– They didn’t give me an advance because they believed in
me, they gave me an advance because I had the hottest record in radio. ♪ This is why I’m hot ♪ ♪ This is why I’m hot ♪ ♪ This is why ♪ ♪ this is why ♪ ♪ this is why I’m hot ♪ ♪ I’m hot ’cause I’m fly ♪ ♪ You ain’t ’cause you not ♪ ♪ This is why ♪ ♪ this is why ♪ ♪ this is why I’m hot ♪ ♪ I don’t understand how I
can have so many haters ♪ ♪ Knowing I’m they father
like my name is Darth Vader ♪ ♪ Homie I’m the president,
governor, and mayor ♪ ♪ I control everything like a dictator ♪ ♪ If good girls get down on the floor ♪ ♪ Tell me how low will a bad girl go ♪ ♪ She prolly pick it up,
drop it down real slow ♪ ♪ Either that or she’s
upside down on the pole ♪ ♪ MIMS ♪ (upbeat music) Growing up in Washington Heights, we were like the only
Jamaican family up there, ’cause it was full of Dominican people. When I was around, I think
nine years old, my mother, this the first time I remember
actually meeting my father. He had two turntables and a DJ mixer. And I remember tugging on my mom saying, what is that, what is that? And, you know, I gravitated
to the turntables. And fast forward, I think like, literally the year that
my mother passed away, as a birthday present she bought me two turntables and a mixer. The unknown of what my father, who my father was and what he did, it kind of left me wondering what he did, so I kinda adapted to
DJ-ing because of that. And then the second thing was right when my mother passed away, I kinda dived into music,
that was like my refuge. That was where I went to
get away from all the noise and all the negative things
that were going on in my life. So I lost both my
parents by the age of 13. Having to spend that
adolescent childhood kind of, you know, tryna identify with something, the first thing I gravitated to was music. I wanted to learn everything about it. My goal was to create music for the local talent in the neighborhood, but there was really no local
talent in my neighborhood, so I found myself not only making, doing the production, but
having to write the music and then turn around,
having to record it myself. When my mother passed away, my
grandmother obviously assumed the responsibility as my guardian. Somewhere midway in that decision, my aunt was relocating out to Long Island. I was around 16, 17 years old. For the first time I got to see middle to upper class people that look like me, and that was such a pivotal point for me because it opened up my palette
to a whole world of things that I didn’t even know existed. People who looked like
me that weren’t subjected to being drug dealers, or I guess, athletes, or things of that nature. Guy by the name of Kevin Woodley
sat me down and was like, “Look I know you wanna
help all these people, but you got talent. You should really kinda
pursue this on your own.” So he introduced me to a producer by the name of Dirty Swift, and one of the records we cut with him, a friend of his named Moe took
it up to Universal Canada, and they immediately wanted to buy it. And then here I am, I think
maybe 19, 20 years old and I released a record
called “Love ‘Em All” that’s charting in Canada. It’s a good and a bad thing. The good side is it says
that you’re close to success. The bad thing is that your mind says I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now, I shouldn’t be working
at this nine to five. The starving artist
period was the most fun I ever had in my life, for me. And the reason why is
because that’s the time where it’s either you
make it or you don’t. I got 15 people coming
out with me every night to try to get my record played in a club. I got a whole street team of
people flooding the streets of New York with MIMS paraphernalia. So, you know, to me that
was the most fun I ever had because I actually got to bond with people who really really
believed in me as a musician and were willing to go
out every single night and make sure people knew that. There was something in
me that I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I never wanted to say that
I was signed to anyone. So I made it my business
to create my own entity, partner up with some great people. So the first thing I
wanted to was find a record that I could release at
radio that would work. And “I Did You Wrong” was kinda that record that everybody decided on. We collectively decided
on we would push it. By reintroducing “I Did You
Wrong” to the southern market. One of the first stops we
did on the tour was Tampa. The music director at the time, her name was Beotta, she
heard “I Did You Wrong” and she was blatantly honest with me. She said, “This is not
gonna work in my market. It will never work in my market.” And I said okay, cool. In my back pocket was this record called “This Is Why I’m Hot”, and I pulled it out my back pocket and I said well how about this. She took a listen to it. She said “I’ll bring it
up in the music meeting”. Maybe two days later she called me and was like everybody in
the station loves the record. We’re gonna put it in rotation right away. ♪ This is why I’m hot ♪ ♪ This is why I’m hot ♪ ♪ This is why ♪ ♪ This is why ♪ ♪ This is why I’m hot ♪ ♪ This is why I’m hot ♪ ♪ This is why I’m hot ♪ ♪ This is why ♪ ♪ This is why ♪ ♪ This is why I’m hot ♪ So there’s a really interesting story behind “This is Why I’m Hot” as a record. So my manager at the time,
