22-year-old Mike Jaggerr, who reps Brooklyn by way of Delaware, is a rapper, songwriter, and producer and is ready to work his way into your music playlist. He’s already released his debut mixtape titled The Eleventh Hour hosted by Delaware’s own DJ Wonder and has performed for Peter Rosenberg’s “GeneratioNext” along with opening for J. Cole and he’s no where near slowing down.
The film school graduate raps effortlessly and quickly draws into his world of storytelling with tracks like “Away” & “Drugs,” but you also get a look into his hunger to succeed musically with records like “Undrgrund Kings,” “Morning, Noon & Night.”
In addition to landing on our list of artists need to be heard, he’s also been listed as an artist to watch in 2012 by Roc4Life and AOL’s Boombox . In this interview with TheUrbandaily.com he discussed everything from developing his rap flow, the story behind his name, directing Kanye’s biopic, loving to cook and more.
TheUrbanDaily: When did you start rapping?
Mike Jaggerr: As a profession, I started when I was 14 in a music collective known as Bassline and through that I’ve been able to headline amazing tours. As the rapper of the group when we traveled I got to see different cultures and see different tastes of music and that reflect the music I make today. I also produce music because I couldn’t find anyone to make the beats I wanted while I was in the music group.
What’s the meaning behind your name?
When I was in film school my man used to call me Jagg after I had said it as a joke one time but he just kept calling me that and everywhere we went all the white kids –we went to a predominantly white film school- they all started calling me Jaggerr.
When we would go out everybody would be like he’s about to “jag her” which was our way of saying you’re ‘bagging a girl’ and it stuck and I ran with that name. I vaguely knew about Mick Jagger and I didn’t listen to the Rolling Stones but I knew who it was but to me it’s just a name. I was just looking at it like ‘oh, this sounds cool,’ it looks cool on paper and people remember that sh** so I will run with it, Mike Jaggerr.
When did you know you had talent?
Growing up, I had a lot of time to use my imagination and if you listen to my song “Away,” you learn that I grew up with no electricity and no running water. As a result, I had ample time to sit by myself and use my imagination because all I had was my radio. One day I had found a box of tapes from a girl who just threw out all of her boyfriend’s things on the lawn and I took the box of tapes and ran home. From that box, I studied all the early classic hip-hop albums, and I think the year I found it was the year “Hard Knock Life” came out which was inside the box, Biggie, DMX all the classic s***.
So at home, all I had was time to use my imagination and I started to write my own raps and songs. So to go back to your question, I realize I had a talent when I had nothing to do but to use my imagination to make music since I didn’t have electricity at home or anything.
What’s your favorite rap lyric from someone else?
My favorite line, aw man, it’s: “B***h you wasn’t with me shootin’ in the gym” that’s my favorite rap lyric right now, it’s all I ever say with my team. But in all seriousness, my favorite rap lyric would have to be from Eric B & Rakim’s “Paid in Full”
“Thinkin of a master plan/Cuz ain’t nuthin but sweat inside my hand.”
That line from Rakim gives me a visual that embodies the way I think and when I wake up and that’s being focused on my master plan. With lyrics like that, I can feel that plight and with my own background, I find it easy to relate.
Pretty much, I wake up thinking about music, I go to sleep thinking about music, when I’m having sex with my girl, I’m thinking of a melody –I’m banging to the beat, yeah, that line does it for me.
When was your “Big Break?”
I actually have a two moments that I consider to be my “big break” and the first would be my feature as The Source’s “Unsigned Hype,” just from the historical importance of it because some of the greatest artists that I look to and aspire to be like had that accomplishment.
Another defining moment would be when I released The Eleventh Hour as a solo project and to have people receive it well encourages me to keep making music. It’s truly amazing to also meet the people who have listened to my music quote my lyrics and say that songs like “Away” helped them. I was in a music group when I was younger and working in a group is great because you share that experience but The Eleventh Hour was my first solo endeavor and I’m proud of the final result.
What does Free.Lifestyle, your series of freestyles, mean to you?
When I do freestyles I like to completely recreate them, I don’t like to do a random freestyle. I might do a new hook or I might actually do the hook over. I like to do the song justice & I want them to embody a certain feel.
As for the meaning of FreeLife it’s my brand, my company and it’s a way of thinking, it’s about knowing what you want. Having a Free.Lifestyle means that you are your “first yes” because you’re gonna see a hundred ‘no’s’ before you see another ‘yes.’
What are five things you can’t live without?
The five things that I can’t live without, first I would have to say a studio to record music, my jewelry, the good people around me because they are like my guardian angels, reading inspirational and spiritual books and gourmet food.
What is your hidden talent?
I have two hidden talents and the first would be filmmaking and the second would be cooking. Many don’t know that I went to film school, which is where my skill for filmmaking comes from, and I am a huge foodie, which makes cooking easy for me too.
Who would play you in a movie?
I can’t say I’m interested in acting but I will say that I would like to direct Kanye’s biopic in 15-20 years. That’s a real goal for me. In 15-20 years I should have impacted the culture greatly so it’s feasible goal and one I will continue to put it out in the universe.
Look out for his mixtape re-release Eleven30 coming soon with special guests Big K.R.I.T, Audra The Rapper, STS and more. You can follow Mike Jaggerr on Twitter @mikeJAGGERR and you can also follow him on Tumblr.