Archive: An Interview with Mic Boogie

This is an effort for me to catalogue some writing from when I was an intern writing blogs and doing PR for a music studio after I graduated way back in 2010. I’ve managed to recover some old blog posts via the Wayback Machine. I’ve done some light formatting and editing because the typos are embarrassing.

I don’t remember why I was called Companaro Jack.


  • I remember Mic being a really nice dude

An Interview with Mic Boogie
May 21, 2010

Companero Jack again.

I love doing these interviews. They make me feel like a journalist and not just some douche with a laptop.

I did this one late last week, and finally got around to finishing the transcription. Euphonic had Toronto (edit: Sorry, Oshawa) rapper Mic Boogie come into the studio to sit down and talk. Mic is one of the hosts of the indie hip-hop showcase Roc da Mic, and his second album is set to drop sometime this summer. As always, the audio from the interview is posted right below this, and a track and a video are available at the bottom of the page.

jacksclevername · Mic interview

What are your influences, and how did you first get into hip-hop
I got into hip-hop literally back in the early ‘80s through my older sister. She was 6 years older than me. She babysat me all the time and everywhere she brought me, he friends were hanging out, and they were all into breakdancing. So I got the early influence from when I was 7, 8 or 9 years old, ’79-81, in those years, so it was like the very first days of hip-hop. Grandmaster Flash, the Furious Five, groups like that, so it’s been a long time.

You’ve got an album coming out, so do you have any news, events or promotions that you want to talk about?
Yeah, my second album is coming out – we’re aiming for this summer. We’re just trying to pick a date. The first single is coming out in the next couple weeks, we actually just released it to radio so it’s just a matter of time to get word back from them. But the new album is called Mr. Boogie, my first album was called That’s Me, released in 2008. It’s available on iTunes and through HMV.

How was the whole process?
It was interesting. It was my first album; it was my first time taking a crack at really getting anything played on commercial radio. We had a couple songs that were successful in the Halifax market, in Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg. I got played in Toronto, on Flow 95.3 and the college radio stations. It was good just to see the response around the rest of the country and pushing my stuff into the international market because I got a chance to go overseas and promote and do some shows. So yeah, it’s been interesting just getting it out there and seeing how people respond to me and what I’m giving.

Considering that you’re Toronto-based, how did you find the fan base if you go to the States or Europe?
I find that Canada in itself is really interesting because once you leave Toronto people really get into what’s going on as far as the Canadian scene. In the United States they just appreciate good music, so if you can get your stuff into any market down there, whether it’s in the South or New York and the Tristate area, or the West Coast, it’s always a good thing because as soon as people down there like your stuff, they support it right away. And recently, somebody hit me up online and said my stuff was getting played in South Africa and I had no idea. I’ve sent a lot of stuff out. You know, my stuff’s online, I’ve got the website and everything like that. We had three videos that were released from the first album. It’s amazing how far stuff goes when you’re not really paying attention.

And then something from South Africa pops up.
Exactly, and I’ve got a producer that wants to work with me from South Africa now, so it’s like, “Ok, yeah, definitely. Send me some stuff.” Obviously he had heard of me through hearing my stuff over there on the radio, so you never know. You really never know who’s listening, and with the internet and everything, it’s crazy

So with that, what sort of online promotion and stuff like that have you been doing?
The usual: MySpace, Facebook, stuff like that. I’ve got my own website, We use that to throw snippets of the album, the first album is on there. We’re getting ready to redo the site with the launch of the second album. And with the first single dropping, like I said, in the next couple weeks, we’ve got to get everything up to par and just get it ready.

You already sort of mentioned it, but talk about the hip-hop scene in Toronto.
It’s funny because I’ve seen it from, like, when I was going to the Concert Hall back in the ‘80s. The first concert that I ever went to was Run DMC, Public Enemy and EPMD. It was EPMD promoting their first album, Public Enemy for their second album, and Run DMC was obviously a classic group already at the time, but the scene was always there. They used to have battles, Monster Jams, New York against Toronto, and back then Toronto emcees and beat-boxers were holding their weight with New York guys, but then it just sort of fizzled. I think the reggae scene took over a lot in Toronto and hip-hop got pushed on the backburner in that sense. The younger generation is really into hip-hop now and it’s starting to grow. There’s a lot more opportunities for artists coming out, as far as independent.

