Who Dat Rapper 11-13-16

who-dat-rapper-mic-geronimo-back-in-the-day-buffet

Who Dat Rapper 11-13-16

New York was going through a musical renaissance during the 90’s.  There were a fresh crop of rappers including Mic Geronimo, AZ and Big L. Our 80’s heroes like LL, KRS and Rakim were still putting out quality music.  Queens representative Mic Geronimo has worked closely with some of the biggest stars in hiphop including: DMX, Ja Rule, Pete Rock and Puff Daddy.  For many, Mic remains an unknown despite releasing two albums during the 90’s that helped shape the music scene at that time.  He was neither a pimp, a baller,  nor a killer; just an emcee who talked about his surroundings.  His first introduction to music was through a meeting with Irv Gotti;  who put him on the hook of a song from  Ja Rule’s first group, Cash Money Click.

Cash Money Click Feat. Mic Geronimo – 4 My Click

90’s hip hop was all about keeping it real.  No less than 30 joints from this period had the generic title, “Keep It Real”.  Mic Geronimo’s meeting with Irv Gotti also resulted in his first single, “Shit’s Real”.  The Gotti produced gem was very easy to listen to, thanks to the soulful Denise Williams sample.  Definitely not a sunshine happy song.  That’s evident from his spoken introduction.

From crazy-ass Queens, you know what im saying…
One time for your mind, Check it out
For those that don’t know the way I flow my name is fucking Mic Geronimo

He goes on to flow:

Another Day of stepping through the Belly of the beast
I leave the compound and make my way to my stomping ground

I’m just about broke to the letter

It cant get any worse, shit can only get better.
My bruner lampin’ by my waistline
Geronimo will be fine
My niggas got my back and undefined
So now I unwind and keep my focus on my schedule
It’s critical for me to run a scan on my plans

Mic Geronimo – Shit’s Real

the-naturalThis single was included in his June 1995 debut, The Natural.  Producer and DITC representer, Buckwild cooked up a hypnotic dish for his next single, “Masta I.C”.   This mesmerizing beat was the backdrop used as Mic kicked some potent rhymes, while letting you know he likes to “crack the philly open”. Frequent collaborator, Royal Flush jumped on hook.   Throughout the entire ride, we are treated some old school scratching with a Big Daddy Kane vocal sample mixed in.  This sounds as dope as it did 20 years ago!

Mic Geronimo – Masta I.C.

Remember the good ole days when you could actually buy a single for a couple bucks.   That single usually had a B side, or another song once you flipped the tape.  The B side to “Masta I.C”. is one of those songs that need to be in a Hip Hop Hall of Fame…..or something like that   “Time to Build” featured Mic Geronimo sharing the mic device with a teenage Ja Rule, DMX and Jay Z all before they blasted into the stratosphere and become icons.

Mic Geronimo Feat. Jay-Z, DMX & Ja Rule – Time To Build

The rest of the album has plenty of classic material including production from the mighty Beatminerz.  The albums thumping, head nodding production and the effortless flow from the host create an enjoyable debut.   It certainly didn’t blaze up the billboard charts, but did cement a foundation to go to the next level.  He even jumped on a 1996 episode on the 90’s MTV show Sex In The 90’s.

Mic Geronimo – Sex in the 90’s

mic-geronimo-vendettaMic Geronimo delivered his follow up, Vendetta in 1997.  This was interesting experience, mainly because the lead single confused everyone.  The Bad Boy Puff Daddy produced his next single, “Nothin Move But the Money”.  Gone was gritty NY production we became accustomed too.  Puff created a song for the club and at first listen we thought our man Mic fell off.  Like salad dressing and motor oil, the two just didn’t mix well at first glance. This was the lead song off the album, so it took some time for me to get through it.   I’m glad I did.

Nothin’ Move But the Money

Mobb Deep’s Havoc creates an amazing instrumental on “Survival”. The Ahmad Jamal sample on “For The Family” is so majestic, my father would be proud.  “Single Life” features Carl Thomas and Jay-Z over the familiar Cameo sample.  Another standout is “StreetLife”, featuring the lovely sounds of 90’s songstress Monifah.   Mic shows an emotional side on “How You Been”.  This is a heartfelt letter to his mother.  It was the first time in his career where emotions were shown and helped give this album a different layer.  The hard hitting final track, “Usual Suspects” features DMX, Ja Rule, The Lox and Tragedy Khadafi getting busy!

Usual Suspects ft DMX, The LOX & Ja Rule & Tragedy Khadafi

mic-geronimo-long-road-backMic Geronimo disappeared for a couple years, and then landed on the DMX’s album, The Great Depression.  The dark man, clearly in his prime,  invited Mic to jump on “Usual Suspect’s Part 2”.   He emerged again in 2003 with his third album, Long Road Back.   The music climate during this time was quite different then when his Shit was Real.   The title was definitely a nod to this realization.  The production was mainly handled by new comer Jimi Kendricks.   No singles were released and promotion was limited.  Only die hard fans knew to search for this.  There were some bright spots here.  “Gone” has a sped up soul sample, that sounded something The Diplomats would have rapped over.   Large Professor drops off a production treat on “Up Now”, which definitely the best song on the entire album.  His lyrics are also the most razor sharp here.

How real is, knowin statisticians say that I’ll be dead by
quarter life I lived, pullin my bid
So that my kids never know, bein locked up or poverty’s wrath
Sit and practice and master my craft
Took control, broke camp, halfway home
Better than when old timers came home, I can’t complain
Smile at rain anyway, too cool jewel droppin
My CD’s the answer when propped in the same way I clocked in

 Multi-talented Tyrese shows up on the powerful “Im Alive” and lends his crooning on the hook.  Geronimo bares his soul on this as he discussed his bout with depression.

htmlimage4-240x240Mic Geronimo dropped his 4th album, Alive in 2007 to little fanfare.  Mic reemerged on fellow Queens rapper, Nutso’s “This is my Hood” along with Royal Flush.

Nutso feat. Mic Geronimo & Royal Flush-“This is My Hood”

It’s a shame, Mic Geronimo gets lost in the shuffle when discussing 90’s hip hop.   His early releases still will make anyone put on a pair of Tims and reminisce over the 90’s Knicks when his music comes on.  While he never achieved superstarstom some like of his New York brethren, his Queens hip hop is as enjoyable as others from that time period.

Related: Test your Hip-Hop knowledge and find previous “WHO DAT RAPPER??” blogs.

WHO DAT RAPPER? is a weekly column featuring oft-forgotten and slept on Hip-Hop artists. Do you have a suggestion? Comment below.

Who Dat Rapper 11-13-16

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