his name is Chris Fields, he came by and he brought me this beat CD. And on the beat CD it had all these like southern style records. And once again I’m, you know, I’m a underground New York hip hop artist, I’m used to the boom bap beats, I’m not sure if that week I had got news that a record label had turned me down, like I got rejected again. And I was so frustrated
by that process that I, me and him started joking
around, and here I am, I’m freestyling over
these southern beats and, like I’d kept repeating the same thing. This is why I’m hot. This is why I’m hot. This is why, this is why, so I’m literally like freestyling
this, and he looks at me, he says, “Yo, that’s
actually not that bad”. So I’m like, oh really? So I, you know, I proceeded to record it. ♪ And when I say I’m hot
this is what I mean ♪ ♪ This is why I’m hot (hot) ♪ ♪ This is why I’m hot (hot) ♪ ♪ This is why ♪ ♪ This is why ♪ ♪ This is why I’m hot ♪ Yeah, DJ Blackout, he cost
me a lotta money with that. The beat that you hear now, on the record, he kinda put his foot into it. He added about 4, 5 samples. Mobb Deep, “Shook Ones”. ♪ Say that we lost it
so I’ma bring it back ♪ – He used “Tell Me When to Go”. ♪ Take it to the Bay ♪ ♪ First cul-de-sac town ♪ ♪ They do it every day ♪ – Dr. Dre’s “Ain’t Nuthin’ But a G Thang”. ♪ Soon as I hit L.A. ♪ ♪ I’m in that low low ♪ ♪ I do it the Cali way ♪ – You know we used the
“Jesus Walks” sample. ♪ People say that I’m fly ♪ ♪ They love the way I dress ♪ ♪ They like my ♪ ♪ They like my tie ♪ – It did cost me a lotta money, but it propelled the
record a lot more, too. – The music, keep it real
there is just no better music for this part of the show. By my homeboy MIMS,
reppin’ New York all day, and it’s time to rip the runway. ♪ This is why I’m hot ♪ ♪ This is why I’m hot ♪ ♪ This is why ♪ ♪ This is why ♪ ♪ This is why I’m hot ♪ ♪ This is why I’m hot ♪ ♪ This is why I’m hot ♪ ♪ This is why ♪ ♪ This is why ♪ ♪ This is why I’m hot ♪ ♪ I’m hot ’cause I’m fly ♪ ♪ You ain’t ’cause you ♪ – I released the record in May, or I would say April/May of 2006. By September, August/September of 2006 we had already charted the record. It was already a top 40 record. And that’s when I
started to pique interest with all the labels. – MIMS is hangin’ out. The debut album “Music
is My Savior” out today. First single of course
“This is Why I’m Hot”. – [M.I.M.S.] “This is
Why I’m Hot” number one. – This single literally… (cheering) This single literally went from like zero to 60 in like, overnight almost. – I mean you know, I got
a good team behind me. Capitol Records, they definitely put a lotta elbow grease into this. – [Interviewer] Yeah. – Number one, went number one record- – [Interviewer] But the song
is a really solid song too. – I was flying to L.A.,
sitting in New York, sitting in some of the biggest
musical CEOs in the business, and we were tryna figure
out who was the right fit for me as an artist. And I decided to go with Capitol Records. If anyone was gonna pay
the most attention to me as an artist, it would be them as a label. They didn’t really have much of a urban situation going on at the time. I’m the franchise player, and I’m going to a team that’s gonna build around me, as opposed to me joining a team that may already be in existence, and I kinda get swallowed
into the black hole of where artists don’t get
pushed, the right push. So, Capital was a no-brainer at the time. That was the fastest period of my life. Everything was a blur
at that point in time. And then, you know, I get flak for not selling enough physical CDs. – [Female Voice] Despite the fact that you can’t escape his infectious hook, MIMS albums sales don’t reflect
the success of the record. He’s not too concerned about it though. – You can’t determine my success based upon the sale of a compact disc, when indeed that’s not where
technology lives right now. I’d like to say that everything
that I took flak for, because it was taboo at the time, like selling, being a digital artist, selling ringtones, later
on became the norm. I took a lot of that on my chin, being ridiculed because a lotta
people kinda positioned me as this one hit wonder. As I realize that everything
was becoming digital, I wasn’t surprised by
the success digitally. I had to take that on my chin. Meanwhile, everyone who came after the fact were praised for it. Technology lives in the internet world, lives on the web, lives
in digital downloads, it lives in ringtones, and
if people start realizing where music is going and
how technology is going, they’ll stop worrying about album sales. ‘Cause they’re gonna be what they are. “Music is My Savior” was completed before I actually signed
with the record label. The only thing that they
input was the album cover, which honestly I didn’t like. I mean, it was my face with
project buildings behind it, and I’m like, this is not my life. And that was actually my first taste of me not having the control that I thought I had as an artist. It’s funny ’cause the
record I wanted to go with off that album was a record
called “Without You”, which featured Latoya Luckett at the time. And I kinda wanted to go with that record ’cause I wanted to show a
