Mikey Polo is an up-and-coming rapper from the DMV area with a heavy Atlanta following. He was originally born in the DC area, but spent a considerable amount of time in Virginia, although his rise in popularity with music came when he moved to Atlanta.
What was your upbringing like in the DMV?
It was cool; I used to skateboard and knock on doors and run away. I was doing typical kid shit & basically if I wanted something, we [were] gonna go get it. It was fun playing manhunt and throwing rocks at cars, but that got old though once you grow up and start getting locked up for shit like that.
Around what age did you start taking music seriously?
I would say right around the time I turned 18 because I always did music, but I never took it seriously because in school I was known for a whole bunch of other stuff. Once I started fucking up so much and I couldn't do anything else, I decided to be more serious and focus on music.
Did it come naturally to you?
It was all natural; I used to listen to songs by Jay-Z on the radio when my dad would play them, and I would just rap over the beat. I used to think to myself “Damn, what I said was harder than what he said.”
Where does your style come from in fashion
I don’t know. I could honestly say it comes from me feeling free, now I can do what I want. When you’re growing up, your parents don’t wanna buy you certain clothes, like my dad hated skinny jeans, so it took me a while to finally get jeans that fitted the way I wanted them to. People used to call it weird and say that I was wearing my little brother’s jeans, but at the end of the day, I’m fly and now everyone dresses like me.
How do you know Lil Dude & Goonew?
I used to stay out in Forest Creek and I knew Goonew before he started rapping because he used to trap out there. I actually pulled up on Goonew with my bro Dae Dae who was already cool with him, and he wasn’t even known as Goonew at that time. He didn't adopt that name until he started rapping for real, but he was just a bad kid who could play basketball and rap. Now Lil Dude already had some buzz from working with Big Flock, so we all knew each other just off making music in the area.
Who are some of your biggest influences on your music?
Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Young Thug and Travis Scott. Those are my biggest influences because they’re geniuses, melodic, creative, and also, they don't always have to write and that's me.
Who are some of your frequent collaborators with music?
Sana Leako: that’s my demon from out in Atlanta; free him & my bro Rome Fortune. To be honest, I’m not too big on features because when I work with people, I’m very impatient and if they take too long to finish a song, I’m gonna finish it myself. I respect people's craft and how they wanna work on something time and time again, but I work so fast that I can knock out 10 songs in 4 hours mixed and everything. My favorite collaborators are the people who can keep up.
What about on the production side of songs?
Splurge on the mothafuckin beat; he’s one of the best producers coming up in the industry right now. One thing I can say is he’s gotten so many placements for just starting out & everytime someone works with him, they always want him to pull back up. Money Melodies too; he produced my single Slime World, which is out now. When I drop the tape, everyone will see who I like to work with.
What are your dream collaborations?
Michael Jackson, Rick James, MadeinTyo & 21 Savage. Yung Lean too because I fuck with his sound; he’s different.
If there was one song in your discography to listen to right now what would it be?
I mean the only song you can listen to right now is Slime World because the tape drops TBD, but i’ll give y’all this; nobody knows this and y’all will be the first ones to know, I have a song called Toxic that's about to drop and that shows what my music will sound like from now on. I got the video; it’s going to be released in Japan first with subtitles and then we’ll drop it here.
Explain the Slime movement.
The Slime Movement came about when I moved to Atlanta and I was hanging around my homies Chico & YSL Toke, who are a part of Young Thugs’ camp. Then, they just started calling me their slime and taught me the handshake. Because I was different and already adopted the emo style, I became Emo Slime. It just so happened that I became homies with Slimesito and Fly Diz (Big Slime);we all adopted the slime name and now everybody is using it.
What’s your affiliation with 1400?
I’m cool with Trippie & A1 Billionaire. I’m affiliated with them through Fly Diz, who is Trippie’s big homie, so we’re affiliated through more than just music, but 1400 that’s nothing; those are the homies; Hendo, Sunny; shoutout to all of 1400/800.
interview by Max Barnes
photos by Harris Freeman