Exclusive JimmyJazz.com Interview with Mike Jones
Mike Jones (Ice Age Entertainment/ Asylum) recently granted Jimmy Jazz time to discuss his long overdue sophomore release, The Voice. Although Jones has been on a 4-year hiatus and the music business is currently on a down spiral since he last hit the scene in 2005 with hits “Still Tippin” and “Back Then”, the platinum selling Houston Rapper promises to win the ears of his fans with The Voice. Most importantly, the determined 28-year old is dedicated to proving his doubters wrong, specifically his record label, who 'Back Then’ didn’t believe in his radio hits.
JimmyJazz.com: It’s good to see you in the limelight again.
Mike Jones: Appreciate, man… long overdue.
JimmyJazz.com: It’s been 4 years since your debut release, Who is Mike Jones, why the long hiatus? Did you have issues with your label?
Mike Jones: I mean they weren’t believing in “Cuddy Buddy” when I gave it to them in 2006, but they feeling it now. I ain’t do nothing different to the record.
JimmyJazz.com: So was T-Pain on the original version of “Cuddy Buddy”
Mike Jones: In 2006, I had T-pain, Twista & Lil’ Wayne on that record [“Cuddy Buddy”]. Ain’t nothing different on that record now than 2006.
JimmyJazz.com: So what were the politics like? Obviously, Trey Songz is on the new version. Was there a issue getting the label to clear the record?
Mike Jones: Honestly man, It was 2 things; 1. The label didn’t believe in “Cuddy Buddy” in 06’ and now they are forced to see what they messed up on right now and 2. I did a record with T-Pain in 06’ with T-Pain called “I’m In Love With A Stripper” and I was the big dog at the time and I was showing him love and he did the record for me in06’ at the same time, but when I went through a political war with my label and I had “Cuddy Buddy” and I was going to use that to come on back in… his label wasn’t clearing it. Even though, we showed them the same love before.
MIKE JONES - "CUDDY BUDDY" (FEAT. TREY SONGZ & TWISTA)
JimmyJazz.com: In a separate interview, you mentioned that they doubted [record label] doubted “Still Tippin”, which is one of your biggest records to date…
Mike Jones: They doubted “Back Then”, too. Every record that I blew up in they doubted, so I’m use to doubters doubting me.
JimmyJazz.com: What’s going to separate Who Is Mike Jones from your sophomore release, The Voice?
Mike Jones: Top 10 records. “Cuddy Buddy” was my first Top 10 record, “Nest To You” is going to be my second Top 10 record and then I got a new one called “Swagg Thru The Roof” which is going to be my next Top 10 record. I got my own lane, man… and I’m going 100 miles and running at it.
JimmyJazz.com: Who produced “Swagg Thru The Roof”
Mike Jones: My homie Swole did that one, so shout out to Swole. Man, that record is so crazy. When you hear it… it’s crazy… your gonna like it. It’s a Top 10 record for sure.
JimmyJazz.com: We talked about some of your classic street records (“Back Then” and “Still Tippin”), on your new album, “Cuddy Buddy” and “Next To You” are radio singles, but what can your street fans expect from The Voice?
Mike Jones: Oh that’s on the album when it comes out. I got the street records on that album. The difference between now and then, when I came out with the first album [Who Is Mike Jones?] I was using my street records as my singles. Now, I still got the street records on the album… I just use my rhythmic records as my singles.
JimmyJazz.com: What other producers are featured on The Voice?
Mike Jones: I got Jim Jonsin on “Cuddy Buddy”, JR Rodem on “Next To You”… I got Mannie Fresh on the album. I got Mike Dean, he made like 5, 6 tracks for me. This album [The Voice], when you hear it you going to be excited. I got a track called “Tendoroni” with me T.I. and Bobby Brown.
JimmyJazz.com: Fast-forwarding to 2009, several people are losing their jobs and homes during a deep recession, how will The Voice by Mike Jones going to relate to the average consumer?
Mike Jones: I’m relating to them right now. I mean, “Cuddy Buddy” was a Top 10 record; everybody had to relate to that record to get there. That was just a record saying if you ain’t treating your woman right, she’s going to call on her cuddy buddy and everybody who I ran into across city to city, state to state love Cuddy [“Cuddy Buddy”]. And now “Next To You” is out and everybody and everybody who’s a couple wanna be next their special somebody. It came from Mike Jones, but that record is about them.
MIKE JONES - "NEXT TO YOU"
JimmyJazz.com: By the way, who’s the young lady singing on the “Next To You” hook?
Mike Jones: Her name Nenae. She’s actually the person that I got it fill in the hook before I sent it to Ashanti and Mya, but they turned the record down. Why they did, we just kept her on the record [“Next To You’].
JimmyJazz.com: So people still doubt you, when obviously you have the Midas touch with rfadio hits.
Mike Jones: I don’t know why, but I guess that’s how it is. I ain’t trippn’ though.
JimmyJazz.com: In 2008, a bunch of photos of a slimmer Mike Jones leaked on numerous urban blogs and websites. What motivated you to shed the pounds? Was it a personal thing and/or a marketing thing?
Mike Jones: It was both. Personal, marketing… health issues. There are a lot of reasons why I wanted to do the right thing.
JimmyJazz.com: What kind of impact has losing weight had on your music and personal life?
Mike Jones: Women see me and they fall in love (Laughs). It makes them more interested in the kid.
JimmyJazz.com: How did you managed to lose the weight?
Mike Jones: Treadmill and eating subway (Laughs).
JimmyJazz.com: The Jared Plan? (Laughs).
Mike Jones: I’m the urban Jared; I got my own plan (Laughs).
JimmyJazz.com: I noticed in the “Next To You” video, your love interest and you are rockin’ Yums t-shirts and sneakers. I wanted to ask you directly what brands are you checking for right now?
Mike Jones: I just support who ever support me, man. That’s basically the bottom line. I’m down with everybody, who ever supports Mike Jones I support them.