I was invited to a video production shoot for a new project by Mickey Factz (aka Mickey MauSe) called Detroit Red from his 740 Park Avenue mixtape. This was 1 of a 3 part segment of the project. Like every project the Bronx artist has put out since 2007, it brings a sense of awareness, artistic creative insight, and his lyrical niche of telling a story. I got to sit with the hip-hop prodigy for a Q & A on his 740 Park Avenue project :
ZP: Tell me about your collaborative team that worked on this project with you?
MF: Well the director Nadia Tayeh, I’ve known for years. Her affinity for Malcolm X supersedes mine. She approached me with the idea and I was very open to it. Ndzine, was the DP and he shot it pretty well. The other people involved were all instrumental in bringing this to life. Even Aleem Bilal who produced the record.
ZP: As soon as you got on set, you guys jumped right in to the project’s check list, how did you prep for today’s project?
MF: The initial day of shooting was interesting. I had shaved my whole face which I had never done before. It was definitely different from anything I’ve ever done. Putting on the clothes and looking in the mirror, I knew I had actually become Malcolm during those times. It was very exhilarating to say the least. Putting on the different outfits and watching the images on the screen really gave me a sense of what was going on.
ZP: You were very selective with the images you to used in the backdrop. They seemed to put you in a zone why you were taping. Tell me about that?
MF: Well once the images came on and the camera was rolling, I got into full artist mode. And the images set the mood for a young Detroit Red, filled with anger. A lot of the emotions were derived from the character that young Malcolm exhibited.
ZP: Who inspires your art of story telling?
MF: I truly don’t know. It comes from another place that I cant explain. Its just really easy to convey the thoughts that I have in a story telling format.
ZP: You visited the barbershop twice, first to shave off your beard and also for the second taping of you getting your “hair fried”, meaning getting it relaxed. How was your experience with having straight hair?
MF: My head felt weird. Well when the products went in my hair, that process felt really good. I loved it. Then when it dried and I was done, i felt like I had a helmet on. It was so crisp and hard. Not smooth and wavy as I expected. Like a Frankie Lymon or something. Haha. But all in all the the experience was one to never forget.
ZP: You’ve been 100% hands on for the 740 Park Avenue project, are you a independent artist? What is the pros and cons of having label support and being independent?
MF: I am an independent artist doing it myself and its hard because in completely by myself. Label support offers budgets and garners more media attention. Being indie you rely on the people that support you genuinely and hope certain things catapult from that.
ZP: Your fans are amazing, how do you keep the connection so strong?
MF: I have to continue to give the fans what they want and need. They need real music. Inspiration. Understanding. Heartfelt emotions. Love. Dreams. I try my best to cater to them and speak to them daily. They are human just like me.
ZP: Describe what is the difference between Factz and MauSe?
MF: Factz is a direct correlation to who I really am. He is a writer. A thinker and a true historian of hip hop. Harsh critic but fun to be around. MauSe is an artist. A hard worker and a sarcastic conundrum. He loves to make people think and smirk from seeing his art. MauSe also is from a different era than Factz.
ZP: Do you have any video game collabos coming soon? What game would you like to work on?
MF: None at the moment. But hopefully my EA relationship will rekindle soon.
ZP: What do you want the new listeners to get from this project?
MF: Inspiration and to never quit. Ever.