Concrete Kingdom: MIMS – Washington Heights

14 years ago view-show 781,506

By Will ‘Deshair’ Foskey


      In 2007, it is time that we take the Rap Game back to its environment. Back to where our lyrical technicians birth their styles; back to where their blocks embrace them or maybe they embraced the block; back to where it is no place like home, well at least until you leave it.


      This is the Concrete Kingdom, and first up to bat is Washington Heights own, MIMS. If you’re not familiar with MIMS stomping grounds, enjoy this feature to the fullest. You just might learn something worth your while.


Can we start off with some basic stats (birthday, dream car, at what age would you like to retire)


MIMS: I was born on March 22nd. My dream car at the age of 13 was the Range Rover, but now it is the Lamborghini Murcielago. The perfect age of retirement is when I feel like I’ve exhausted myself in the music industry. At this point, I don’t believe that I will be rapping at the age of 40.  


For those who aren’t familiar with Washington Heights, give out the coordinates.


MIMS: The best way that I could describe it is if you know the location of Harlem, all you have to do is go a few blocks Uptown from Harlem to find Washington Heights. You’ll know when you’ve reached Washington Heights when you see the African-American faces disappear, and more Dominican faces appear.


If you could only shop in one place in the Heights, which spot would you choose?


MIMS: It really depends, because as a kid growing up, my choice was 181st. 181st Street is to Washington Heights, what 125th Street is to Harlem.


Describe the culture of Washington Heights and what do you believe it is known for.


MIMS: Washington Heights to most people’s knowledge is best known for drug sales and what you can get out of there on the drug side. But if you live or spend a lot of time there, you’ll realize that there is a lot of culture – you’ll get to see how the Dominicans operate. I love their culture because my family is from Jamaica. When you get that Jamaican culture mixed in with that Dominican culture, you’ll begin to see that there are many similarities. So you can say that growing up in Washington Heights has allowed for me to stay in touch with my Caribbean roots.  


Now I must say that I am very familiar with the curvaceous frames of the women in your area. What can out of towners look forward to if they are trying to find them a female from your stomping grounds?


MIMS: If there is one thing that I can say about any Latina in the area is that they are loyal. That’s the god honest truth. They will maintain their loyalty to you through it all. So if you’re looking for a female who would hold you down (stand by you), you can find them here.


I’m proud that I’m representing Washington Heights. I lived in the Heights for a very long time. But I’m not going to lie; I also lived in the Suburban areas of Long Island. The course between the two, and the knowledge that I’ve gained from the two were very beneficial to my life. I wouldn’t trade how I grew up for the world. Growing up in Washington Heights really allowed for me to learn the hustler’s mentality. And when I finished my high school years in Long Island, it allowed for me to see a different part of life. Now I didn’t live in a $5,000,000 home, but I lived around the corner from one. So I was able to see what a $5,000,000 home looked like; and I was able to envision what I wanted out of life.


Many would say that you have come out of nowhere with your first single. When did you know that you’ve arrived?


MIMS: Most people would say that my success was overnight, or that I’m a one-hit wonder. But to know me, you’ll know that I’ve been into music since I was 13 years old. This ain’t something that I just picked up and said, ‘I’m going to be a rapper, and I just happened to make good song.’ I’ve been putting together records for nearly half of my life. People want to know what makes me so different from the next man, or how can they do what I’m doing. Well I put my life into this; I put a lot of grind work into this. I’ve been Dj’ing since 13, got into production and engineering at the age of 16, and had a Pro-tools equipped studio at the age of 19. So I can go into any studio in the country right now and handle myself behind the mic and the boards.


Ok, so with your first single ‘This is Why I’m Hot’, would you say that the coming together of the song was more strategic or did it come to you effortlessly?


MIMS: A lot went into this record. First of all, I didn’t write the lyrics to the beat that everybody is hearing now. Then I had the Black-Out Movement reproduce the beat for me. With that being said, a lot of time went into this record. People may think that it was a, “easy record” but the only thing that was easy about it was the hook, which came to me quickly. I wanted to put together a song that was simple enough for people to understand and then something that was brand new for me. So as far as the writing of the record and the overall body of it, it took about 2 weeks complete.


Talk about you second single if there is one already in place.


MIMS: The official second single off the album is called ‘Like This’. It’s a club record that is very competitive. It’s not competitive as in dancing, but more along the lines of male and female. I think that people are going to have a lot of fun with it, especially since it’s about to get warm very soon.


In closing, why will 2007 be a big year for Mims?


MIMS: I think that just like everybody in this industry, I have overcome a lot of obstacles. I’ve taken a record that a lot of people didn’t believe in, and I’m sure that people still don’t believe in it now, but I took that song to a #1 position on the charts. I have a great company behind me. This year is going to be mine. You’re going to hear a lot from MIMS



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