MIC HANDZ

 BROOKLYN, NEW YORK      MIC HANDZ

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK      MIC HANDZ

CO-SIGNED BY MANY IN THE HIP-HOP COMMUNITY, INCLUDING LEDGENDARY CREWS, BOOT CAMP CLIK AND DEF SQUAD, MIC HANDZ HAS THE BLUEPRINT TO INDEPENDENT ARTISTRY. HANDZ HAS SEEN THE WORLD THANKS TO HIS MUSIC, WORK ETHIC AND KNOW HOW. VALIDATED RECENTLY SAT DOWN WITH MIC HANDZ TO DISCUSS HIS RECENT TRANSITION TO DEF SQUAD RECORDS, LATEST PROJECT, HEALTH, EARLIEST MEMORIES OF HIP-HOP CULTURE AND MORE. 

 

VALIDATED: WHAT'S YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF HIP-HOP, THE CULTURE?

 

MIC HANDZ: I HAVE A COUPLE EARLY MEMORIES AND I HONESTLY CANNOT RECALL WHICH ARE THE EARLIEST, BUT I HAVE A FEW FOND ONES. LOCKING MYSELF IN THE BACKROOM WITH MY COUSIN ROGER AND LEARNING THE WORDS TO JAZZY JEFF AND THE FRESH PRINCE’S, “PARENTS JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND” SO THAT WE COULD PERFORM IT FOR OUR PARENTS. THEN CREATING DANCES WITH MY GOD SISTER SHANI AND MY COUSINS WHENEVER THEY CAME OVER TO PERFORM IT FOR THE ELDERS, OR MY UNCLE PLAYING, “GO SEE THE DOCTOR” OR “THE WILD WILD WEST” OR "THE GREAT ADVENTURES OF SLICK RICK", OR MY COUSIN KIMONI PUTTING ME ON TO NWA, ICE CUBE AND DIGITAL UNDERGROUND OUT OF A SHOE BOX FROM UNDER HIS BED, AND OF COURSE AFTERNOONS WITH UNCLE RALPH MCDANIEL’S VIDEO MUSIC BOX. THOSE WERE SOME OF THE FONDEST.

 

 

VALIDATED: HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START AS AN ARTIST AND AT WHAT POINT DID YOU DECIDE TO MAKE IT A CAREER?


MIC HANDZ: I WAS IN MY FIRST FORMAL GROUP IN THE 6TH GRADE AS A VOCALIST IN A BOY GROUP CALLED “VISIONS” WITH MY GOD BROTHER ANTHONY SWEETING AND A FEW FRIENDS. ONCE WE DISBANDED I CONTINUED IN MY INTERESTS. FOR RAP, IN THE 8TH GRADE ON THE BACK OF THE B16 BUS IN BROOKLYN MY FRIENDS AARON VEIRA AND CHRIS MARSHALL CONVINCED ME TO JOIN THEIR GROUP 3RD DIMENSION AND THEY TAUGHT ME TO RAP. CHRIS MARSHALL’S ELDER BROTHER DRE WAS PARTNERS WITH ANOTHER EMCEE THAT WENT ON TO BE KAOS OF DA BUSH BABEES. THEY’D BE UPSTAIRS WRITING RAPS AND WE’D BE DOWN STAIRS ATTEMPTING TO DO THE SAME. BY THE END OF HIGH SCHOOL, I KNEW THAT I’D BE CONTINUING MY JOURNEY. BY 19 I WAS SIGNED TO CHUBB ROCKS SOUNDSCOPE MUSIC AND THE REST WAS THE JOURNEY.

 


VALIDATED: HOW DID THE AFFILIATION WITH BOOT CAMP CLIK COME ABOUT?

