Mike Jones wants you to remember his name. Therefore, before every song on his debut album Who Is Mike Jones?, he reminds you in case you may have forgotten. The continual drops and name plugging - "Mike Jones - Who Is Mike Jones??" - on every song runs tiresome throughout, making it obvious that Mike Jones is stuck in the mixtape game While Mike Jones has intrigued southern underground rap fans, he is unable to make the transition to the big leagues on his debut. The album is mired by rookie mistakes, inconsistent production, and poor lyrical showings.
The main problem with the album lies within Mike Jones. Throughout the album, he awkwardly stumbles with his flow, continually spitting off beat. This is never more evident than on the DJ Paul and Juicy J produced "Got It Sewed Up Remix". Paul and Juicy lace the track with a nice combination of heavy bass and plotting keys. However, Mike Jones rushes into the track headfirst and utilizes his usual mid to fast-paced flow. Unfortunately, Mike ends up flowing completely off beat. In addition, his southern drawl and constant mumbling hurts his mic presence.
Overall, the Houston native lacks the comfort on the mic needed to captivate his listeners. Mike never sounds at home over the beats on his album. He is unable to adjust to each tracks surroundings, and is more or less going to rap the same way every time, no matter what. This is seen on the sloppy "Turning Lane", as Mike's repetition of the track's title after every bar runs thin after the first minute. The production on the album does not help Mike's cause either. As Salih William's simplistic synthesizer production on "Know What I'm Sayin" even ruins a guest appearance from the legendary Bun B of UGK. Salih does not fair any better with his quirky keys on "Screw Dat", which also suffers from a lame hook.
The only noteworthy efforts on Who Is Mike Jones? are "Grandma" and the smash hit "Still Tippin". Even though the chipmunk soul of "Grandma" runs thin, Mike's heartfelt dedication hits home nonetheless. The album's true gem, "Still Tippin" has shocked the nation, as the song introduced the rest of the country to Houston's booming underground scene. Over Salik William's dark and errie production, complete with a slick violin sample, Slim Thug, Paul Wall, and Mike Jones combine for one of the year's best tracks. Even though Mike Jones repetition of "back then hoes didn't want me, now I'm hot hoes all on me", and Paul Walls corny line, "I'm crawlin' similar to a ant cause I'm low to the earth", will have you shaking your head in disbelief. Slim Thug thankfully rips the track to shreds with his verse. "Blowin on that endo, Game Cube Nintendo. Five percent tint, so you can't see up in my window. These niggaz don't understand me cause I'm Boss Hogg on candy. Top down at Maxi's wit a big glock nine handy".
If Mike Jones can tighten up his flow, work on his mic presence, and get some better production, than maybe he will be able to prove that he is more than a one hit wonder. However, Who Is Mike Jones? does little to dispel that notion for now.
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