Artist Highlight - Mike Raw
Rapper Mike Raw is coming straight out of North Philly and he wants to let people know that he is going to make himself known with being authentic with himself and his music. He has been through so much with seeing family and friends pass and with that he is putting in the work to be great. Being the oldest of 10 kids, raised by a single mother, he feels he weights his shoulders to reach the top. Striving to take his rap career to the next level. Mike Raw released a 13-track mixtape titled Pray for Me. No doubt his last single “Run It” and Bounce Back is a smash. But check out his new video entitled "5 AM in Chicago". As you can see Mike Raw is not going to let up until he is on the cover of XXL's freshman class list. Check out our interview below to get to know a little bit more about Mike Raw.
Artist Highlight on Mike Raw by Charnell Webb
Q: Please introduce yourself to some people that may not know you and your work.
Mike: I’m from North Philly and I'm 23 years old. I'm the oldest of 10 kids, that was raised by a single mother so I have no choice but to go hard to take care of my family. That situation made me who I am today.
Q: What was the inspiration behind your latest single “Bounce Back”?
M: It was a comeback. The song title stands for itself, I had to bound back. It was a long time where I had to get my mind right. I had to mainly bounce back from everything that has been going on around me. Bounce back financially, mentally, and a little physically. The song steams from how I overcame the obstacles in my life.
Q: Do you have anyone in the industry that you look up to or inspire to surpass later on in your career?
M: Life itself is my everyday inspiration. Life is hard as hell and not everybody knows how to handle it. Sometimes I want to give up but I look at everything I have been through. Plus I look at my kid and I know that I can’t give up on her. I have to grind and do what I love to do, and thats rap. I have lost so many people in my life. I have something to live for and I don’t want to let them down.
Q: Was that where you got your inspiration to write your song entitled “Letters to Lil Rob?”
M: Yes, I wanted to write a letter to him. He was my best friend, someone that I held down. That moment hit me hard. After I released that song everyone was coming up to me saying how deep and vulnerable it sounded. That was a sign of growth to me.
Q: Would that be one of your most cherished projects or do you cherish other, more personal projects?
M: Honestly, I feel like every new song or project that I release is my new favorite. Because it shows my progress and effort to get better in my craft. That's why bounce back is my new favorite song right now. But when my new song 5 am in Chicago hit the streets, that will be a different story. Each project showcases how I'm leveling up in the game right now.
Q: Mainstream media is starting to catch wind of the young Philly rappers. How do you want to stand out from the crowd and make your mark as the next young rapper from Philly?
M: I want to be myself in this industry. I feel like I’m marketable with being myself. I’m raw. I'm cut different. I’m very vertical. I can make an emotional song that will have you crying and then make a song for the clubs/streets. That's how I plan to stand out from the crowd.
Q: Do you make beats and what is your writing process?
M: I don't make my beats right now. I want to start but with my career right now I don’t have time. If I were to start I would have to have to lock in and learn. I can’t afford to put rapping aside and learn how to produce at the moment. With my writing style, sometimes I freestyle and sometimes I write everything down. It depends on my mood. Going into the booth and going off the top is a waste of time to me. My homies will go in the studio and spend hours recording on the fly and only lay down 4-12 bars. I can’t waste time like that. I have to know what I want to say before I get into the booth.
Q: You have your label, What do you want your table to stand for in the industry?
M: We are independent. I want to grow my team and myself at the end of the day. So when we do become bigger as a whole team, maybe we could partner with a bigger label. My label is called APNL entertainment (Applying Pressure Nothing Less). It was a phase that my cousin Jay came up with and that was what I lived by. And that’s how I want to continue to act in the music industry by Applying Pressure Nothing Less.
Check out his latest music video here.
Charnell Webb, Variety Land, Dinner Land