MIC HANDZ: THIS CONNECTION WAS INEVITABLE BEING I'M OF A DECEPTICON LINEAGE. I WAS BROUGHT TO GENERAL STEELES BY ONE OF HIS ARTIST AT THE TIME, GUAPPY RUFFIN OF THE GROUP THE BACKBLOCKS AND THEY ACTUALLY NEEDED GRAPHIC WORK DONE. CONVERSATION AND BUILDING SESSIONS BROUGHT THE MUSIC TO THE TABLE. FROM THERE MY INDIVIDUAL ENGAGEMENT AND MUSICAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE CLIK HAPPENED INDIVIDUALLY. ME AND ROCKNESS HAD A STANDING RELATIONSHIP THAT EVOLVED, AND HE BECAME MY SECOND ADVOCATE. THEN A SONG I DID CALLED, “RIGHT WHERE YOU STAND” (REMIX) OVER THE GURU AND JADA SONG HIT TWITTER AND CAUGHT SEAN PRICES ATTENTION AND HE REACHED OUT TO ME BEHIND THAT. ME AND BUCKS (BUCKSHOT) RELATIONSHIP WAS BY WAY OF BUSINESS MORE SO THAN MUSIC BUT HE KNEW MY AMBITIONS AND TOLD ME, "FROM NOW ON, IF ANYONE ASKS YOU'RE WITH US, BOOT CAMP...” AND THE REST IS HISTORY.

 


VALIDATED: HOW DID YOU MAKE THE TRANSITION FROM BOOT CAMP CLIK TO DEF SQUAD?

MIC HANDZ: THE TRANSITION WAS ACTUALLY VERY EASY, THOUGH I HAVE ALWAYS HAD THE BOOT CAMP AFFILIATION. BY THIS TIME IT WAS OUT OF MY HANDS BY WAY OF THE FANS. MUSICALLY I WAS STILL RELEASING THINGS VERY MUCH INDEPENDENTLY BY WAY OF MY THEM RECORDINGS IMPRINT AS I WAS CONTINUALLY PUSHING MY PARTNER AND ARTISTS INNOCENT?, JUXX DIAMONDZ, DECAF BLACK, ELIJAH MIGUEL, JON DOG DREADY KRUGER, HAZERNOMICAL AND ANIMAL GANG. SO WHEN I GOT THE CALL FROM ERICK SERMON TO COME IN AND TAKE A MEETING THERE WAS A LOT OF ROOM FOR PERSONAL BRAND GROWTH. SINCE BOOT CAMP HAD TECHNICALLY NEVER REALLY SIGNED ME OR PUT OUT ANY RELEASES ON ME I WAS STILL A FREE AGENT IN THAT REGARD. SO I CALLED ROCK WITH THE OPPORTUNITY AND SPOKE TO STEELE AND MY BROS SAID GO FOR IT, SO I DID.

 


VALIDATED: A PIONEER IN YOUR OWN RIGHT, WHEN IT COMES TO CROSS BRANDING, AT WHAT POINT IN YOUR CAREER DID YOU FIGURE OUT YOU COULD CROSS BRAND YOURSELF AND WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CROSS BRANDING BUSINESS VENTURE?

MIC HANDZ: I WAS ALWAYS AWARE OF THE CROSS-BRANDING OPPORTUNITIES DUE TO THE MULTIFACETED DISPOSITION OF MY SKILL SETS. SO IT WAS KIND OF ALWAYS IN THE PLAN FROM DAY ONE. THE LONGER IT TOOK TO SECURE SITUATIONS THE MORE I HAD TO EXERCISE MY SKILL SETS TO ACCOMMODATE. THAT ACCOMMODATION ACCELERATED THE DEVELOPMENT OF THOSE TALENTS AND BEFORE YOU KNEW IT MY NAME HAD STARTED TO BECOME ESTABLISHED SIMULTANEOUSLY ACROSS INDUSTRIES AND LANES. AND HERE WAS SOLIDIFIED THE CROSS BRANDING OF MIC HANDZ TRULY A CHILD OF NECESSITY.

