June 24, 2010
Mike Petrone Interview
A lot of hip hop artists these days claim to have been through some rough stuff, but Mike Petrone really has. Having served two tours in Iraq and earning a Purple Heart, he’s now heating up the venues around Atlanta with his catchy hooks and verses.
Check him out below.
1. You collaborated with Iam Beck of Soul Mafia and Lil Scrappy on your first single. How did that come about?
Iam is part of a group out of Brooklyn, NY called Soul Mafia. I’m real close with everyone in the group; they’re all like brothers to me, especially Iam. Me and Iam did “Crank It” together back in 2007.
The song originally didn’t have Scrappy on it, but I felt like the song was such a solid hit and would fit someone like Lil Scrappy so perfectly. I reached out to his management and asked if we could make it happen. The problem was while we were in talks of putting Scrappy on the track, I ended up getting deployed to Iraq again. I put the song on the shelf, did my deployment and when I got back home reached back out to Scrappy and his management. Before you know it Lil Scrappy was officially apart of “Crank It”. It was definitely a great experience working with both artists!
2. You released “The Last Hundred Yards” independently. Is that a route you would recommend other artists try?
Yeah, most definitely. “The Last Hundred Yards” came about sort of for that reason. I had a smash single with Lil Scrappy, I had a great live set, I was promoting and pushing hard and I still wasn’t getting any love from anyone on a corporate or major level. I’m a go getter. I finally reached a point in my career and was like “Hell with it, Imma do this my damn self.” I don’t need to wait on anyone.
The best thing about doing a project independently is, aside from all the money going into your own pocket, is you don’t have someone telling you how you need to sound, or what kind of music you need to do. You’re free to be yourself and put out the music YOU want! Its a hard road to take and its a lot of work but its definitely a great way to go! I wouldn’t oppose to being on a major level cause they definitely have a push that any artist could use but, don’t wait. Get out there and show the world what you got!
3. We’ve had a few hip hop artists out of Atlanta on the blog. What is it about the Atlanta scene that produces such great rap artists?
I think its the mind set of “we’re going to make it happen and get ours regardless”. Southern artists like Outkast and Goodie Mob came into the game when it wasn’t the “in” thing to be from the south. They paved the way and said were going to do it no matter what. Accepted our not, we’re going to show our southern roots and be proud of where we came from. Southern people love to break bread and show love to other southern artists. Its a big family down south and we tend to look out for one another. That kind of support and that “Imma do what it takes” attitude is what breeds great artists!
4. Do you have a favorite place to perform in Atlanta?
I performed at The Centerstage Loft on Peachtree in 2008. That was definitely my favorite venue to have performed at thus far.
5. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Growing up I dipped into so many different genres of music before finding my place in hip hop. I was influenced by so many different artists and bands. Everything from Outkast, Eminem, to Korn, Reel Big Fish, Bob Marley, jazz and tons of hits from the 80’s! Every genre has played a part in my musical influence.
6. The video for “Bagdad” was actually shot in Iraq. Are you hoping that other veterans will be relate to your lyrics?
Yeah, definitely. I know for a fact that most already do. I get such a positive support flow from people in the Armed Services. I love my troops, service members and Infantry comrades! We always look out for one another from the battlefield to the civilian world! Its amazing having that bond and support!
7. Authenticity is important to you. Where does that come from for you?
I think it stems from my personality. I’m a very down to earth person. I’m all about being authentic and just being yourself. I love who I am, I like the things I like and enjoy the things I enjoy and I wish most people had that kind of peace. People get so wrapped up in what society tells them they should like or not like. Its to the point where they force it on you. (i.e. you hear the same music on the radio over and over again, see the same commercials over and over again). I just like being 100% with people and most importantly myself.
8. What types of things inspire you to write?
Life experiences. The world around me. I like to be cultured and well-traveled. I like making life an adventure and being able to relate to people all over the world. The world around me inspires me to write whether its having fun blaring your music in the car — like “Crank It” — or being a little more serious and talking about the system and our government — as in “American Politricks”. Life!
9. What can we expect from you in the future?
Without a doubt, more music, more live performances, more interviews, more authenticity. Whether I’m taking time off and traveling, or in the studio recording verses I’m always working on my next move. I’ll start officially working on the next album sometime next year. and keep putting out videos and hits in the meantime. If you’re not moving forwards, you’re moving backwards! I like to keep it moving!
10. Where can people go to find out what you’re up to?
On Facebook, Twitter (@mikepetrone), MySpace and my official website at www.MikePetroneMusic.com. I’m always up to something! Thanks for the love!
And thank you, Mike, for your service to our country and joining us on the Stage today! Mike’s got a truly amazing story, and might just be one of the next hip hop superstars.
Posted by Lisa at 6:30 am