Mickey Free is a Baltimore based MC and with his co-producer Secret Weapon Dave, they make music that makes my neck work. Alright, so I might be the last man in Charm City to get on this band wagon, but it's still welcome company and it's not so often that I find myself this fired up about a hip hop act. I first saw Mickey Free opening for J Roddy Walston and the Business on a New Year's Eve show on the cusp of last year and was taken by Free's engaging stage presence, badass beats, and clever lyrical content alongside his impeccable flow.
His album, Last Of The Tight Wiggers, was a 2010 release with 13 tracks of which I genuinely struggled decided which one(s) to share with the Dig Nation here tonight. Uh-Oh kicks off the album with hand claps, remixed middle schoolers, fuzzed out bass, and Mickey himself. I like this track because it lays out the record's relaxed and fun approach.
The album continues by toeing the line between groovy, aggressive, innocent, and crude. There is also notable collaboration with Jenn Wasner from Wye Oak on the track Never Enough and enough local flavor to make any Baltimorean proud. With shout outs to The Windup Space, Golden West, and The Wire, Mickey Free is the kind of Baltimore that reminds me of everything I love about the city. This is an unbreakable working class town with an incredible arts community burbling right beneath the surface, and Mickey is an exceptional part of that scene.
I choose to continue on with the tune They Don't Know How To Act Feat. Height for a few reasons. I wanted to give a taste of the deeper cuts off the record, it showcases Free's ability to stretch out lyrically, and because it passed my drive test with flying colors. This one will definitely be on my Baltimore Summer 2012 mix tape. Go get the album from his Bandcamp page, queue it up on your ipod, and get out into the city by any means possible – see if Baltimore doesn't look a little bit better with Mickey as your tour guide.
Mickey Free has been a busy man lately. Currently, he is collaborating again with Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak by producing/mixing a new project called Flock Of Dimes. Readers can catch a taste of this off their SoundCloud page which is linked above.
Last Of The Tight Wiggers is a solid album and a sure fire to grow on you. Secret Weapon Dave creates beats that are interesting from every angle while Micky Free's lyrics are clear, clever, well delivered. I'd look forward to the chance to see another live performance, so stay in touch with Mickey Free via his Bandcamp and MySpcace pages. I hope that we continue to see and hear more from our man real soon. You dig?