Mixtape: Deconstructing Mickey Factz


[Ed. Note. You can also find this mixtape in the Recordings section of Treats’ Ledger by clicking here. But catch up on this post (and the full tracklist) I did on my short-lived .mac account from this past January.]

Mickey Factz sounds frustrated on his latest track, “Thinking Out Loud.” The beginning opens with an explanation of why he went off the grid after losing his phone. He also apologizes to his close friends, as if he wants more than their forgiveness. All that aside, Mickey wishes everyone a happy new year, despite the sour tone of his message. The 6:36 minute-long track is an exercise in futility for the listener as much as it is for Mickey to rap it with no chorus. But the Bronx native is no stranger to rapping his ass off, no matter the case.

Since 2006, Mickey Factz has been the face of his independent label, GFC-NY. On his official mixtape debut, In Search Of N.E.R.D. Mickey propelled himself into a gale force of rhymes with European rhythms in his path of destruction. Heaven’s Fallout followed in 2007, then in 2008, Mickey flooded the blogosphere with one song per day from The Leak Vol. 1 & 2, respectively. Love or hate his relentlessness, Mickey was arguably one of the hardest working rappers in 2008. Face the facts though, where most unsigned hypes fail in exposure, Mickey excelled, like when he landed a spot in MTV2’s Sucker Free Countdown for “Rockin’ and Rollin” featuring the Cool Kids—an accomplishment that would bring us to 2009, for Mickey’s forthcoming debut album The Achievement.

Already one of the new beats expected to appear on Mickey’s next release surfaced recently in a video showcasing Ralph Lauren’s 2008 Rugby collection. The dramatic percussion by Precize, GFC’s in-house producer is just one of the few uptempo pieces supplied to his labelmate, and Jade, a rising singer/songwriter in their camp. Even Amerie’s management tapped the trackmaster for a possible feature on her highly anticipated Def Jam release.

So 2009 doesn’t sound so bad after all for Mickey Factz. Or does it? The choice to rhyme over “Say You Will” from Kanye West’s enigmatic 808’s & Heartbreak raises the bigger question, is Mickey under the pressure of his own success? In November 2008, he was one out of ten rappers chosen to appear on the cover of XXL magazine—all of whom have yet to show and prove via their own solo albums.

Still, somewhere behind metaphors comparing himself to Desmond Tutu, and Neo (from The Matrix), lies Mickey’s endurance to go another round with the sound he claims “unmatched” on a new mixtape by oft-collaborator, DJ Treats. Listen, as I dissect the notion of an artist at battle with himself on one of the opening tracks “The Hall Of Mirrors” by electronica godfathers, Kraftwerk. Amongst some of Europe’s most influential dance artists, and producers is where Mickey shines. The combination of Mickey’s old and new material by New York’s experimental DJ is one small step in Mickey’s career, even if he doesn’t know it yet. Get the track by track breakdown after the jump.

1. Mickey Factz “Thinking Out Loud” (Intro)
2. Kraftwerk “The Hall Of Mirrors”
3. Kraftwerk “The Man Machine”
4. Mickey Factz Interlude
5. Mickey Factz “Pumpin”
6. Mickey Factz “Smack My Bitch Up”
7. The Prodigy “Smack My Bitch Up”
8. Dr. Chug “Supermoves”
9. Mickey Factz “Talk Yo Ish” (Machine Drum Remix)
10. Modeselektor feat. Thom Yorke “The White Flash”
11. Lykke Li feat. Drake and Mickey Factz “Little Bit” (Remix)
12. Telepopmusik “Breathe”
13. Mickey Factz “Breathe Another Day”
14. Justice “Let There Be Light”
15. Mickey Factz “Super Duper Supra” (Prince 85 Remix)
16. Kings Of Leon feat. Lykke Li “Knocked Up” (Rodeo Mash Up)
17. Portishead “We Carry On”
18. Thom Yorke “And It Rained All Night” (Burial Remix)
19. Burial “Near Dark”
20. Mickey Factz “Pick Up The Bass”
21. Ms. Dynamite “Boo”
22. Zero Db “Bongos, Bleeps & Basslines”
23. Mickey Factz “Loud Whispers”
24. N.E.R.D. “Everyone Nose”
25. Mickey Factz feat. Peter Hadar “Another Star”
26. Mickey Factz feat. Jesse Boykins III “You Remind Me”
27. Mickey Factz Interlude
28. Mickey Factz “Robot Rock”
29. Mickey Factz Interlude
30. Mickey Factz “Machine Gun”
31. Geoff Barrow of Portishead Outro


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