“Mindfully mysterious, Detroit’s conscious riddler Mike Melinoe is a demigod.” That’s the description given by Detroit rapper Mike Melinoe’s Soundcloud page. The rising rapper recently caught some attention with his trippy, boom bap infused single “Addict Venture”, which was liked enough for the video to garner a premiere from Noisey and make its way on other reputable sites. While conscious rap may not be as prominent as it once was decades ago, Melinoe still has hope. That hope is what keeps the rapper going, leading him to produce good music such as his last single “Suicide B4 29.” Mike Melinoe isn’t your conventional conscious rapper. Which is why I recently caught up with him for an interview.
Talk about growing up in Detroit and how it has had an effect on your music.
Growing up I didn’t do a lot of hanging out. My mom kept me in the house a lot, mostly because of the environment I was in. We didn’t really play outside too much. We’d go to the end of the driveway then come back up. There was a big push to stay away from the streets. Plus, it was fucking freezing all the time. So, Detroit mostly influenced me to make music cause we had to come up with things to keep us busy since we didn’t go out a lot.
Addict venture is your latest buzzing record. What was it like recording it and what was your reaction listening to the final record?
When I heard the record the first time I was proud. It was crazy because it really came out the way I wanted it. And it only took a couple of takes, too. The chorus was the most complex part cause we just kept fucking around and putting layers on top of layers.
Your Soundcloud bio describes you as a demigod. What makes you think that?
I consider someone to be a demigod if they control their own universe with their mind, soul, and body. That’s pretty much how I am. Literally, that’s how I feel.
Do you like the state of conscious rap right now? Or do you think it’s fallen off or could be bigger?
It could be bigger but things come around. When it was the early 2000s it was super gangster rap. Then it got more into the dancier stuff–but conscious rap was always there throughout. I feel like it’s right where it’s supposed to be. The art has just adapted since then. I don’t think it’s a bad thing.
What’re some of the influences that go into your sounds?
I always want to make music that I haven’t heard before and do what I want. If I had to call something my influence I would say freedom. When I was a kid, I couldn’t speak out and be very verbal with the things I wanted to, so with my music I try to be as verbal or as edgy as I can just because I didn’t have that freedom as a child. It wasn’t that I didn’t have that freedom as much as it was a lack of confidence. Once I gained that confidence and felt more free I wanted to start saying what I felt.
Where do you see yourself as an artist in 5 years?
I don’t really like predicting stuff like that. I’m just gonna keep creating as an artist and whatever is supposed to happen will happen.
You were under the radar for a while, but you started receiving some attention recently. Did being under the radar make you want to shake up the game and make noise?
I feel like things are supposed to happen for a reason. If I keep staying under the radar there’s a reason for it and I gotta realize I’m not good enough yet and get my shit together. But it’s definitely motivational. I want to make an imprint in the game. But, am I worried or thinking about being under the radar every day? Hell no, cause that’s not what my main focus should be on. I’m just focused on creating.
What do you have in store for the rest of the year?
New music. I’m gonna be releasing an EP called Caveman this summer. Other than that I just wanna grow.
What is something about Melinoe that most people don’t know?
I can sing. You wouldn’t necessarily expect it because my music is super aggressive, but I used to be in church choirs and stuff like that.