We caught up with Black Mike – an upcoming rapper from Brooklyn, New York. In just over a week, his new EP titled Take One garnered over 20,000 streams on the Spinrilla platform, and we spoke to him about his influences, the creation of the EP, his personal style, and more.
NATIVE: How did you start making music?
Black Mike: It all started when people around me kept pushing and telling me “Yo Mike, do music” or “You good at it, go to the studio!” And then one day I was like you know what, let me actually go to the studio and try. Ever since that day I haven’t stopped making music.
Which artist has influenced your sound?
I would definitely say Future, YFN Lucci… I would say Drake in terms of when I’m making like a love song or something similar to that. Drake has influences on those, that’s about the influencers.
Top 5 favourite musicians – Dead or Alive.
Future, Young Thug, Quavo – matter fact, whole Migos as a group –
*I repeated the question because I didn’t hear Tupac but I was definitely being biased as he’s one of my favourite rappers*
You want me to be honest? I don’t really have any dead favourite rappers, like I like Tupac don’t get me wrong but I wasn’t really a fan of Biggie so I wouldn’t consider them my favourite rappers. It’s crazy, my favourites are the rappers that are current, and making the best tracks right now. I will include Jay Z in that list, and I’ll put Drake, I like his style.
64 Bars (Lifestyle) video, how did that come along and is there a reason why it was chosen as the first visual off the EP?
I mean, what it really was is, when I’m bored that’s when I tend to write music – so I was just very bored that day thinking like “damn, what can I write today” So I heard the beat and I just started freestyling in my head like, “This sounds good”. So I hit up my engineer Jay Mo and said “Ya’ll want to come in and record something real quick like now so I don’t forget it later” Because I didn’t really think it was going to sound as good as I thought it was, but everyone started feeling it. I initially had plans to shoot a video for “Know No Better” but I knew that the hype would build around 64 Bars better because from the previews alone on my InstaStory etc, everyone kept asking “When’s it coming out” so I just decided to drop a video first, give them more than they expected and it turned out really well.
Talk to us about the new EP Take One, what were some of your emotions writing for the EP and how’s the entire process been for you?
To get that EP it took me a long time, only for the simple fact that I didn’t just say I want 8 songs and I’ll put it on the EP. I actually recorded about 40-50 songs and out of all those songs, I picked the ones I liked the most and then placed 8 on the EP. I wanted it to have a little bit of everything that everyone can relate to. If you feel like you’re a loving type of person it’s there for you, you just want to flex, its there for you. I made sure everyone has a song that they can jam to and be like “This is my song”
What’s your favourite song on Take One
Damn, that’s a hard one….“Know Better”
Do you have a favourite quote that you live by?
“Believe in yourself”. Even when everyone is giving you their input on how things is, go with what you think is best for yourself. That’s how I was able to finish this tape.
How would you describe your style? I see the JustUs tracksuits…
The JustUs sweatsuits is something we got going on, making it into an official brand soon but I’m more of a comfortable guy. I’ll rather sweats than jeans and expensive shoes, don’t get me wrong I have plenty of it but I like to be comfortable. Sometimes the expensive clothes just get too tight for my own good. I like sticking to the sweatsuits.
What’s in store for the rest of the year >
Right now, trying to bring out more artists from JustUs, I got my boy Swurv and my boy Harry Love, they on the come up. Soon drop something, let ya’ll know it’s more of us. Let everything take its place so hopefully youll be seeing us on tour by next year.
Check out Mike’s Take One EP below via Spinrilla.