Certain moments in a young artist’s career serve as strong indicators of future success. When all of the competing major outlets huddle around an artist, you can almost guarantee a record’s about to detonate. Nashville’s Mike Floss has recently ignited interest nationwide and all that’s left was to sprinkle some “Kerosene” into the playlist to spark up. His new record, produced by Shmuck the Loyal, is a show and prove joint to let the world know – this guy has a special streak in ‘em.
If the vicious flow sounds familiar, the rapper’s landed on these pages from time to time and the humble Nashville spitter always reciprocated the respect. When asked about the spark behind the raging anthem, Floss said via email, “As a kid from Nashville, I’m angry. As an artist, I’m angry and frustrated. I have no idea how to solve this and I’m tired of trying to figure it out. I’ve been internalizing this pain for so long and trying to avoid it. So let’s fight fire with ‘Kerosene’ and show this country that this is the only option they left us with.”
“…Cause I know this girl named Aaliyah
Mixing the pain with sangria
She got the dope and I re-up”
Wait – these rapid fire bars and killer melodies came from Nashville? Well, a look into his life explains how these skills mesh. Floss is the son of a jazz musician who moved him from Chicago to Nashville at age two. His father’s experiences as an artist gave him an education on the industry one can’t learn in a classroom. Witnessing an unstable career path and sideways industry dealings smartened him up to make sound decisions which lead to his emergence thus far.
Being raised in Nashville presented difficulties in jumpstarting his career. Mike felt forced to work on his craft but found a touchpoint for the far-away labels of NYC and LA. “We don’t have hip hop infrastructure here,” he said. “Of course we had Young Buck and Lito, who I have a ton of respect for and are both extremely successful. But I think with the amount of talent we have here, we could really create a system that’s advantageous to getting young talent on a global platform.
“There’s nobody here that’s really kicked the door down and established an industry presence in the city, so you’re not going to get that Atlanta effect even though we have a ton of talent. There’s no way to expose it unless you travel and build outside of the state.”
Cue the hunger.
He locked in with fellow ICNCGRP crew member Shmuck and pounded out the track. “We’re both serious about pushing ourselves and each other to higher levels so we’re not just going to email verses and beats back and forth,” he explained. “Nothing compares to that organic process of being locked in the zone at the same time.”
The energy on “Kerosene” breeds the exact kind of results that could fulfill that hunger forever. The seismic production and rumbling boasts are an obvious addition to any playlist and thump nicely out of that old school Impala on 22’s the Tennessean has been eyeing. “Older cars have more personality and those are the ones that make sense to have the crazy sound system in.” With enough sense to run the whip-test in a classic, it only makes sense when the thunder starts rolling in the intro.
Imagine going buck to this while surrounded by thousands of other fans begging for that hook to come back around. Then, when it hits, they throw elbows and leave someone’s incisors on their shelltoes. Lucky for you, the new tour is about to kick off. Find the nearest stop by you and bring a few matches whenever “Kerosene” starts spraying.
“Kerosene” is available for purchase on iTunes. Currently on tour alongside native Nashville band Cherub you can catch Floss live at the cities listed below.
02.05 Terminal West | New York, NY
02.06 Trocadero | Philadelphia, PA
02.09 The Music Farm | Charleston, SC
02.10 Ziggys by the Sea | Wilmington, NC
02.11 The Ritz | Raleigh, NC
02.12 The Norva | Norfolk, VA
02.13 Baltimore Soundstage | Baltimore, MD
02.14 House of Blues | Boston, MA
02.17 Jefferson Theater | Charlottesville, VA
02.18 Jefferson Theater | Charlottesville, VA
02.19 The Orange Peel | Asheville, NC
02.20 The Orange Peel | Asheville, NC
02.23 Mercury Ballroom | Louisville, KY
02.25 Wooly’s | Des Moines, IA
02.26 First Avenue | Minneapolis, MN
02.27 First Avenue | Minneapolis, MN