I know I used this photo in the last Euphonic Sound blog post, but that’s just something that you’re going to have to deal with. It also looks like I could use a haircut…

I know I used this photo in the last Euphonic Sound blog post, but that’s just something that you’re going to have to deal with. It also looks like I could use a haircut…

How are you finding the fans, as far as hip-hop? I’ve heard both good things as well as bad.
For me, thankfully, it’s been mostly positive. You get some people who do their little thing and slam artists online anonymously. But I mean, I’ve been pretty accepted as far as the Toronto scene goes. It’s a little bit different because I’m not originally from Toronto, I’m originally from Oshawa. I was born out there, raised out there, lived out there pretty much my whole life. But I was always coming out here, so I got a really good idea of what the scene was like in Toronto and what people expect as far as when you’re up there and they don’t know your music when you’re performing. If you want people to really get into your stuff, you’ve got to come correct, especially if they’ve never heard you before. And the Toronto crown is really tough. If your stuff’s not banging, if it’s not hot, if the beat’s not banging, if you’re not coming across vocally or lyrically or whatnot, they’ll give you no love and they’ll let you know right away. That’s the one thing about Toronto: if you can get people to give you a little bit of respect here and get a little bit of a fan base, it’s a good thing, it’s a positive. But the rest of the country’s not like that at all, because I’ve done shows out West and they love you, they just love music, they love the fact that somebody’s coming to their small town or city. Then you do a 15-minute or half-hour set, and at the end everyone is buying your CDs, and they’ve never heard of you before. Or they might have. In my case, I was getting played on MuchMusic, the videos Everybody’s Doing It and Good Look were getting played on Vibe. So I was getting some rotation like that, and my stuff was getting heard on Galaxie and satellite radio. They picked up 5 or 6 tracks from my album and had them in pretty much regular rotation. I was fortunate that way. For me, I just felt like I made music good enough that radio and the people that decide what gets played liked my stuff.

And you’re the MC for Roc da Mic?
Yeah, I’m one of the hosts for Roc da Mic every… I was going to say every Tuesday, then it switched to Thursday and right now everything’s up in the air. They’re trying to lock down a proper venue and whatnot. I’ve been doing that for just over a year. For me, I got into it because I wanted to just get comfortable being on stage when I’m not doing my own music or performing. It’s easy to do my stuff because I know it and I practice it. But you’re talking to a crowd and you have to engage people and entertain them for either 30 seconds or 2 minutes between songs, that’s really what people really need to perfect as far as their show. Obviously, you write your songs – you know them. Or you should anyways. But yeah, it was a good opportunity for me, it just kind of came up out of nowhere and I jumped on it and used it to promote my own stuff and to master my own craft as far as being a host or being someone that’s running a show. It’s been interesting and hopefully it keeps going.

Anything memorable that sticks out?
Really just the support of the local scene, and independent artists coming out and supporting each other. I think that’s the main thing. There have been a lot of good acts, there’s bad acts, but it’s the same thing as far as every week you’re getting a little taste of what there is in Toronto or the GTA in terms of independent music. I have a lot of artists from Roc da Mic on my second album just because I like their energy on stage and the way they engage the crown, the way they perform. It’s also given me a lot of opportunities to connect with the younger scene too and the people that are up-and-coming, even though I’m still up-and-coming, I guess I am older, so I have a little bit of a generation gap as far as what my ideal of hip-hop is and what their ideal of what hip-hop is might be. It’s good to be able to reconnect with people that are literally like 15 years younger than me but are doing the same thing that I’m doing, and put out a song that’s relevant to both of our fan bases or to both of our peer groups.

So it’s an awesome way to make contacts and collaborate with whoever.
Yeah, the people that are out there doing what I’m doing, and who will hopefully push the music just as much as I will to the people that are buying their stuff or listening to it or downloading it.