little bit more diversity. I wanted to kinda slow it down. But we went with “Like This” because the people at
the radio department, which obviously I loved and I trusted, they felt like something uptempo to follow behind “This is
Why I’m Hot” made sense. And that radio would rather take more of that than they would
something that’s slowed down. So we went with that as follow up single. ♪ Good girls get down on the floor ♪ ♪ Tell me how low will a bad girl go ♪ ♪ She prolly pick it up
drop it down real slow ♪ ♪ Either that or she’s upside down on a ♪ March of 2007, I was told I had the number one
record in the country. That project probably accumulated, you know, I would definitely say about 13, 14 million, collectively. I’m expecting, and I
know my business partners at the time were expecting to see a check that kinda reflected those numbers. And I wanna say my
first check was probably in the range of about 30
something thousand dollars. And I’m like, wait a minute, like, I spent three times this
amount on a convertible. What’s going on? I remember calling my
business partner Eric, and I’m screaming on
him like, yo, you know, you told me we generated
millions of dollars. What is this? And he was just as blown back as I was. My mind is I did everything right. I didn’t sign a royalty-based deal. I wasn’t signed as an
artist; I was my own entity. I was executive producer
of my first album. The day that we got those
checks, our mindframe was no, I don’t wanna be on this
company, this label anymore. Oddly enough, I went to
a seven year litigation with Capitol Records. So I’m sure somewhere along the lines that as used as a way to say,
well we gave you an advance. They didn’t give me an advance
because they believe in me. They gave me an advance because I had the hottest record on radio. – Our next guest is a New York rapper who wants to make you move
with his new album “Guilt”. 106 please make some noise for MIMS! (cheers) MIMS, the album is here! – Finally! – Let’s do it! – So while I’m not
getting paid appropriately from the record label, I figure at least I can put this project together and get this check from
the publishing company. Going into the “Guilt” album,
at the time the noise was, “This is Why I’m Hot” one-hit wonder, what else does he have for us? I wanted to kinda give people me. That was the album that
I got the opportunity to say look, this is me as an artist. Listen to this collection of work so you’ll know who I really am. The biggest reason why I titled
the second album “Guilt”, during that time we were going through like the subprime time, recession. A lot of people were losing homes. A lot of people were losing
jobs, and here I am, you know, I’m on the road, I’m making
40,000 dollars a show. When we tend to get on certain records, we tend to talk a lot about what we have. We don’t necessarily take
into account what our fans and even friends and family
members are going through. I felt guilty because I’m like, okay, I’m living this huge life. I got this big home. What up MTV, it’s your boy
MIMS, and welcome to my crib. Come inside. Driving three or four cars in my driveway, but I’m getting calls from friends and family members saying,
I can’t pay my phone bill. Me calling the album “Guilt” was exactly how I felt at the time. ♪ Move (move) ♪ ♪ Make you wanna ♪ ♪ Make you wanna ♪ ♪ Make you wanna move ♪ ♪ Move ♪ ♪ Make you wanna ♪ ♪ Make you wanna ♪ ♪ Make you wanna move ♪ First thing off that album
was “Move If You Wanna”. My business partner,
CL, who was in Chicago, and he met up with a producer
by the name of Cosign. I always went to get people
that were great producers but didn’t have, necessarily
have the name or the platform. I’m like, let’s go with it,
this is gonna be the one that shows like me in a different world. And it did. Like, lyrically I feel like
it was still a bouncy record, but it wasn’t, it wasn’t “This
is Why I’m Hot” simplicity. ♪ I don’t need no goons by me ♪ ♪ If you want it come and try me ♪ ♪ We can do this broad day
in the middle of the lobby ♪ ♪ They say that they ♪ ♪ When they barely just the potty ♪ ♪ When they problems turn to prolly ♪ ♪ And they prollys turn to sorry ♪ ♪ Tell ’em ♪ The purpose of that record was to go with all the people who supported me, all the DJs who played my record. I wanted to give them something that even most of the DJs knew that I had the ability to do that. I called the warm up record. It was a warm up record
for the “Guilt” album. It didn’t necessarily define me. It wasn’t where my mind state was, but it was definitely a record that I felt would get the
attentions of the DJs. New York City backed it. A lot of the radio stations that played my record
previous to it backed it. A lot of this was initiated by my team. Capitol had a great radio
team and a radio department, but when it came time
to pushing records out, we didn’t wanna wait. I had a street team, a crew
of people that were going out, that had connections as well. We went and pushed that record, and I think we did a great job doing it without having the support
of the record label. We released the “Guilt” album
in, I believe April of 2009. I’m gonna actually like, give you insight as to
