Slip-N-Slide Records rapper Mike Smiff has been garnering much momentum as of lately and it only continues with his new single / visual “4 1 Nite” featuring City Girls. The visual was premiered via WSHH and the single is available across all streaming platforms.
We also had the chance to speak with the Miami-native for an exclusive Q+A. Check that out below as well as the “4 1 Nite” video.
Q: How did you get your start in music?
Mike Smiff: “I’ve been doing music longer than I’ve be able to read. I started out writing poetry in 3rd grade as a way to vent. I wrote short stories and was even paid to write essays. Writing became a stress reliever for me.
In high school, my love for music grew. Even as an athlete, I knew music was my career path; I had no plan B. I would made mixtapes and sell them in school, freestyle in the locker rooms and perform at pep rallies. I made a song for the football team and it circulated around the whole school to the point that the crowd would rap along to the song while I performed. My love for music evolved from there.”
Q: How would you say that being from Dade County shaped your lifestyle and your music?
Mike Smiff: “I grew up listening to Florida artists such as Trick Daddy, Uncle Luke, JT Money, etc. They taught me to represent where I come from and speak MY truth. The lingo they used and the way they dressed really hit home for me because they represented our culture. Knowing what these guys meant to me growing up, I want to have that same impact on the youth today. I have pride in being where I’m from and I want to represent Dade County all over the world.”
Q: Who would you say are your musical heroes and why?
Mike Smiff: “Trick Daddy is definitely among my top 5 along with Tupac. Trick is a musical hero to me because he was someone I would see shopping at our local grocery store, attending football games, riding throughout the city, giving back at holiday drives, etc. At the same time, you would turn on the TV and see him on BET, MTV, and 106 & Park when it aired. Even as a big star in his peak, he never forgot where he came from. He molded me as an artist ever since I was in the 6th grade. Now as my mentor, it’s like everything has come full circle. To this day, I don’t think Trick knows how much of a fan I really am.”
Q: What was your first encounter with Trick Daddy?
Mike Smiff: “As an artist who paved my own way selling CDs out of the trunk of my car and really grinding, my growing popularity put me on Trick’s radar. He knew what was going on in the streets. He opened a dance club called ‘Miami Nights’ that operated from 2008-2015. Every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday it was packed. At that time, I was one of the hottest artists in the game and 3 or 4 of my records would play in the club. Trick saw me moving and performing around Florida and one day, out of the blue, he called me to give me words of encouragement. From their, our friendship grew to the point where he would give me advice, invite me to events, and hop on a couple of tracks with me.”
Q: Who are a few artists that you haven’t worked with that you would like to?
Mike Smiff: “I grew up in a time where the internet didn’t exist. I only knew of music in my neighborhood so I fell in love with the hip-hop that I heard on the radio. I became fans of artists in my city. Now, I’m willing to work with anyone that wants to work with me. It has to be an artist that’s also making moves and that loves music as much as I do.
To name a few, I would like to work with Trina, Ball Greezy, Brisco, and Ice Billion Berg. I would love to work with Scarface. That one I definitely want to check off my bucket list.”
Q: What achievement would you say your are the most proud of, musically?
Mike Smiff: “Being able to financially support myself with a career in music is definitely an achievement I’m proud of. It wasn’t long ago that I was at my lowest of lows, financially, where it felt like everyone around me threw in the towel. Even though people didn’t see my vision, I rolled the dice on me. I did what I had to do and it was hard for so long but I always believed in my music.
In 2009, I was gaining local popularity in the rap scene from selling CDs and having my music played in clubs. Between 2012 and 2013, I lost my apartment and had nowhere to go. I spent the next few years moving around in search of financial stability. I would do a couple of features just to eat and survive. That point in my life taught me to appreciate the things that I’m grateful for and it motivates me to this day to keep grinding. I can’t ever go back to living like that. It gave me inner-strength. Around 2013-2014, my name started to become known in my city but I wanted to travel where nobody knew who I was.
I traveled to Belle Glade, Florida, which was a small town with one of the highest murder rate in Florida at that time. It was one of those places people were scared to go to. However, I knew that’s where I needed to be because it reflected the kind of music I was making back then.
One day, I was driving around Belle Glade and there was a McDonalds that was crowded with people. There were a lot of people inside the restaurant, hanging around outside, and even at the drive thru. I took the opportunity to park my car and begin selling CDs around the McDonalds. I handed a CD to a man that was sitting in his car and he asked me if the music was good. I told him if it wasn’t, he could come back and see me. 15 minutes later, he came back and said he loved it. He told me to check in with his main man, so I followed him to a housing projects. When we pulled up, there were about 20 guys standing around. Boo Carter was the man running everything. He told me he did music too then invited me to perform at his birthday party where Brisco would also be performing. He told me he couldn’t pay me for the event but I was glad to be given the opportunity.
During the night of the party, as soon as it was my time to perform the crowd was going crazy. Brisco saw the crowd’s reaction and from there, we began to travel all over Florida. After that, I was booked every weekend, my prices went up for features, and I was able to start stacking my money.
The crazy thing about that whole experience was leading up to the party, Boo called me saying that people were hype to see me perform at the show after listening to the CDs. Even though he said he couldn’t pay me for the event, he ended up giving me $1500. At this moment, I realized the importance of knowing my worth in correspondence with pricing. I created a demand for myself and was no longer just happy be invited to performed. Boo changed my outlook on the industry. Now I’m very hands on with learning more about the business side of the industry.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Mike Smiff: “In 5 years, I see myself taking full advantage of the opportunities God has placed in my life. I want to do acting, open businesses, give back to the community, and more. I want to give back to those that helped me along the way without them even realizing it like sending me words of encouragement or even offering me something to drink unbeknownst to my financial circumstance. There are so many positive things I want to do in my community such as opening stores, get into real estate, and start music and sports programs so that kids can stay busy. In the next 5 years, I plan on taking full advantage of my popularity as an artist and expand my brand.”
Q: Any projects coming up that we should know about?
Mike Smiff: “I have a mixtape coming out before the end of 2018 called All Gas, No Brakes, Vol. 3. The title speaks on my mentality and work ethic. I don’t stop hustling no matter what happens.
I dropped Vol. 1 in August of 2015 and Vol. 2 in August of 2017. It’s one of those projects that my fanbase looks forward to.”
Writer/Moderator: Laianna Wright