And as for the United in Flow mixtape, event and whole promotion. What are your thoughts on that?
I think it’s a great thing. It’s too bad that it couldn’t be something that could be more frequent, but I guess this is the first one. You’ve got to get what you’re doing together and make sure it’s working properly, but the idea of it is great. I love doing local showcases or stuff for independent artists because you really get a sense of what people are trying to do as far as being original or doing something different. And again, I can find other people to work with as far as vocalists, lyricists, producers, DJs or whatever. So for me, it’s two thumbs up. It’s a good thing for the scene and it’ll only help build what’s going on in Toronto, in Canada and just hip-hop in general.

We’ve been toying around with some ideas for it, to expand upon the idea maybe making it a yearly event or something.
You’ve got to start somewhere and find where your niche is and see what works and what doesn’t. But it’s a great idea and I support anything like that. I’m totally down for anybody that’s building hip-hop. Not just Canadian hip-hop, but hip-hop in general. Because I’m a fan, and I’ve always been a fan, and I still make the music as a fan because I’m hoping that people will hear my stuff and appreciate what I’ve gotten out of hip-hop and what I put back into it.

What’re you digging right now?
You know, it’s weird because I don’t listen to a lot of music because I’m doing shows a lot and hosting parties. But for me, just anything that gets my head moving and has good lyrics. I get stuck in listening to a lot of the old school stuff just because for me that’s just the Golden Era. When I’m out with friends we’ll usually pop in an old school CD or something or it’s on Backspin [the Sirius/XM classic rap channel]. I wouldn’t trade that in for anything. I can really get into a lot of the hip-hop that’s coming out now, in a sense of the stuff that’s for the younger generation even though I’m trying to connect with them myself. But I’m not going to make a song about a new dance crazy or something. I find it all interesting because my son’s 7 and he loves it all. So I hear it all through him and through my roommate’s son because they’re into breakdancing. I hear all that stuff; they play it all the time when they’re in the house. They want to hear all that. I’m a big fan of Jay-Z still. Guys like Ghostface Killah or Wu-Tang in general. My favourite from Wu-Tang is probably the Genuis, as far as just a lyricist. I like those guys because I relate to what they’re saying too, and it could be the age thing. But they don’t just rap about money or whatever. It’s a perspective on life, and it’s also a perspective from a grown man, for the most part, and that’s what I relate to.

I’m about the same way, where I’d rather listen to something classic than what’s going on right now.
Well that’s hip-hop. Now it’s more pop music and it’s become just as mainstream as Madonna was back in the ‘80s or ‘90s or Wham! Or any of those groups. There’s the “hip-pop” entity in itself, which is just that radio stuff, the autotune stuff and whatever. And I’m not hating on that, and you’ll find a little bit of it on my album, but it’s not me. I don’t get autotuned. I’m a rapper. That’s the thing I don’t get: when emcees do it. It doesn’t make sense to me.

It’s different when it’s an effect for one song, but when it’s a whole album…
Yeah, it’s become a whole genre now. Everybody does it. It’s taken over to the point where it’s hindered creativity with some of the younger generation coming up, because they think that’s what you have to do to get on. That you don’t have to actually be talented because you can just autotune it or melodyne it. But what happens is you do a live show and you can’t do that, and it doesn’t sound like that, and people lose interest really quick. For me, that’s where it goes back to the essence because back in the early ‘90s, emcees had to be emcees. They had to get on stage and just rip it because if you didn’t, you had to deal with it. You were booed off and your career was done. But it’s turned into such a big moneymaker that it’s all smoke and mirrors now. But I don’t know… I make the music I make because I love to do it and hopefully people connect with it and it just keeps going.

And that was that. Mic is a really cool guy. I wish I had known this before going into the interview, but Mic had a collaboration on one of his albums with none other than KRS-One. I wish I had gotten this story from him.

Mic stuck around and hung out at the studio for a little while, during which time, Emma and James recruited him as the official MC for the upcoming United in Flow event. It’s great to have someone with an established name to host. I’m sure he’ll kill it when October rolls around. He also did a freestyle as a United in Flow submission.

For more from Mic, be sure to check out his website,, which has links to his music and media and all that good stuff. And, as promised, below is a link to download a song, ‘You Should.’ As tempting as it was to bootleg his albums, I think it would probably be for the best if I didn’t. I also figured I’d toss up one of his videos. Enjoy.

Click here to listen to ‘You Should’ by Mic Boogie.