Interview: Mike Schpitz chats with Chicago Hip-Hop Blog by BFM
Gaining ground on the Chicago Hip-hop underground market is Mike Schpitz. From his mixtapes, features, to his live performances the man is on fire. Recently Chicago Hip-Hop Blog got in touch with him to shoot the shit. If you don't know already, get to know him...
Is Mike Schpitz your gov'ment or a nickname?
Mike Schpitz is just my nickname for music. My real name is actually Mike Jones but due to another rapper having the same name, I couldn't exactly use that but most people know me as Mike Jones, Mike Schpitz or LoveJones.
How long you been writing/recording/performing and what circumstances in you past made you the dope artist you are today?
I've been writing poetry since I was about 14 or so. I tried to rap in high school a little, just writing stuff in notebooks or attempting to freestyle at parties and whatnot but I really started writing songs when I was 19. I wrote my first song to a beat my brother made. After that I was hooked. We used to record in my buddy's basement in college and ended up making enough songs for a CD. We got our first performance in like 04 in Emporia, Kansas opening for a rock band. Since then, I haven't really stopped. It was when I moved to Chicago that I really started taking music more seriously and working hard on perfecting the craft. I think because I am a perfectionist in some aspects, that I like challenges me to continually grow and get better. I would have never tried to make music had it not been for my brother messing around making beats back in college. As soon as I performed the first couple times, I fell in love. When I moved up here and started meeting different people, it felt like this is what I am supposed to be doing. Guys like Phys Edison, Vanysh, SLOT-A really set the tone for me to get better and better. After seeing that people like what I was doing, it really made me want to get better and better. All the people I have worked with have really challenged me to become a better emcee/songwriter, artist, etc. Oh yea, my parents were in a Bluegrass band called Scrapwood Stringband. Maybe that had something to do with it. I'm not sure. I think seeing myself as an underdog and having to prove myself, especially when people see me take the stage before hearing me or seeing a picture of me, makes me really strive to surprise people when they do get to hear me.
What's your favorite thing about the Chicago Hiphop scene right now?
My favorite thing about Chicago, hands down, are the amount of talented people. I'm sure like most scenes for up and comers or unknown artists, things are hard just finding the right avenues to get your music heard by a large amount of people and building that "buzz." But Chicago has so many talented people it's crazy. I have been blessed to be able to work with guys like SLOT-A, Phys Edison, Maja 7th, Ill Brown, Wes P, Rob Bates, Pete Sayke, Add-2, Dave Coresh, Neak, Sincerely Yours, Rashid Hadee and so many more. I mean that lineup alone is incredible. And not just rappers and producers but photographers, videographers, singers, etc. There is just an incredible amount of talented people.
You do running with a cool crowd. I hear alot of good music collaborating Neak, Slot-A, and youself. How did that come about?
Really, it just came with meeting them guys, hearing each others music, hanging out and realizing we are all good. We all respect each other so it was pretty easy to link up. I met SLOT through Vanysh. We basically just kind of linked up, made a song and then been good friends ever since. I met Neak through SLOT and Add-2. He saw me perform, I saw him perform and that was it. I think it all just blossomed out of respect for each other's music. Once we started getting together and collabbing more, it has been easy to make music. Neak's #illRaps has really allowed for us to get together more frequently and make some music right on the spot. It was been a lot of fun.
Where do you see yourself in this game in 5 years from now?
Well, 5 years from now, my son will be almost 5 so hopefully being a good dad and getting him into music and sports. As far as music is concerned, I want to be making enough money to do music full time, have my own little studio, working out of there and maybe finding new, younger artists to help push forward. Hopefully I will be touring the US, North America and overseas. I just want to continue to build and grow. Maybe do some work with guys like Hi Tek, Nottz, 9th Wonder, DJ Khalil. Maybe do a joint with Kendrick Lamar, Yelawolf, Elzhi. Things like that. Definitely have my little label, The Prize Package set up where I can release my stuff and some other people's stuff under one umbrella.
What's your latest project and what's next on the agenda fam?
MAN!!!! I got a lot of shit on my plate right now. It's hard to really tell people how hard I've been working without showing them the amount of music that I have done and am doing. Next week, March 30th, my project, The Prize Package Volume 1 drops. That will be available on DJBooth.net. It's also sponsored by RefinedHype.com and YNotMyDream.net. After that, I'm putting out an exclusive mixtape for Frostwire/Frostclick called Spring Cleaning. It is basically a compilation of projects that I have dropped or am getting ready to drop. It will feature songs from Love Potion Number 9th, Stanley Ipkiss, Mike Murder, The Prize Package, Sunday Skool and Have You Seen My Stapler. After Spring Cleaning is my album with Pete Sayke called Sunday Skool. That album is incredible. We really made some amazing music on there. After Sunday Skool, I got two other albums almost finished. My second album with Phys Edison is called Paid Time Off and it's all recorded. We're just doing some final mixing and putting the album together. Then lastly, my album with SLOT-A is called Have You Seen My Stapler is getting close to being done. We have recorded like 20 some songs but we gotta record a few more. I'm not sure when the last two are going to come out but they are almost done. Pete Sayke and I are already planning and thinking about our second album too. It's gonna be CRAZY. Other than that, just performing, shooting videos, doing features and continuing to get the music out there.
Where can they your screaming fan get their hands on your music and where can they see you live in person next?
My next live performance will be on April 6th at Subterranean in Chicago. Pete Sayke and I will be performing songs from Sunday Skool. I am also doing a song with SLOT-A from The Prize Package. We are shooting a music video that night for that record. It's called Do It Right. We flipped a Madlib beat for that record. It's really dope. Other shows are in the works now but I got to be careful of when I perform because my son is due on April 19th so, I'll be MIA for a while.
Other than that, shout out to all my people. Topeka, Kansas for sure. My guys Adullessence, Dre Dai, Tona. All my chicago people you know who you are and of course, make sure you download my project, The Prize Package Volume 1 on March 30th. Also, check out my site www.mikeschpitz.com for more updates and my twitter @mikeschpitz. I got four projects out already, Sunday Drive, Love Potion Number 9th: The Hangover, Mike Murder and Stanley Ipkiss: Year of the Nice Guy. You can get them all right from my site. Thanks again man and shout out to BabyFace Monster!!!!!!
Make sure to come out to see em live!!! Subterranean on April Wed 6th @9pm. For everything that is Mike Schpitz go to: www.mikeschpitz.com