Mike Jones: Still Tippin'

Categories: Complex

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Mike Jones (Who?)
Last week, Complex's Magnum Opus series that features artists talking about their biggest hits featured Mike Jones (Who? Mike Jones!) discussing "Still Tippin'." The installment interviewed everyone involved with the record, as well as provided a context for the scene it came from and a play-by-play of how the track blew up. Just as impressive as the episode itself was Mike Jones' staggering weight loss. We spoke to Jones about the episode and his secret to reemerging as a healthier (Who?) Mike Jones.

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The Magnum Opus mentions early on your music started getting a buzz from you making custom music for strippers. What makes for good stripper music?
You went off their favorite song, or a song they real like. After that, they want me to talk about a certain they they might do on the pole or a tattoo they have here or there to personalize the song.

As Complex's Magnum Opus points out, when "Still Tippin'" blew up, it gave a voice to a part a Texas that wasn't being represented nationwide and lead to an influx of Houston talent blowing up. Prior to "Still Tippin," the only nationwide shot your scene received was for Big Moe's Purple World two years prior. Were there any preconceived notions within the industry of the Southside of Houston that you had to deal with?

Like you said, watching the Complex video, there was already a version they were trying to work with at first that didn't work. I went to Salih and I was able to find a track to put together what we were trying to accomplish. It just was a good feeling and was doing up regional.

Michael Watts mentioned how Salih's version relates more to what people would expect from the South. Do you agree with that?
I totally agree with that because Salih captured the south's sound. I'd been dealing with Salih for years before "Tippin'," so I knew if there was anything or anybody that could make the track right, it was Salih. He was the perfect person, and he came through.

The track first got nationwide exposure through "BET Un:Cut." Did you find after that rotation, you started to get more of a response?
Oh, of course, it was completely different. Then, it was organic. There were people peeking to see what we were doing. It was playing for all 2003, so when 2004 happened we were still underground. In 2004, it was only Lil Flip repping Houston, but when we came in 2005, it was me and a whole unit and we all were rapping Houston. It all got bigger and bigger.

That record began the nationwide catchphrase of people repeating you name. Prior to using your real name "Mike Jones," did you have any other rap name?
Back in the days when I was freestyling, I use to call myself Sace, like Versace. People used to call me that because I was smooth on the flow, I could adapt to the track. My grandma said to "just do you, be you," so I decided I'll just be me, Mike Jones.

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