Mikey Polo is on the brink of breaking through underground barriers to the mainstream in the rap game. Hailing from the DMV area, 25-year-old was born in Maryland, but graduated high school in Richmond, Virginia. Two years ago, he moved from Brooklyn to reside in Los Angeles and become the artist he always dreamed to be. Not only is he part of Trippie Redd’s 1400 Gang, but the two live together. While they have endless common interests and similarities, Mikey creates his own unique lane sonically — calling it emo-slime.
Regardless of what life throws at him, Mikey is able to confide in music for comfort and safety. On top of his streaming numbers increasing daily, it’s his vibrant, unapologetic fashion sense, face tats, and personality that fans simply can’t get enough of. Mikey describes himself as the “emo prince.” He’s the guy who wears pink, but still goes hard as hell. “Pink is my favorite color. A lot of dudes say you can’t wear pink and it’s not masculine, but I dress unisex and don’t care because I can still beat you the fuck up,” he states with a chuckle.
When you’re confident, talented, and unapologetically you, nothing can stop you. Mikey is sitting on over 200 unreleased songs and he’s about to turn all the way up. Plus, he’s got a little one to take care of. Flaunt caught up with Mikey to break it all down.
What does emo-slime mean?
Emotional. I very much get mad quick, I get sad quick. I get happy quick. Literally all my shit, I’m a real Cancer so that’s what makes me emo.
Do you struggle with mental health stuff?
Depression, slight anxiety. I don’t like being in big crowds of people. I can perform but everybody goes through this before going on stage. That feeling of “I can barely feel my legs, I can barely feel my arms. Oh shit, I wonder what’s about to happen.” Soon as I step up on stage and grab the mic, all that shit goes away. Right before that moment every single time, I might look calm, I might look cool, I might look dripped out like “oh lit” — but nah. I don’t feel my body.
Do you smoke? Does that help?
Yeah I smoke, but no. [laughs] Nothing helps it but it’s good. At least it lets me know I’m not content. It gives me that rush like “alright, I’m still climbing so I need to make sure they fuck with me.” I have to put on a show, that’s how I’m going into it.
Born in the DMV area, what was that like?
Different because I don’t like go-go music, I don’t really like anything from that area. The music, it’s different. I grew up not really into that culture. I like basketball and football from that area, that’s it.
Who are your biggest influences?
Kanye, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane… Southern people. No Limit. I listened to Boosie way before that whole 1017 group. I like other types of music: I listen to the Gorillaz, Panic! At The Disco. My brother used to play Green Day and Nickelback a lot, that’s how I got into other genres.
When did you realize music could be a career for you?
In 11th grade when I was getting in a lot of trouble. A lot of friends were rapping but they weren’t trying to put me on the music because they didn’t think I was really rapping for real. I was a singer before I was a rapper so people wouldn’t take it seriously. After high school, I really turned up. I’m like “I don’t want to be a regular person. I don’t want to work at Walmart. I don’t want to work at a shoe store and be the lit dude with a nice car.” Where I’m from, it was work at a store and have nice souped up cars. Nah, I wanted to be rich. I wanted to be super duper duper rich, I wanted to be famous.
What did you do music-wise to pursue that?
I recorded myself in the house on my mom’s laptop.
What does your mom think of your career?
She’s happy. She’s proud. At first, she’s like “I don’t know what you got going on…” She didn’t understand what was going on but she never told me to stop doing what I was doing. She supported. She was my first manager for real, but it went different ways.
What inspired your new single “Mind Games”?
Playing games with girls’ minds, girls playing games with my mind. Little tit for that relationship shit. She does this one thing, you do this one thing. You do this one thing, she does this one thing. Y’all could be blunt and go straight forward to stage one instead of playing mind games.
Are you in a relationship?
I’m in openness. Put it like this, I have the mother of my child. I fuck with the mother of my child, then I fuck with her too [points to female]. Nobody locks me down. Nobody owns me, I do what I do.
Do you want to settle down the line?
I’ve been in relationships here and there a lot. I’ve been through so much. I know this industry, I see what comes with it. It’ll take a lot for me to even trust a girl enough to be like “alright, I’ma cut everything out and focus on just you.” If I fuck with someone, I keep you around. If you guys are in a relationship, yeah that’s a relationship. If I tell a girl you’re my girl, yes you’re my girl. You’re with me everyday. Most of the time, you’re chilling with me but we’re not married. If you do something, I won’t be mad at you, because I don’t own you. It is what it is.
Your daughter turned 3 this year. How is it being a father?
