It’s not every day you have Warren G taking you under his wing, but for Mike Slice, this is all a part of God’s plan. Growing up in Orange County, real name Michael befriended little Warren next door without knowing his father was a rap mogul, especially on the West Coast. The 22-year-old recalls a time when Warren G came over to the crib and gave his brother some CDs. Hearing “I Want It All,” the title track to Warren’s third studio album released in 1999, for the first time, the rest was history. Read more…
In 2014, Mike released his debut single “Faded,” which featured production from the West Coast legend. Fast forward to 2018, records like “It’s Nothing” and “Moonlight” showcase his ability to spit real, authentic lyrics over hard-hitting production — the same type of storytelling that hip-hop was founded on.
For those who don’t know, who is Mike Slice?
Mike Slice is a rapper from Orange County signed to Warren G. He is a G-Funk artist and a 90’s baby.
What does G-Funk mean to you?
G-Funk is what I grew up on, so it’s basically the sound that cultivated me. It’s what ultimately molded me into the musician I am today.
How would you describe your sound?
What I like to do is take a lot of music from the 90’s and that old school era, and basically take a lot of inspiration from it and incorporate it into my music. Put a little modern twist on it.
I feel like you’re a super young 90’s baby, so you sort of went back.
Well my brother is 26, and he basically introduced me to rap and hip-hop. That’s what kind of put me on.
What do you think about these new cats?
I like them. There’s some of them I really like, and I like their music too.
Being from the OC, how does that play into your life and career?
It just gives a more relaxed vibe. Where I’m at basically just helps cultivate my sound. I think it differentiates myself from a lot of different people.
How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
It’s really important. You definitely need to be cultured more depending on where you’re from. LA has a lot of different ethnicities and a bunch of amazing musicians, and a lot of great people you can grow with and learn a lot from.
I love your record, “It’s Nothing”. I feel like you’re flexing on it. Can you talk about your journey as a rapper and when you decided this was for real?
I first started making music when I was around 10 years old. I remember I went a concert, one of my first concerts.
What concert was it?
I believe it was an Andre Nickatina concert. He always performed in the OC a lot. He was like just a staple over there when it came to people going to go see a show. I saw him perform and I noticed everyone was showing him love. He was an older dude still at the time, but I just saw the way everybody was… they were just so into it. And they were like my age — older than me at the time — but younger people like high school. I was like, “Wow, I want love like that.”
Talk about the release party you threw for “Moonlight” last night.
We had a party at Sam’s Hofbraus, the strip club. I can’t say too much, but we had a good time.
Is this a lifestyle?
That record seems to be slower than the rest. What is it you want fans to get from your story?
I want them to just get to know me, know who I am as a musician and a person. And know that I’m not afraid to be myself.
Talk about your relationship with Warren G and how you guys connected.
When I was younger, I lived next door to Warren G. I grew up with his kids, we were always around the studio. His wife and my mom were friends. I made a mixtape at the time and she gave it to her. He ultimately didn’t end up listening to it — people like that get a lot of CDs and stuff, so he didn’t know at the time. Then we ran into each other at the studio later on in life, a studio that I was booking out at the time, and we just linked up. He was like, “Man hit me up,” and we just started working. We just kept going from there.
What’s the best piece of advice he’s given you?
Be different. Definitely be different. Be yourself, but be different.
You grew up listening to artists like Big L and Cappadonna. How does hip-hop today compare to back then?
It’s really different. You can still find people that are really rapping. When I think about that type of sound, I think of like Joey Bada$$ and people like that. Well the East Coast sound, if we’re talking about Big L and that type of sound. Those type of people are really keeping it going.
How’d you get your name?
It was given to me by a friend, and it comes from back in the day when you would make a record, like splice the tape. It kind of came from that.
You’re only 22, what’s your end goal?
I just want to be loved and respected, and have people see me as a true artist.
How important is social media for your career?
I feel like nowadays social media is everything for a lot of musicians and artists, so I think it’s pretty important. Definitely.
What is your take on the music industry?
I mean, you have to be ready for it if you want to do this. You just have to be committed, strong, level headed, and focused more importantly than anything.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
I would probably be some type of art. If not art, I like to cook food. I don’t know, something like that.
What do you like to cook?
A bunch of stuff. Whatever my mom taught me when it comes to pasta, steak, etc. I’m learning how to barbecue now, because Warren G barbecues all the time. He smokes all his food and stuff like that. I’ve just been watching what he does and going from there.
What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
I probably get up, I always go to the gym so I’ll go to the gym. Depending on what day it is, I’ll go to church, and then I’ll probably head straight to the studio and be working for the rest of the day. Of course, I’ll probably eat — the regular stuff — and then go to the studio and just be working the rest of the time.
3 things you need in the studio?
Headphones, microphone and paper.
Paper like to write or to smoke?
To write. [laughs]
What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
Probably on social media. Not too long ago, this lady hit me up and she was telling me — actually two people. One of them was telling me — ‘cause I have a song called “All on the Line” out right now. In the song, I say, “No more don’t wanna see my mama cry.” That’s a line in it, it’s a part of the chorus. They hit me up in the DM and they said, “I love the song, it really gets to me.
I love the love that you have for your mother, someone that I don’t have in my life.” She was like, “I just appreciate you, I support you,” and this and that. That’s huge. And then another person hit me up and told me kind of the same thing, but she said that she has a disease and my music really helps her. It makes her feel better and stuff like that. I was like, “Wow, that’s huge.” I’ve never heard anybody say anything like that before.
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Right now? Man, I go all over the place. If I wake up, I’m probably going to listen to some Notorious B.I.G. Probably.
What’s your favorite song by Biggie?
There’s so many. I like “Who Shot Ya,” just because my brother knows every word to that song. Every time I hear it, I think about him.
Dead or alive?
Alive, so we can make it happen.
Honestly, probably Dre. But I like the umbrella that I’m under right now, I’m pretty blessed to be able to sit with these legends and learn from them, so I’m just happy to be where I am right now.
One more question, can you talk about the tattoo on your hand?
Which one, the world? [points to palm] I saw this tattoo when I was really young, Lil Wayne has the same thing. I saw that and I was like, “When I’m older, I’m gonna get something like that.”
Anything else you want to let us know?
You can follow me on Instagram @tharealslice and all my social media, Mike Slice. MikeSliceMusic.com is my website where you can find the links to all my videos, Spotify, iTunes, all that good stuff.