Where The Hell Have You Been?: Mic Geronimo

posted September 19, 2007 12:00:00 AM CDT | 23 comments

With hours and hours trying to figure out how to start an article about a Hip Hop icon, the creativity and wordplay froze. How do you introduce a man who has worked with more people than Lil Wayne, has been in the game for more than 75 percent of my lifes span, and is well respected on all levels? How do you introduce Mic Geronimo? After reading the interview, this quote by Lauryn Hill stuck out:

A friend of mine said that every tub has to stand on its own bottom. In that respect we all get to do what our passion is, see thats what praising God is all about- is doing your passion. Its not useless, worthless ritual; monotonous ritual where we just show up and cant wait to see the game. Its doing your passion, fulfilling your passion thats how were thankful and thats how we say we appreciate the opportunity to be alive. Im glad that I dont have to slave anymore.

This time around DX not only finds out where Mic has been, but takes him back to the days of passionate, unscripted music and reflects on his past success. With three notable albums and with a vision worthwhile, Mic opens up and discusses his sprouted perspectives on business, the game and his new projects.

There you go, an honest, yet dope introduction to Mic Geronimo.

HipHopDX: What have you been doing since the last album Long Road Back, in 2003?
Mic
: Ive been working, going in the studio and figuring out what I was going to do for the next album. I was figuring out the concept and going in (the studio) to start the work. Other than that, nothing too glamorous.

HipHopDX: Your first album was entitled, The Natural. Let me know what you remember about making that album and where did you come up with the title?
Mic: As for working on the album, I remember that there were no boundaries. At that time I didnt know the parameters of the business side of the music. I wasnt looking at it like, we gotta play this type of a song, to get plays on the radio at five oclock, or I gotta make this type of song because it has more of a mass appeal, or I gotta make this record because its a bounce track. I wasnt taking any of that into consideration, when making the album. It was more like rolling some blunts and drinking some Hennessy, bullshit with a couple of friends and make an album. Everyday, thats what we would do. The music was forming its own light.

I think one day, I was in my crib and sitting down in the process of making the album and was watching a movie with Robert Redford and it was called, The Natural. The whole movie was based on how he never played major league baseball a day of his life, but when he did he felt like he was suppose to be doing it. A light bulb went off and I thought, thats how I could describe this album- The Natural. It was from a natural experience, nobody had to tell me anything and it (the music) formed its own light.

HipHopDX: Lets take it back to the TVT days, where did you see yourself going, in the mist of being on the rise to success?
Mic
: I guess now in retrospect, now that Im older and can look back; I can remember that one of the things I did take time out for was to actually say to myself, Well, where do you see yourself going? With anything, everything happens so rapidly. I think a lot of it happened, more quickly than I was able to digest it. Like I said, its kind of different when youre the second person out of a crew to come out because everybody is getting the experience and insight form the first person who comes out. When youre the first person to come out on the team, its like youre taking all the scrapes and bruises, so it was kinda weird in that sense, you know what I mean? As I said, its real hard to talk about where I wanted to go. I can say it, but anyone can say it. You have to able to see what youre saying. I didnt see it. All I really knew was to maintain what I did with The Natural and take it to another level.

Like I said, I dont think I really had a plan. I hadnt thought about how I can intricately make that happen.

HipHopDX: Some younger Hip Hop heads, might not know you and might not know you collaborated with some of their favorite artists: Jay-Z, DMX and Ja on a track called, Time to Build. What do you think you three had in common, being from different backgrounds and having different deliveries?
Mic
: It was cool. The only thing we really had in common prior to everybody really getting together with each other was, Irv (Gotti). Gotti was dealing with Roc-A-Fella, Ruff Ryders, with me and he was dealing with Rule at the same time. Rule and I are for the most part, from the same team. As far as Jay and X, that all came through fuckin with Gotti. After that we met a couple of more times and everybody started to appreciate one another and took what they could.

HipHopDX: What do you remember the most about that experience?
Mic
: For the most part, it was a good experience. Im still happy to say that theyre all good friends of mine and we all had the experience of making that record. Also, coming up in the game at that time.

HipHopDX: Word, so youve worked with everybody from Diddy, Jay-Z to The Lox, Khadafito dudes like Cormega. What do you think it is about you that attract all these different types of people?
Mic
: I have absolutely no idea (laughs). For real, I dont. I dont know.

HipHopDX; You dont know (laughs)?
Mic
: I have no idea. I will say that most of the people I work with (not all of them,) around 90% of them are all people that outside of making music, I can easily see us just chillin out. You know what Im sayin? I can say that theyre all really good people. They all have elements that I appreciate (and thats not me being a constituent or somebody who is listening to their music as a fan). Maybe I have elements that they can appreciate, so it was nothing for them to do. Whatever it is, I hope it keeps working and Ill leave it at that.

