iCon the Mic King
Impulse Gamers, now that we have the low down on Acid Music Studio, what it can
do with music loops and mixing, I thought it only appropriate to speak to a real
professional artist that makes use of Sony Acid products in some capacity as
they create their music. Rapper iCON the Mic King has been round the block and
still sounding surprisingly fresh with the mix of Rap and hints of soul. With
this man it seems like his dedication to his art, is whole. (Making a living at
it, can't be half bad either... but if you really listen, the music is a life
time, not a past time for iCON the Mic King.
1: First off, thank you for taking time out to do this over the net interview
for Impulse Gamer. To kick it off, I have to ask....the music industry is
competitive enough, Granted a music artist has to be freaking good at what they
do. But for Rap especially, For a Rapper you have to have some mad skills, it
seems you have to really be feeling it or you are not even yesterdays news. How
tough is it?
Well it certainly is a lot easier than you made it sound [laughs]! However the
struggle for me isn't in the creation of the rhymes it's more in keeping all the
balls I have to juggle in the air. In these times with the industry being a lot
less lucrative you end up having to wear multiple hats to stay afloat. Even so I
don't mind the challenges and I like to think I make it look easy!
2: How did you get your start? What's your best memory of when you first got
your start? What's your worst?
My parents moved me out of Philadelphia for high school and rhyming was one of
the ways I stayed connected to my "urban roots." I started out freestyling in
'95, then started releasing records and hitting the road in 2002 and haven't
really looked back. Best memory? Everything was magic when I was first starting
I didn't understand all the mechanics of rapping so it seemed like I was dealing
with word magicians so every cipher, every show, and battle was amazing to me.
You can still hear those ethics I learned from then in the way I write. I guess
my I just loved how fast in my case that the student became the teacher. Worst
memory? I don't like focusing on negatives [laughs]!
3: Jumping around a bit here, since we are tying this interview in with
Mixing and sequencing on Sony Acid Music Studio, I understand that no matter how
good your system is, if the Mic is crap, it just ain't happening. Between some
of the basic Microphones such as a Dynamic or Condenser Microphones also have a
number of different pick up patterns. (Cardioid , omni directional, and figure
eight pattern...) Are there certain types you find yourself using? Do they help
in that sound your trying to get?
Honestly I don't get that in-depth with it. I have a Rode NT-1A condenser mic I
record everything in Acid then I hand it over to my main producer Chum the
Skrilla Guerilla and he works his magic in Acid and SoundForge. He has all the
good plug-ins and the know how. Truthfully I would want something warmer like
the Blue Baby Bottle mic. I'm pretty sure they are both cardoid but as a
starving artist I can't really afford it so I just got what I could and I'm
lucky enough to have an engineer who is real good at what he does.
4: What do you like the most about Sony Acid Music Studio?
I love how intuitive and easy to use it is. As with the rest of the Sony
products once you know one you know them all. It makes it very easy for me to
whip up custom instrumentals and intros for my shows and even make a beat or two
if I feel like it. It's especially easy to record myself. I arm a track and hit
ctrl + r then jump in the booth. It's kinda funny to watch.
5: I have to admit, I was more than a little surprised at some of the
intricate string intros for such songs as Drifting with the tide ft. awar. That
is some really masterful stuff going on. How hard is it to keep the bass
elements with out screwing up the upper frequencies? (I know mad skills...) How
involved is the process?
Vanderslice made that track, I'm not sure the process that went into it, however
I know from watching Chum mix tracks it's pretty much a guess and check process.
You generally have an idea of what will work from all the experience with the
program but even so you have to play around with the various assignable effects
until it sounds the way you want it to.
6: Speaking of the arrangements, some artists do it all as they go, some
start out with it, while some even dread it and leave it for the very end. Do
you have a process you stick to? Or is it different every time?
I generally have an idea of what events I want to happen in the beat as I go
however a lot of the times those ideas don't mesh with the producer's ideas and
we'll argue it out but we'll arrange the beat roughly and then fine-tune it once
all the vocals are laid and manipulated. Sometimes if a beat is arranged in such
a definitive way when I get it I'll just write directly to it so there no
post-arrangement at all but the former happens a lot more than the latter.
7: Is there a song that you created and are not particularly happy with, and
if you could, you would take it back.... And Why?
[Laughs] If I say that then all the readers of this interview will go download
it so I should just lie and say a song that I really like. There's plenty of
songs I have that I don't like anymore because I outgrew them in one way or
another. I loved them all when I made them though so that's gotta count for
something. I don't think I'd take anything back however I did kick around the
idea of re-recording some songs and re-releasing them as a record called
8: Tell us, if you can of your latest project...
I just released the first set of songs in my "Headphone Classics" series. The
songs are "Drifting with the Tide,” “Fall from Grace,” and Sparks Fly. All songs
feature my dude Awar and are produced by my man Vanderslice. We did videos for
“Drifting...” and “Fall From Grace.” Headphone Classics is a series of songs I’m
going to be releasing quarterly as a way to give the fans new music and videos
regularly without having to reduce myself to making mixtapes.
9: Thank you so much for taking time out for this, now open floor. What would
you like to tell your fans and your soon to be new ones?
Thank you for taking the time to shed some light on the best rapper ever.
[Laughs] Thank you (the reader) for taking some time to check me out. Feel free
to find out more and stay in contact at:
I’m So Good At This! Peace!
How about that Fellow Impulse Gamers?
You can also check out iCon The Mic King on iTunes, just search for iCon The Mic
King. If you do not have iTunes yet, get it at
Have fun, play games, be creative!