Mike Jones

Who Is Mike Jones?

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If The Source handed out an award for Most Accessible MC, Swishahouse's self-made Mike Jones would be an easy bet. His greatest asset is self-promotion, which would still be the case if he were an above-average rapper. Jones promotes himself so audaciously that he might as well provide a key to his house with each mixtape he sells. He claims to field so many calls from his hotline -- a hotline he allegedly answers when he's not busy pronouncing, "Mike Jones! Hit me up at 281-330-8004!," to any life form within earshot -- that you must wonder if he's able to spend any time improving his mic skills. His first album with major label distribution (after a series of independent releases and mixtapes), naturally titled Who Is Mike Jones?, doesn't really answer any questions, though it does tell you that he can look real good when surrounded with the right people. He hits paydirt with "Still Tippin'," a magnificent thing so woozy in effect that you could be racing a sports car down a freeway and still feel like you're navigating a Hummer through a lake of curdled cough syrup. Here, producer Salih Williams and featured MCs Slim Thug and Paul Wall outshine Jones to such an extent that, after hearing it, you might be prompted to ask, "Where was Mike Jones?" Still, Jones is ultimately very likable, shown best in the closing track, a sweet tribute to his supportive late grandmother.

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