why April was the time that they chose to release the project. Capitol Records EMI was
a European based company. They were more worried
about releasing something so that they can show a certain
amount of numbers to investors that were interested in
buying EMI as a whole, and me I’m worried about,
obviously, a successful project. So I was told at the
time by the salesperson that we were gonna move
80,000 units first week. I was worried because I’m coming off one year of doing nothing. So I knew anything that
was gonna get launched out there was gonna fail. The album comes out. First week sales, I
wanna say 12,000, 13,000. And that was like, that
was blow to my chin, because I realized that you don’t care about me as an artist. You’re worried about the numbers. You’re worried about what you’re
gonna show your investors. That kinda showed me that no matter how much you can put in
blood, sweat, and tears, there’s nothing that a record
label would ever be able to do ever me that I
couldn’t do for myself. After the success of the second album, we went directly into litigation. And litigation was auditing. I wanna see the books. And I wanna see where you
guys spent this money. After six years of actually going back and forth between the two attorneys, I decided to shift my focus into a world where there’s not a lot
of African American men. And that’s in technology. – If anybody’s been paying
attention, then they know you have been in the tech
space looking at things and doing some things since
you’ve been in the music space. – I’ve always been like a tech geek, or tech nerd as they say, but- – [Man In Blue] Welcome
to the fold, thank you. – Yeah, absolutely, so you know, it just opened up my eyes and… I’m this tech fanatic. I love technology. Like, if there’s anything tech-related, I’m probably the first person to have it. Do away with the Ferraris
and the Bentleys; I’d rather drive a Tesla. 2015, 2016, I kinda said to myself, I wanna do something that
I’m passionate about. And I’m passionate about creating things that I feel can affect
change in the music industry. I wanted to allow users,
no matter where they where, to use their cell phone as
a studio to record music. Why? Because you’re talking about a person who just came up into an industry
where everywhere you turn, it was about giving up
money, paying for this, paying for that, and you know,
what that does is it says, if you don’t have money,
whether you’re talented or not, you don’t have a place
in the music industry. I said we gotta keep
everything under five dollars, I said, because that’s
what’s gonna allow artists to be more prominent on the platform and also have the courage to come back and continue to do music and fire music. So the one thing I never wanted people to worry about was recording. Why? Because you’re supposed to be having fun when you record music. Doing it this way, it allows
me to do it in the masses, and that came to be the
app I have now co-created. So I have two things that weigh against me in the tech world. One, I’m an African American black man. And two, I’m a former hip hop artist. I have to battle with proving
myself on the tech side. That I’m savvy enough to understand the lingo and the business. And then the second part
is trying to get away from, oh that’s MIMS, Mr. “This is Why I’m Hot”, and I can tell when people wanna put me on stage because I’m the musician. TechCrunch Disrupt New York City, one of the biggest
publications for technology. Someone from the TechCrunch staff said “I like your idea, I’m gonna put you guys in the battlefield to present
your idea as a startup”. Companies have already been vetted for the situation for months. So they already know I’m going
up there, I’m gonna pitch. My business partner’s had about, maybe, a half hour to prepare. So I remember Eric calling me, was like “Man we need you here. We need you to demo the app onstage”. – So how about I show
you how the demo works. To my left are both of my co-founders. I have Grammy award winning
music producer DJ Blackout and multi-platinum recording artist MIMS who’s gonna demonstrate
RecordGram for you. You know, this is a new world for me. Once again, I’m used to being onstage, but I’m used to sitting with people cheering
my songs and chanting. I’m not used to sitting in
front of a bunch of people that are like evaluating my company. There was a .08% chance
of not only us winning, being selected the way we did, but being a minority company, a minority-owned technology company, and also pitching that exact day and winning that competition. Probably one of the greatest
feelings in my life, honestly. As a young black
entrepreneur in technology, there’s not enough of us in the world that we get taken seriously all the time, and I kinda wanna like, start doing away with that stereotype. Black people, we are the
epitome of market movers. We are the reason why
certain apps do blow up. We have a lot more work to do, and we’re still learning a lot, but to be able to penetrate and disrupt the technology world, oh this is just the beginning for me.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Smart brotha, ahead of his time wit the outlook and landscape of the music industry and on his shhh wit da tech✊🏿

