By now iCON the Mic King is surely a name that is either on the tip of your tongue or the bottom of your fingers. However in this, the information era where it all it takes is the right software packages and a microphone to become a rapper, it is the names transformed to word of mouth that get acquainted with longevity. The survival of the fittest code of ethics requiring aspiring rappers to pay their dues has been substituted with rap’s answer to “get rich quick” schemes and fast food culture. Gone are the days where MCs spent years honing their craft before entering the arena with their sharpest sword; now their first song and their best impersonation are one and the same and they are on sale at a store or bootlegger near you.
Brewerytown North Philadelphia native Michael King is the last of a dying breed. iCON’s music combines the principles of yesteryear with the cutting edge of progressive lyricism while maintaining its soul. That statement in and of itself may be hard to swallow but with the context of his influences (Pharoahe Monch, WuTang Clan, and the Lyricist Lounge-era) it becomes clear that this torchbearer for upper-echelon emceeing is everything he says he is.
Twice as arrogant as Kanye West this Howard University college dropout and internationally renowned ex-battle champion left the battle circuit in 2003 to further solidify his rightful position amongst respected songwriters. Before retiring the Mic King garnered a laundry list of championship and an even longer list of 2nd place titles some of the most memorable being: 2000 Hookt Cyberclash Favorites battle Champ, 2000 HU Verbal Armageddon Champ, 2000 Erico’s Mic Fight 2peat Champ, 2000 Uh-Oh Entertainment Round Series 2peat Champ, 2001 BET’s MC World Cup Finalist, 2002 Seattle’s Brainstorm2 Finalist, 2002 BET/Burger King College Tour Battle Finalist, 2003 Guerilla Grammar Finalist, 2003 Major Noise Battle Champ. The irony is iCON has shown and proven in an arena that destroys careers but only views battling as one of the springboards that helped in networking and snatching your attention.
At the end of the day the real issue is the quality of the music and the struggle to get it heard by the masses. Since 2001 iCON has appeared on at least two internationally distributed compilations per year but it wasn’t until 2002 while awaiting the funds to press his first 12” that iCON slapped together his first release. Music for Bootleggas EP was a collection of recordings compiled in the span of three weeks to sell at the Brainstorm2 battle. Very raw. Very unpolished. Before moving on iCON would sell 700 copies out of his backpack and via his website and two of the songs (“Greener Grass” and “Parallel”) would be re-recorded and re-released. Later that year in true DIY-fashion iCON released his first in a series of 12-inch singles “Ahead of My Time” ft. Tonedeff and PackFM with production from Kno of the Cunninlynguists. The critics rejoiced and fans consumed as the record sold out. In the downtime between singles “Rent Money Music” acted as food for the loyal subjects to know the Mic King was still on his throne and nearly 2000 copies were moved…again out of his backpack and online. Finally in 2004 iCON began to poke his head thru indie rap’s glass ceiling with the nearly simultaneous releases of his first official EP “Intricate Spectrum” (Indieground) and his long-awaited “IndieInBurns” (Third Earth Music) ft. C-Rayz Walz and production from Blockhead and Black Panther. Once again the critics rejoiced and the record sold out. With many more projects on the way (all leading up to his debut LP “self sent erred”), an undying passion to create, and unparalleled work ethic you’re beginning to see why so many of the indie rap breadwinners are scared to let iCON the Mic King in.
Son of a Philadelphian and a New Yorker iCON’s sound is definitively east coast. His highness is of the same royal bloodline as Phaoahe Monch, Prince Poetry, and closer to home The Last Emperor. His cryptic lyricism is vivid and, coupled with his rapid fire delivery, reminds you a time when rappers ripped beats. Every time iCON the Mic King spits on a track you get the feeling he knows this may be his only chance to capture your attention.
Whether solo or with ex-DMC/ITF champion and veteran party-rocker DJ Cue Two the work ethic and the need to impress translates to the stage. iCON’s stage show has allowed him to make headway in this saturated market keeping fans talking from Philly to Australia and most locales in-between. No stranger to the grind, iCON has hit the road on Greyhound buses with $5 in his pocket just to prove his name belongs in your mouth and has rocked stages with: Jay-Z, Ludacris, Ghostface, GZA, Raekwon, KRS ONE, Nice & Smooth, RJD2, SoulPosition, Jedi Mind Tricks, El P, Immortal Technique, Aesop Rock, C-Rayz Walz, OneBeLo, Hangar18, QN5, Illogic, Jean Grae, Roosevelt Franklin, J-Zone, Louis Logic, Apathy, Mr. Lif, and continues to leave crowds in awe in any locale that allows it.
HipHop has hit rock bottom. MCs have made themselves a commodity. Our luminaries are dictated by marketing and promotion schemes. However there is at least one emcee left building a legacy from pure talent and skill. That man is iCON the Mic King. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Intricate Spectrum e'il suo primo lavoro rilasciato ufficialmente nel 2004 e' un ep ma per me e' un mezzo classico,ascoltatelo perche' merita veramente.
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