KillerHipHop Exclusive: Myke Charles Interview
It should come to no one’s surprise that Denver’s Myke Charles has talent through the sky. The Mile-High rapper is best known for his rapping role on NBC’s The Sing-Off. Myke’s team, Urban Method, finished 3rd, but it only served as fuel for his emerging rap career. Myke Chuck is currently prepping a new mixtape and a new EP, both are expected to drop before the year is out.
During our conversation, Myke Charles told KillerHipHop about his time on The Sing-Off, a rap competition on mainstream TV, writing Eminem, freestyling, working with Emilio Rojas, and his new projects. Interview after the break.
QuezKHH: Most people know you as the rapper from The Sing-Off. How was that experience like for you?
Myke Charles: It was great. It was hard work. Basically, 12 to 16 hour days, every day, no days off. But in the end it made me a professional musician. I was immersed in music everyday doing what I love to do. So eventhough it was a lot of work, I loved every minute of it.
KHH: What do you think that said about hip-hop, for a singing competition to include a rapper?
Myke: I think it just shows that hip-hop is the number 1 genre in the world. And it shows that hip-hop is not finished and it’s still growing and it’s still changing and will continue to change and to reach new heights.
KHH: Nicki Minaj recently joined American Idol, and she became the first rapper to judge a singing competition. What are your thoughts on that?
Myke: I’m not going to say anything bad about Nicki. I think it’s a good look for hip-hop. Nicki is definitely one of the biggest artists in hip-hop right now. And especially me, being that I was on The Sing-Off, I have no problem with it. I think it’s a good thing.
KHH: Do you ever see a rap competition on NBC or Fox?
Myke: I’ve thought about it, [and] I don’t think that TV is quite ready for it yet. But I do think it will come. I think TV and everyone today, especially with technology and the level that it’s at, I think people are always looking for the next thing. I think there will come a time and a place for that type of competition.
KHH: During the show I understand you wrote a letter to Eminem to thank him for clearing a song. Did you ever get a reply?
Myke: Basically, I wrote a letter and gave it to the producers and they got in touch with Eminem and sent it to him. The reply was him clearing the song for us to use it on the show. That’s a pretty big reply to me.
KHH: I saw a video of you freestyling in front of Flo Rida. Is freestyling something that came natural to you or is it something that you worked on?
Myke: It was one of those things that I had to work on and work on and then suddenly something hit me and then it just started coming very naturally. In like 9th grade when I was rapping, there were other cats at my school that could freestyle really well and I really didn’t know how to and I thought I would never be able to do that. But I started trying more and more and I really worked on it between the summer of 9th and 10th grade, and then something in 10th grade just clicked and suddenly I could just do it.
KHH: Do you freestyle during your recordings? Or do you write then record?
Myke: It depends. If we’re talking like a mixtape, then you’re going to hear some freestyles. Right now I’m working on an EP, [and] you’re not going to hear any freestyles on that. You’re going to hear very focused songwriting.
KHH: Reading your website, I read that you describe yourself as the bridge between underground hip-hop and mainstream hip-hop, and I found that very interesting. Could you elaborate on that a little bit?
Myke: Yeah, I think that I have all the makings of an underground artist in the sense of my lyrical content, my depth, and the fact that I really started as a battle MC. Those are my roots. Those are elements that today you typically find in the underground, but not in the mainstream. Typically the mainstream is not as lyrically dense and not inspired by battle rapping anymore. But I think that on the flip side of that, eventhough I have those roots, I think I can bring my lyrical depth to more mainstream topics and more mainstream-sounding production. I think that people who listen to mainstream music can still relate.
KHH: So can we expect to hear that sound on your new EP?
Myke: You can expect to hear a good balance of me as an artist. [It] will definitely include strong lyricism, heavy content, and complex rhyme structures mixed with mainstream production and hooks that you’ll get to hear me sing as well as rap. It should be a very good and balanced project.
KHH: Do you have a name for the EP?
Myke: Yeah, I’m going to call it 100 Degrees.
KHH: When is it dropping?
Myke: Before the year is over. I don’t have an exact date at this time though.
KHH: Are you going to work with your group Urban Method, or is it going to be you solo?
Myke: This is just going to be me. [But] before the year is over, I’m going to be dropping a mixtape called Flight Plan. It will for sure have a song with Emilio Rojas on it.
KHH: And that’s coming before the EP?
Myke: Yeah I want it to. But I’m not exactly sure if it will. That’s why I just said, I’m expecting to release both of those before the year is through.
KHH: Do you have any more features?
Myke: We’re working on them but we don’t have anything 100% confirmed so I can’t really say anything yet. But the Emilio Rojas one is definite.
KHH: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Myke: In 5 years I see myself touring the world and being a prominent name in current hip-hop.
KHH: Is there anything else you would like to tell the people of KillerHipHop?
Myke: Just listen to me. I’m not stopping. I’m not going anywhere and I think 2013 is going to be a good year.