Mike McFly On Oklahoma Hip-Hop, "P4M" & Creative Versatility [Interview]
Oklahoma emcee Mike McFly put out one of my favorite EPs this year in "P4M". The music as vibrant and colorful as the beautiful cover art associated, McFly tackles a number of subjects and makes it digestable and substantial enough for the listener to be entertained but also take something more from the project. I had a chance to sit down with Mike McFly to talk about Oklahoma, "P4M" & more.
DEHH: For those who don't know, who is Mike McFly?
Mike McFly: Im just a kid from Oklahoma..a military brat to be specific..a dreamer..an artist..a nerd (before it became cool, shout-out to Lupe) a character in God's grand story..my life is one prolonged method acting period lol (kidding) an anime lover (also before it became popular)..most would say I'm an introvert..some would say I'm outgoing..depends on who you ask really lol
DEHH: Tell me a bit about coming up in Oklahoma and the Oklahoma hip hop scene.
MM: Coming up in Oklahoma was literally the epitome of the "crabs in a bucket" theory. On one hand, you were able to learn from other cultures because I grew up in a "military town." So in a sense, you were able to escape your living conditions through other people's stories. Hardly anyone was ever truly from there. We were all just military kids stuck in this small city (Shoutout to Lawton) who had bigger aspirations to simply just make it out....and alive! That's important to note because the gang culture is prevalent there amongst the young people. Most people are shocked to hear that but it's true. As far as music goes, "hip hop" per say in the literal sense is not huge there at all. There were a few local rappers who built up a small following and even had a good look or two but have never been able to break into the industry. There is a lot of talent there. No one has stepped into that role as a leader yet tho. The biggest problem is the lack of support but I'm sure that's no different from any other city.
DEHH: Let's jump into why we're here, "P4M" what inspired its creation?
MM: Here's the short version: P4M stands for Pray 4 Me...going into this project, that statement alone began to resonate with me throughout all the injustices that have been occurring with African Americans, cultural shifts, weird-trending topics in the world and other recent events that have taken place in my personal life. It made me think of how quick we are to ask for material things to satisfy us but how often do we ask others to pray for us? Once I meditated on that I began to uncover themes centered around that thought and that's where we get P4M.
DEHH: You play with a lot of different sounds and arrangements. I think the track "Jett Jackson" has that confident feel to it, but then you move to a track like that gorgeous interlude and now you're taking on a jazzier, funkier feel. How were you able to balance all of this while still getting your story and point across?
MM: As a musician, I believe that's it's important to be able to express multiple emotions throughout your music, especially in a project. This is so people can really connect with you as a person. Once people connect with you as a person that they find themselves able to relate to, they can then receive the message you are attempting to get across to them.
DEHH: Speaking of the interlude, it's my favorite joint on the album you and Niecy Blues mesh perfectly together, how did that come about and how did you fit in the album?
MM: First of all I'm glad that this is your favorite song on the project. This is also the most personal song on the project for me for many reasons. One, I wrote this song specifically for my father who was diagnosed with PTSD. I also wrote this for myself when I was going through depression. This particular period really challenged me and I wanted to make the interlude (innerlude) to sound like a mantra and an affirmation. That's the reason why the song is so short. I wanted it to act as a source for healing and peace to the brokenhearted. It was almost as if God himself wrote it and used me to communicate it. The other reason this track is so special is because Niecy Blues is my biological sister! I have two other projects out (PBS Mind in an MTV World, 2015 and King Midas ep, 2016) and I always make it a point to collaborate with Niecy on all my projects. She's an incredible artist and we always end up being apart of each other's vision. It always ends up as the fan favorite of the project and it doesn't hurt that I'm having fun making music with my little sister!
DEHH: I think a clever style choice on this record was your inclusion of TWN on a number of the tracks. It gave me that Raekwon & Ghostface feel in a different sense. Tell me about your chemistry and what you two did with this project
MM: that's actually a great example to describe me and TWN's music relationship haha TWN has a gift when it comes to melodies and harmonies. He also has the ear of both a producer and an engineer. He actually engineered most of P4M! TWN is someone that I always have to have involved in some sort of way in my projects. He knows my sound and also knows the direction that I am heading toward musically. He always brings fresh, unique and creative ideas to the table when I'm working on a project. Not to mention we create magic every time we collab. It just comes naturally for us just like when I collaborate with Niecy. That's something that can't be learned. Once you find someone like that, you connect and build with that person because that is God's way of sending you people who can enhance your vision as well as you enhancing their vision by bringing the best out of each other.
DEHH: When cats are done with "P4M" what do you want them take from this project?
MM: I want them to know that they are not alone. I was talking with an older gentleman, probably in his late 40s, and he said to me," let me tell you something young man, there is nothing on this entire earth that you are going through that no one has not already been through before!" That really stuck with me. I want people to find comfort and answers in my music. Also, equally important, I want them to have fun and not take themselves so seriously.
DEHH: 2018 is truly only just getting started can we expect anything else from you this year? Will we see you on tour or anything?
MM: You can definitely expect more music from me. We have some merch that we are working on now for P4M. I have some festivals I am going to be playing in this year and various other shows but no tour dates just yet. My team is always looking to book shows in your local city. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org! Shoutout to Big Sto and Deadendhiphop for this lifetime of an opportunity! Last but not least shoutout to my God, my team, my family and supporters..stay tuned for more from The Fort!
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