HipHopDX: Youre from Flushing, Queens, let me know how it was growing up there and being exposed to Hip Hop culture, especially for the first time.
Mic
: I look at my case as being very fortunate. The younger cats wont know, but the first person I knew coming out of my house was the Large Professor. Large Professor produced for Nas, Akinyele, Busta Rhymes, Kool G Rap, Leaders of the New School, Pete Rock - it was so many people that I knew about (years and years prior to getting into the music) because Large was like an older brother to me and we would hang out in his crib.

I had known Gangstarr for a long time, A Tribe Called Quest for a long time. I had known Pete Rock, Akinyele and Nas for a real long time and Kool G Rap as well. All these people I had met through that experience of living in Flushing, next to somebody who really produced music.

I think another good part about it, was the area that I was from. It was a real mixture of people from different places in the city that somehow ended up on that block. People from Queensbridge, people from the south side, people from sound view, near the Bronx. It was good because my block was like a little representation of the whole city. I got to meet people from different boroughs before I even started traveling. Southside was different people from different areasIt had its ups sides and down sides, but all in all it helped me become the person I am today. Im neva going to make no bones about it.

HipHopDX: From my knowledge youve been involved in this Hip Hop shit, for about 15 years
Mic
: Hold on, Im not that old (laughs). Its going on 14-15 years.

HipHopDX: Word (laughs). Within your 14-15 year career- whats been your biggest lesson learned?
Mic
: I would say the biggest thing is never losing yourself. In the sense of, theres so many things in the industry - internally and externally, that can make you lose your focus. I think that as long as you keep everything in moderation and you keep your eyes on everything, as well as look twice as much as you speak, I think youll be good money.

Thats the biggest lesson Ive learned. Dont move whatever it was that got you where you are. Watch with your eye. Nine times out of ten, the advice youll receive while youre hot is from these people who werent around when you werent hot. As long as you keep whatever it is that got you the opportunity as to go as far as you can with it, just keep that and youll be aiight.

HipHopDX: Lets talk about, Alive, the album that was set for release on the 28th of August. Its a 14-track album with cats like Fat Joe, Camron, M.O.P. the Outsidaz, and plenty more. Youre not behind this are you?
Mic
: Well, the situation from that is (as far as I can tell you,) is that I sat down with this distributor and we were talking about a distribution deal. It came to me; the distributor had done a side deal, with a bigger distributor. Im not gonna say who because I dont think they are the parties to blame. I think theyre innocent bystanders in it all. The guys I were talking to, had went into an agreement that was basically structured. When I had first seen the paper work, it dawned on me that the majority of the people they had signed, they were pretty much given them standard contracts that were to benefit them and not the parties making music.

In those contracts, in any event I can go to a bigger distributor. If any party was to be included, I was to be informed and they would have to receive my consent. In this game you have a lot of bottom feeders and side hustlers. Theyre not the people who do the work or make the material, but theyll be more than happy to take you for all that you got.

Im not having it.

The paperwork was done and I was supposed to have been informed and I wasnt. Because of this, I opted not to do the project at all. We were proceeding forward in litigation to see what could be done and to ensure that nothing happened.

Long story short, these people that we had did the deal with, whom hadnt contacted me in (mind you) a 4-5 month span of time, decided they were going to call me the week of August 2nd and tell me they were dropping a project on August 28th. This was without informing me whatsoever; not to mention that they had in fact, closed a deal with a bigger distributor and did so without presenting it to me, without letting me know how much of a part my project was going to play, how much they were given by that distributor and nothing was mentioned in terms of set up.

Its like Im sitting there, like I know you think we all stupid, cause thats what yall use to, but youre not gonna tell me it took you five months to call me two weeks prior to you dropping an album and three months ago you closed the deal with the bigger distributor and didnt tell me a damn thing. Im already all over them. Thats on the legal side of thing.

I believed they released the project. All the songs were basically in containment, meaning that they were going to be used, but at my discretion

HipHopDX: So, what are you working on?
Mic
: Theres two projects Im currently working on. One of them is my fourth album, which is untitled and should be coming out the second quarter sometime. The second project Im working on is with Roc C. Its a collaborative effort - the whole entire project. Team GetEm is working with me on the West Coast, which is: Roc C, Madlib and OH NO. Im working on my project out here, which has its components as well (some people you know and some people who are brand new). Thats basically what Im wrapped up in doing right now.

HipHopDX: So, is there anything you want the people to know, or anything you think I left out?
Mic
: I think you did all right young gun. I think you covered most of the basics.

HipHopDX: Good. Hey now (laughs).

Mic: (laughs).

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