Some people march to the beat of a different drum. Microphone Mike's beat comes from a Conion C-100F boombox he purchased on craigslist for $50.
“It's the holy grail of ghetto blasters,” he says.
Born in Miami, Microphone Mike developed an affinity to “drop it like it's hot at the drop of a dime” at an early age. He claims to have cruised as a toddler through the mean streets of South Beach on a lifted tricycle with chrome spinners while sucking on a platinum pacifier—and to have been expelled from three schools by age 9 because of his “constant flirting and love of the game.”
From the OG anthem “Shoes Untied,” which talks about his voyeuristic love of BBW's bending over to tie their K-Swiss sneakers, to the self-explanatory “Turn a Ho Into a Housewife,” his songs run the gamut of pimphood. In many ways, he's like a gangsta Clark Kent. The 'hood is his Daily Planet, designer knockoff leisure suits are his costume and girls with no junk in the trunk are his kryptonite.
Per his request, we meet up at Church's Chicken in National City, where he arrives 45 minutes late in a beat-up Toyota Tercel because, he says, “the Lambo's in the shop.” He's wearing a grill that suspiciously looks like a foil chewing-gum wrapper and dressed in a silk Gucci tracksuit that he assures “drives all the single ladies wild.” We step into the restaurant, where he throws a fit when his black AmEx (which appeared to be an old, sharpied ATM card) doesn't go through. Trying to avoid a scene, I offer to pay for his legs-and-thighs family meal and large side of fried okra.
“How does it feel to be owned, son?” he shouts, laughing in my face. Then he chugs a gallon of Southern-style sweet iced tea, which, proving my earlier hunch, makes his “grill” slowly crumble and disintegrate.
He eats in a beastly manner, responding to my questions in a trivial, often nonsensical fashion. He calls himself the “emperor of the booty-bass kingdom,” and, referring to his South Florida roots, jokes that he could have easily gone the Gloria Estefan route because, as he puts it, “I've never met a conga line I didn't like.”
Like MC Hammer and Kevin Federline before him, he has a hefty entourage. His requirements? “Good fashion sense, for one. Take, for instance, Master Maricón—he's the DJ / keys in my party crew and shops exclusively in the AMVETS in Escondido. He speaks no English, which is fine with me, and after each gig, he gets paid in tamales and peach Schnapps. As far as the girls go, they must be extra slutty and willing to go the ‘extra' mile—my eggs ain't gonna cook themselves,” he says as he sucks the life out of a chicken bone, using the grease on his fingers as mustache wax.
“All natural, like my bongs,” he says. “I once used a big-ass pumpkin, the kind you'd carve a jack-o'-lantern out of. I'm a festive cat and I like to keep my bongs seasonal, G. Word to the wise, though: No matter how good of an idea it seems, steer clear of Cadbury eggs.”
After ruining the Easter treat forever, his beeper starts ringing and the topic quickly turns to booty calls and the steps needed to make sure they go off without a hitch.
“First off, ensure you get both the area code and the bitch's name right when dialing,” he commands. “Then, chart proximity and make sure to go to her, not the other way around, and never, ever, do it before midnight.”
“Like the movie Gremlins?” I ask.
“It's the same thing,” he says, “but instead of water, you throw booze at them, and rather than avoiding flashing lights, you flash them a fat stack of Benjamins to seal the deal.”
He changes subjects once more, describing his obsessive love of bubble baths and man-scaping. “I'm very Tony Montana in that sense, minus all the coke and chest hair,” he says, going on to express his anger at government housing not having tubs. “Not that I would know or anything—I have, like, 12 in my pad,” he assures.
Although accomplished in his own right, there's one dream that has yet to materialize for Microphone Mike—to go on the Maury Povich show and be forced to take a paternity test. “Man, I would love to go on that show and secretly make Connie Chung my bitch. I got a bad case of YBF [Yellow Beaver Fever], and I know she can make it all better.”Before our conversation ends, I ask Mike to pick a line from one of his songs that he holds as a mantra. Without hesitation, he quickly responds: “I'll quote from one of my newest songs: ‘If she ain't got no pooper, there ain't no use in scooping her.'” Microphone Mike plays with Stereo Total and Leslie & The Lys on Sunday, April 5, at The Casbah. www.myspace.com/microphonemike.