Dope! It’s hard but dope. It’s hard only because I got to travel a lot. I don’t get to be where I want to sometimes, but I can’t really complain. It’s dope. I get to see my little child, she looks just like me. She’s beautiful. She’s running around, singing, doing what she’s doing. I remember seeing her like this [motions hands]. Now, she’s tall running around.
Does she know daddy’s a rapper?
Yeah, I got paintings of me. In the house where she lives at, there’s paintings of me from album covers that people painted. She watches my music videos, she hears my songs.
Do you live with Trippie Redd?
Yeah, the whole 1400. Chris King, we all be there. We all stay at the ranch, but we all got our separate places we’re at too. We all live there, but we’re all grown and got our own shit going. We don’t want to be there all the time.
How’d you meet Trip initially?
We met 3 to 4 years ago. Outside of music, we hang around the same people in the streets. First thing when I first met him, he walked up to me like “yo bro, I fuck with your face tattoos.” I said “alright good look bro, I fuck with your shit too.” At that time, he’s dating the girl Aylek$. We’re in Maryland, we’re chilling. We had a lot of mutual interests. We both like anime, we both tatted. We both have a different outlook on things. Even though he’s younger than me, we think the same. We just connected. We kept in contact, I went on tour with him later that year.
How was that whole experience?
It was cool, opened me up to different stuff. That’s when Lil Keed was popping off, he was on tour with us. Casanova came out, he brought Lil Yachty out. It was a couple people. He brought me along, that’s my first time ever being around. I was on the tour bus the whole time. I just came off the recent tour with him, Kodie Shane, BlocBoy JB, and everybody.
We locked in, he’s like “I’ma fuck with you, come fuck with 1400.” I’m Emo gang so what we did is we partnered, because I got my own wave. You got your own thing, I got my own thing but let’s come together. Let’s brand together, let’s show them what we got going on. I’ma still do me, you still do you but you’re my bro. It’s still 1400 gang, I got it tatted on me. Emo gang, that’s me. I can’t abandon my shit.
Best memory on tour with Trippie?
One that I can talk about? [laughs] The best one was when we ended the tour, we all had a team brawl. Everybody from 1400, the security guards, we all went at it with each other. That was funny as shit. Everybody tackling each other on the stage, throwing each other, it was so fun.
What do your parents think of your face tats?
My dad laughed, he thinks it’s cool. My mom’s like “you messed up my face!” But it don’t matter.
What’s the first face tat you got?
LGIG: Loud Gang Ink Gang. That’s what it was before I turned it into Emo gang.
Most meaningful tattoo?
Power, the one right here [points to face]. I thrive off power but not the power people think. Not power tripping. I was a kid who was quiet, but the quiet ones have the most power. We know the most, we just stay quiet. Now, I’m showing you the power I have. You need power to run anything. Without power, nothing runs.
On “Downfall,” you talk about take friends and fake love. How do you navigate in this industry?
I watch. I’m a genuine person so I get around people I tend to fuck with harder than they can fuck with me, but I learned my lesson from that. I get around people and I show them my true colors when I first meet them. Some people don’t show that. Some people are only around for certain reasons, or they fuck with you when certain people are around. I step back, I do my own little thing. I keep on with my movement. As long as I keep doing me, can’t nobody tell me shit.
Are you still independent or are you signed?
To be talked about another time. [laughs]
Who’s in your Top 5?
Young Thug, Travis Scott, Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne. I have to give it to bro: Roddy Ricch.
Favorite Thugger song?
“Hercules.” I used to get dressed to that because you feel up. You hear “Hercu-Hercules,” oh yeah I’m on.
How would you describe your fashion style?
Skinny whatever. I throw anything that’s skinny whatever. I like skinny clothing, I wear skinny fitted like this [points to pants]. I wear super skinny, like super super skinny. I wear unisex. I take some female pants that fit me and look like they’re guy jeans. They just be skinnies on and my shirt look nice.
Those are hella tight no?
They’re hella tight, but I know how to wear them. [laughs] I’m gucci.
What can we expect music-wise?
The best, the greatest. I have over 200 unreleased songs with big artists. A lot of shit in the works that people don’t know about, which I’m glad because nobody can anticipate what I’m about to do. I get on Live, people say “oh, I got your album leaked already.” They don’t. I’m definitely working on dropping an album by the end of the year. They already have me and Trip’s song, but nothing else. Even if I release something, they don’t know if it’s going to be on there or not.
Anything else you want to let us know?
I’m the best motherfucker rapper coming up right now. It’s the best merging: 1400 Emo Gang is the best. My bro Trip is one of the best artists of his age range. Me, I got my own Emo gang. Fuck Corona, it fucked up a lot. [chuckles] Shoutout Milani, my daughter. Shout out anybody who gets tattoos and thinks different.