 


VALIDATED: WHAT PIECE OF BUSINESS ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THE YOUNGER MIC HANDZ?

MIC HANDZ: BELIEVE IN THE PROCESS, NEVER EVER GIVE UP AND SELF-MOTIVATE. NEVER DEPEND ON VALIDATION FROM ANYONE TO DETERMINE YOUR DRIVE. MAINTAIN YOUR INTEGRITY AND BE AWARE OF YOUR CRAFT. HELP WHOEVER YOU CAN ALONG THE WAY BECAUSE THEY WILL BECOME YOUR MOST LOYAL SUPPORTERS RATHER THAN COMPETITORS.

 


VALIDATED: YOUR RECENT HEALTH CONCERN, KIDNEY DISEASE, WHEN WERE YOU DIAGNOSED AND HOW HAS IT CHANGED YOUR OUTLOOK ON LIFE?

MIC HANDZ: I WAS DIAGNOSED IN 2008 AND FROM THEN ON IT GAVE MY LIFE A SENSE OF URGENCY. EVERYONE WOULD LOOK AT ME LIKE I’M DOING TOO MUCH OR TAKING ON TOO MUCH NOT REALIZING THAT FROM 2008 ON I KNEW I WAS LIVING ON BORROWED TIME. SADLY I STARTED TO LIVE AS SUCH, A LOT OF PERSONAL AND LOVE LIFE SUFFERED BECAUSE OF IT. THAT I REGRET BUT IN HIND SIGHT I REALIZE I WAS LIVING HYPER FOCUSED AND IN A QUITE PANIC ABOUT NOT MEETING MY GOALS AND NEVER CREATING A LEGACY IN MY LIFETIME.

 


VALIDATED: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WARNING SIGNS OF KIDNEY DISEASE AND WHAT PRECAUTIONS IF ANY CAN BE TAKEN TO AVOID IT?

MIC HANDZ: FATIGUE, WEIGHT LOSS, MENTAL CLOUDINESS, MEMORY FATIGUE BUT THE NUMBER ONE THING TO WATCH IS YOUR URINE AND BLOOD WORK. REGULAR CHECKUPS ARE IMPERATIVE, OUTSIDE OF THAT, MAINTAINING A RESPECTABLE DIET IS IDEAL FOR ALL HEALTH CONCERNS AND JUST OPTIMUM HEALTH OVER ALL.

 

 

VALIDATED: WITH ALL OF YOUR SUCCESS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS YOU'VE REMAINED DOWN TO EARTH. WHAT KEEPS YOU GROUNDED?

MIC HANDZ: MY FAMILY, MY CHILDREN AND MY BAR FOR MYSELF IS SO HIGH THAT NO MATTER WHAT OTHERS SEE AS ACCOMPLISHMENTS I SEE AS JUST STEPS TOWARDS WHERE I’M REALLY TRYING TO GO AND REALLY HOPING TO BE.  SO I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE THERE IS ETERNAL WORK IN PROGRESS SO IT’S EASY TO STAY GROUNDED WHEN YOUR PERSONAL OUTLOOK IS CONSTANTLY “UNDER CONSTRUCTION”.

 


VALIDATED: WHAT’S YOUR REACTION TO THE RESPONSE TO YOUR LATEST PROJECT, "BLVCKLIST"?

MIC HANDZ: I WAS HONORED TO WORK WITH BLVCK MARKET LLC ON THE "BLVCKLIST RISE OF THE DAY WALKER" PROJECT. I WAS HAPPY WITH THE RESPONSE BUT TO BE HONEST IT’S THE FIRST OF A SERIES OF COLLABORATIVE RELEASES WITH MY BLVCK MARKET BROTHERS TRAXX, BRIX, DRUMMZ AND P! 

