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Mike Jones/DJ Michael "5000" Watts: Who is Mike Jones? Screwed & Chopped

Mike Jones/DJ Michael "5000" Watts: Who is Mike Jones? Screwed & Chopped

Label:Swisha House/Warner Bros.
Release Date:2005
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Bret McCabe | Posted 5/11/2005

By an unscientific count, Houston rapper Mike Jones says his name 72 times—and offers his cell phone number nine times—on his major-label debut, Who Is Mike Jones? And why wouldn’t he? It’s his name, dammit, and if you came up with anything as goofily ass-shaking and fun, you’d want people to say your name, too.

Jones isn’t a dazzling MC—he isn’t even the most electric in red-hot Houston right now, many of whose rappers (Slim Thug, Bun B, Paul Wall) appear here. He’s got a sleepy delivery perfectly suited to Houston’s sticky beats, and he tosses off nonchalant, innocuous rhymes that turn self-promotion into almost innocent statements of fact: “I’m Mike Jones (who)/ Mike Jones the one and only/ you can’t clone me,” he shrugs in “Still Tippin’,” and just try to contradict him. He chews these lyrics in smooth, round vowels that sound like he’s got a mouthful of marshmallows, and he sounds so pleasant even when he claims, “I’m getting’ brain from yo dame,” in “Turning Lane,” all you think is, Cool.

It’s the production that connects booty to noggin and sets both bobble-head bouncing. “Screw Dat” and “Turning Lane” chug beats as viscous as maple syrup, turntable wicky-wicks and bass swooshes swimming through the backgrounds like video-game noises. A looped vocal fragment orbits a jittery pong beat like a nervous stripper, and Jones eases into its heavy-lidded glide like it’s a familiar chair. The screwed and chopped version loops and slows these Houston staples to the even more Lone Star signature pace, the sound of beats walking through an unbearable summer heat and humidity and melting, losing a little bit of sound and pace with each step on the steaming pavement, until all that’s left is a hypnotic coma pulse with mantras “Mike Jones” and “Swisha House” as aural oases glistening through the steamy haze. It’s an acquired taste, but Who Is Mike Jones? is one of the more accessible good-times entrances to it.

E-mail Bret McCabe

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