  2. That's a REAL dude right there!! What I mean when I say this is…when pretty much every single "famous" person says anything along the lines of " I do this for the people I care about most…My fans…The money and fame is just a plus." However their actions show different 99.999% of the time. The fact that he wanted to keep things at low cost…made me glad t6 see how down to earth he is. Like he doesn't just care about money. He understands money don't grow on trees. Also…I love how he just sees himself as a regular dude and doesn't want or expect to be treated any differently than a regular person with a 9-5 job. This video probably gets at least 100 comments a day…So the chances that MIMS or anyone connected to him will see my comment…If by just pure luck MIMS or his partners do see this…MIMS I have sooo much respect for you! You remain humble and totally didn't let the "fame bug" bite you. MUCH RESPECT!

  3. Blessings to You and your Team stay focused continued success glad you're well You found Your Passion and you're visible Thanks for your story and sharing "Insight" Business of Music.. . May some of the youth can be touched by your story to pursue Business..

  4. First off this should be an actual series on TV. Also this guy is underrated and was ahead of his time seeing where music was going. He is very intelligent to get into tech and investing in himself. Happy for this guy and wish him the most success.

  5. Yall gotta do Lil flip next, outta Houston he's always been one of the best. growing up that "I can do that" was always on repeat lol.

  6. Moorish American National government awaken to the Suprem laws of Noble Drew Ali Redemption Moorish American National Marcus Garvey Prophet Noble Drew Ali Redemption Swift Angel #1 Dr. Elihu N. Pleasant Bey Grand National chairman phone number 434-676-1555 One Love Bey Allah Islam Smith-bey I

  7. "This is why I'm hot" one of the worst rap songs ever to come out of New York City. 2006 was a DARK year in hip hop

  8. I'm a fields too.. wow lol. moms that mins joint was fire.. legendary. I'm glad to see he's well and smart. condolences on the parents loss. glad he had good support. much success.

  9. He is very well spoken its refreshing to hear him speak so well and tell his story. also Im so glad he is getting into the tech world so dope

  10. I love to see black artists speak intelligently and be so informative. MIMS enlightened me about who he is and his story tells how he didn't really fall off because he wasn't still on the music scene. Thank you

  11. We know he's Black by looking at him. Tell those who aspire–you are human and you deserve to be there because of your hard work and ingenuity–not the color of your skin. My kids are Hispanic, Black and Jewish. I would never say anything like this to them.

  12. One mistake yall make is assuming that by u being black u have a strike against u. Wut does it matter in the tech world or the world period wut colour u r?

  13. I met Mims at the core DJs event in Miami years ago…. and we spoke for about 15 minutes… and during that time I realized that he was much much bigger than Rap… he spoke about only wanting to help others… i told everyone he would be more…respect and God bless 🙏🏽

  14. Without you featuring Latoya luckett was actually my favourite song by him. I didn’t know he’s such a well spoken person, he should do podcast series.. I’d definitely subscribe

  15. Just started this series this week and seen the Murphy lee one too , both of these are powerful, keep up the good work ✊🏾

  16. Much props to Mims he linked up with me in Orlando during his prime to listen to beats and shit… we chopped it up for a bit. Eventually led to a remix … ppl still hit me up about that. Much props to the him for staying humble ✊🏽

  17. I’m so proud of this man, for proving there is more to us being successful then music sports and acting we can do anything. Trust me family there are people in high places that don’t want you to know this. Much love to all my black twelve tribe family

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