 

 

VALIDATED: YOUR LYRICAL ABILITY AND WORK ETHIC HAVE TAKEN YOU AROUND THE WORLD. YOU'VE WORKED WITH NUMEROUS HIGHLY RESPECTED HIP-HOP ARTIST AND BEEN SIGNED TO ARGUABLY TWO OF THE BEST IN HIP-HIP HISTORY, BUCK SHOT AND ERICK SERMON. WHATS LEFT ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?

MIC HANDZ: WELL I STILL HAVEN’T DONE A RECORD WITH KOOL G RAP. I HAVE TAKEN THE STAGE AT THE BARCLAYS CENETER BUT I HAVE YET TO PERFORM A MIC HANDZ RECORD THERE. I’M FEATURED ON A RECORD THAT FEATURES RAKIM BUT I HAVE YET TO DO A MIC HANDZ RECORD FEATURING RAKIM. I NEED A RIHANNA RECORD, A DJ PREMIER RECORD, A PETE ROCK RECORD... I NEED TO CHART AND I NEED A MIC HANDZ ARTIST PLAQUE. THERE’S A TON LEFT TO DO. I NEED TO WATCH MY THEM RECORDINGS ARTISTS THAT BELIEVED IN AND FOLLOWED ME FROM DAY ONE WALK ACROSS THE GRAMMY STAGE AND WIN FOR THEIR WORKS IN OUR NAME!



VALIDATED: WHAT PROJECTS CAN WE EXPECT FOR THE REMAINDER OF 2018?

MIC HANDZ: WELL BLVCKLIST 2 IS HALF WAY DONE. THE FULL LENGTH LP “GOLDEN ERA :TIMELESS” PRODUCED MY SISMOGRAPHE FROM PARIS IS FINALLY CLOSING, FEATURING SADAT X, ROCKNESS, NAPOLEON DA LEGEND, PUNCHLINE, M.O.P., TEFLON AND MORE. THE “LASTAT: KING OF THE DAMNED” EP PRODUCED BY WHIPSITE OUT OF FRANCE IS IN THE WORKS AS WELL. THEN FOR 2019 THE DEF SQUAD PRESENTS, THE OFFICIAL DEBUT MIC HANDZ ALBUM TITLE TBA, SO I’M SUPER EXCITED!



VALIDATED: TELL US ABOUT OTHER VENTURES YOU'RE CURRENTLY WORKING ON.

MIC HANDZ: WELL CURRENTLY I STAR IN THE WEB SERIES "RAPSTAR: THE SERIES" ON YOUTUBE. I RECENTLY BECAME A CAST MEMBER ON THE SUCCESSFUL SERIES "PROJECT HEAT" AND I HAVE A REOCCURRING ROLE ON THE SERIES "HOME OF THE HITTAZ", ALL AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE. WE HAVE "SNKRHEAD NYC", THE URBAN CONTEMPORARY SPORTS APPAREL BRAND THAT I CO-OWN AND DESIGN THAT IS PREPARING FOR HE 2019 FALL SEASON. WE'RE INTRODUCING OUR LEATHER COLLECTION AND THAT’S EXTREMELY EXCITING! THEN MY "SOUM MAZINZ FILMS" COMPANY WILL CONTINUE TO WRITE AND PRODUCE MUSIC VIDEOS AND CONTENT FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY AS WELL AS CONTINUING TO CREATE ARTWORK AND BRANDING PACKAGES FOR ARTIST AND COMPANIES THROUGHOUT THE INDUSTRY.

 

 

VALIDATED: WHERE CAN THE READERS SUPPORT YOUR MUSIC AND OTHER BUSINESS ENDEAVORS ONLINE AND SOCIAL MEDIA?

 

MIC HANDZ:  CLOTHING - SNKRHEADNYC@GMAIL.COM

INSTAGRAM - @MICHANDZ  

TWITTER - @THEREALMICHANDZ 

FACEBOOK - @MICHANDZ FAN PAGE

WEBSITE - WWW.MICHANDZ.COM

 

Troy Hendrickson