYKq2uupz8" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/iQYKq2uupz8</a>
 

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lol @FACE  hating kuz Michael came n stole the show ..

man i remember I've lost friends behind the big mike vs scarface debate...
niggas argue me down till this day that face was seeing mike on the Mic..

big mike ate face on every fucking song on it



Although I sort of agree that Mike was up there with Face.... (at the time)
Scarface had something to say about the GB situation as well;  ;)



Scarface speaks on Big Mike and Geto Boys;
Scarface interview in Rap Pages November 1993


read rest of the interview here;
http://www.dubcnn.com/connect/index.php?topic=202202.100


i bet bushwick will say the samething mike was saying...face always been the diva of the group


Could be,could be.... but as far as I remember Bushwick as not spoken about this in any interviews.

But like I always says;
The truth is probably somewhere in the middle  ;)


yeah i see bushwick all the time n never thopught to ask em...
 

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Thanks to XXXX,Big Mike's new album just hit my in box  ;)
It's too early to rate it,but it sounds pretty solid so far.

Big Mike; Serious As Can Be amazon link



Related thread;
List of 2009 albums and links to their respective threads (add on)


 8)
 

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props on the interview. ive always thought big mike was a dope rapper. hmm i need to go back and listen to them old geto boys shit cause its been a while
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/DjGVAwyb454" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/DjGVAwyb454</a>
 

Chad Vader

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Thanks to XXXX,Big Mike's new album just hit my in box  ;)
It's too early to rate it,but it sounds pretty solid so far.

Big Mike; Serious As Can Be amazon link



Related threads;
Big Mike; Serious As Can Be Discussion Thread
+
List of 2009 albums and links to their respective threads (add on)






Big Mike is back.... with his 2nd album this year. (+ a mixtape)

Big Mike; The invitation album (& The Reintroduction mixtape)


Features;
6-2 is on 4 tracks,Young Bleed,B.G,Chamillionaire and Devin The Dude.

Warren G produced at least one of the cuts.

 

Chad Vader

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What did you think of Mike's Hard To Hit album Vader?
 

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What did you think of Mike's Hard To Hit album Vader?


Well,it sounds like it was more of a J.Prince album than a Big Mike album,if you know what I'm saying?
Still serious was well a little too serious,and didn't do well at the charts.
So I figure J.Prince wanted Big Mike to do gangster rap again... but that's what Rap-A-Lot does best so....  ;D


Yeah it was alot like Geto Boys' Da Good Da Bad & Da Ugly album. Too many guest appearances. Sounded more like a compilation. His 1st album is a classic and 2nd is a near classic IMO.
 

Chad Vader

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What did you think of Mike's Hard To Hit album Vader?


Well,it sounds like it was more of a J.Prince album than a Big Mike album,if you know what I'm saying?
Still serious was well a little too serious,and didn't do well at the charts.
So I figure J.Prince wanted Big Mike to do gangster rap again... but that's what Rap-A-Lot does best so....  ;D


Yeah it was alot like Geto Boys' Da Good Da Bad & Da Ugly album. Too many guest appearances. Sounded more like a compilation.


exactly


His 1st album is a classic and 2nd is a near classic IMO.


His 2nd is one of those albums,I try and try to get into... still try,but something is lacking..... the track with Mystikal is off the hook though.