In 2007, you'd have hard going trying to find a radio station/club/block party/baby christening that was not blaring Mims' beautifully simplistic "This Is Why I'm Hot." It was absurdly catchy, spawning countless bootleg remixes, parodies, and even a thesis by the Village Voice
's own Rob Harvilla that received honorable mention in the Da Capo
Best Music Writing book series.
Two years later, Mims is back out on the grind, promoting new single "Move" (which is fairly dope itself) and today's release of his sophomore album, Guilt
. He recently made a stop in Houston, so we made sure to catch up with him. After the jump, read about why the album is titled Guilt
, how he absolutely is not the one responsible for the recession, and the fact that, despite what you may have heard, he can not tell the future.
Rocks Off: So what are you all out doing in Houston?
Mims: We're promoting the album.
RO: And that's Guilt, right?
M: Right, Guilt
. And I'm also promoting the first single "Move." We're actually about to start up the second single from the record which is called "Love Rollercoaster" that features LeToya Luckett, which is a Houston artist.
RO: Yeah, we know LeToya. She's cool. So where did you come up with the title for Guilt? Why that title?
M: Umm, well it's a real deep title for me. When you meet people they always ask you what's the motivation for your album, and the one emotion that I could hone in on was guilt.
RO: How's that?
M: Well, you take a look at the success of my career in the last two years, and then you turn around a take a look at, you know, the way the country is doing financially, it's almost like the opposite effect. While I've been increasing financially, everybody else has pretty much been hit hard with the recession.
I think from a musical standpoint it takes a toll on you. You say, "Okay, I've definitely been blessed for all that I've received," and then I've got family members and friends calling me saying they just lost they job or they're about to lose their home. It kind of puts you in a situation where you wanna create music for them to help.
RO: Money'd help too, probably.
M: You wanna create music for them so that they feel like they're not forgotten about. A lot of times when you hear rappers all you hear is "I got $100,000 around my neck. Fifty thousand on the wrist. And I got this and I got that." And it's like, how many people out there can really relate to that?
I wanted to make an album that they can relate to. I'm giving them my emotions for the last year or two.
RO: So, to paraphrase, America is going down, your career is going up? So basically, you're responsible for the recession, right?
M: Ahhh, I don't feel like I'm responsible. I'd have a lot of people hunting me down if I was.
RO: [laughs] Yeah, we're just joking around.
M: I do wanna take responsibility and help people out. There's so much you can do, though. You gotta realize that also.
RO: Okay, so this is kind of a question just for us, but do nationally covered rappers such as yourself read what's written about them?
M: Of course. I mean, and if I don't, then there's somebody that does that gets it back to me. For the most part, yeah, we do. Most of the time, and I'll be honest with you, most of the things that get written are usually negative things or negative comments.
There's so much more of that than positive things. It's kind of crazy, but I guess that's what the life is all about, right.
RO: That's good to hear, because we were gonna feel real irrelevant with our job if you said no. That's basically that's all we do. Is Guilt gonna have, well, not "This Is Why I'm Hot" part 2, but a song that takes off like that one did?
M: Um, here's the thing, I don't know, only because I can't predict the future.
RO: You can't?
M: I will say this though: there is a lot of great music on the album. And when you compare the last project with this one, I mean, you'll hear the maturity, you'll hear the growth, and any person who is a fan of music is gonna be able to say that I've improved. That's the most important thing to me.
Keep tabs on everything Mims at the Mims Myspace fan club. And don't write negative things about him, because he will read them.