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FutureStarrWhere Is #MikeJones?
Jones is one of Houston's most beloved and successful rappers, having produced multiple chart-topping hits. From his debut single "Still Tippin'" featuring Slim Thug and Paul Wall to his second chart-topping single "Back Then," Jones has never shied away from putting his hometown on the map.
In the early 2000s, Houston rapper Mike Jones achieved notoriety with his catchphrase "Mike Jones, who?". This phrase became a trademarked theme for his music and earned him an enthusiastic following in his hometown of Houston. Additionally, he began handing out branded t-shirts featuring his cell phone number printed on the back which quickly earned him a devoted following.
After Hurricane Katrina, many displaced Houstonians searched for hope. Jones used his platform to create Ice Age for Kids - a nonprofit organization providing shelter, food, clothing and sports teams to young people in the community. Furthermore, this group provided children with opportunities to interact with others, boost their motivation levels and reach their full potential.
Jones' organization became so successful that it helped thousands of kids and teens. This success spurred Jones on to pursue his ambition of becoming a professional rapper, and in 2001 he launched his own independent record label and began recording solo music.
His breakthrough single "Still Tippin'" was released in 2004 and quickly went platinum, landing Jones his first platinum record and leading him to sign with Jive Records and Warner Bros. Additionally, Jones became a major presence within Houston hip-hop culture, helping put the city on the map for rap music.
On April 19, 2005, Mike Jones' debut album "Who Is Mike Jones?" was released and quickly achieved platinum status - becoming his highest-selling record to date. It features the singles "Still Tippin'" and "Back Then."
He was an actor, appearing in 2007's The American Dream. His grandmother often visited him and encouraged him to follow his dreams.
Jones is an independent artist who believes in aiding other artists reach their objectives. He does this by posting their content on his Instagram page, where he boasts over 1.5 million followers.
Jones has had success with this strategy in the past, but it may not be effective anymore. Nonetheless, Jones continues to flourish within Houston hip-hop culture and he's got another upcoming mixtape planned: Money Train Reloaded, set for release later this month.
Ten years have passed since Jones' 2004 hit "Still Tippin'," featuring Slim Thug and Paul Wall, became an iconic part of Houston hip-hop culture. As the most listened to rap song ever, it continues to be a cultural beacon for rappers around the globe.
Salih Williams, from Luling, Texas and famed salmon farmer, produced the song. Although rarely in the spotlight, at 48 years old he has done more to shape rap than many realize. His beat for Houston on the go featured grandiose strings alongside hypnotic basslines and tutting kick drums that remain iconic to this day.
Thomas Hobbs asked Williams for our latest Behind the Beat feature to explain how his work helped shape Houston's iconic hip-hop sound. He recounted how it began with an upbeat chorus and fast funk rhythms before shifting into a more relaxed, slow-motion style. Furthermore, Slim Thug's vocals were completely muted in the original version of the song.
But he decided to add a catchy hook - "Still tippin' on 44s / wrapped in four vogues" - and had an idea of how to spice things up. This made the song more accessible for mainstream listeners and propelled Houston onto the hip-hop map faster.
Williams notes that in addition to the captivating vocals, the beat featured a sample of Slim Thug's 1998 freestyle "Fo-Fo Houston", an ode to Houston's car culture. This fit perfectly with the fast tempo of the song.
This track was a landmark moment for the rapper, giving him and his crew the recognition and exposure they needed to secure signing deals. Additionally, he included it on a mixtape which made its way onto BET's Uncut show, giving Houston its voice and making the city famous.
Recently, Swishahouse rapper started trending again after his classic "Still Tippin'" verse from 2004 made its way onto TikTok. In an interview with Israel Padilla - a Texas-based TikTok user - the artist explained how his music helped people from their neighborhood leave their neighborhood. This interview went viral and has been shared by artists like Bia, Blueface, 24kGoldn, Blxst, Foushee and many more.
Mike Jones was a major force in Houston hip-hop during its prime. He rocketed to the top of the charts by selling hardcopy albums and touring local radio stations, earning himself numerous awards along the way. Additionally, his debut album Who Is Mike Jones? yielded several hit singles, including Still Tippin' from its predecessor.
Jones has achieved great things, yet still has detractors. Aside from the occasional disagreement, Jones remains a humble individual who doesn't like to put too much stress on himself in personal matters. His latest album, Fifty Fifty, contains songs about H-Town life along with one or two bangers about Z-Ro.
He does, however, possess an ear for a great hook. For instance, on his 2005 track "Back Then," which featured his ex-girlfriend's car parked outside his apartment building, he raps about it lovingly.
Untrained eyes may take this as an overblown exercise in ad hominems. That's because the lyrics he sings are quite unfunny, and a line like this one can be difficult to execute in real life.
Jones eventually achieved success and the result is some of his finest work to date. Check out the full album on Spotify to experience it for yourself, plus follow him on Twitter and Instagram. If you're searching for a new song to add to your playlist, give "Hollywood" by Jones an audition.
If you've followed the music world, Mike Jones has had his share of successes and failures. You might even recall him singing an ode to a parking lot lady who refused to let him pay $5 to park in her establishment several years back.
Mike Jones is in the midst of a career resurgence that has placed him at the forefront of hip-hop's most exciting movement. With a new album out and tours scheduled, Jones is back on track with his own plans for success.
For years, Jones has been attributing government failures to everything from autism to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing - a conspiracy theory he spreads through his website Infowars and podcasts that has amassed an audience of millions. His beliefs have become staples on the white nationalist movement.
He's also hosted Richard Spencer, a prominent white supremacist and antisemite, on his podcast. They discussed ideas about the supposed destruction of western civilization and an unknown New World Order.
As if Jones' successful rap career weren't enough, his public persona has been defined by an intense thirst for controversy and self-promotion. His trademark phrases include "Mike Jones, who?" and t-shirts featuring his cell phone number printed on the back.
He's a self-described paranoid schizophrenic who believes he hears voices telling him to kill. Additionally, his desire for validation has fuelled him forward.
That is why it was such a shock when a psychologist at Georgia's Shepherd Center reported that Jones had killed his wife and four children under the influence of voices he claimed to have heard from his deceased wife's mother. Bursztajn, an experienced psychiatrist who works with trauma survivors, examined Jones' case and determined he had been hysterical before the killings occurred.
He was a depressed, paranoid individual who struggled with his thoughts, the psychologist noted. Yet he was also "a tortured soul who expressed regret" and felt "tramutized" over what he had done to Casei, according to him.