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November 18, 1981 |
Houston, Texas, United States
Michael Jones (born November 18, 1981) is an American rapper, actor, and entrepreneur. He initially was with Swishahouse, then left to found his own label, Ice Age. Before he was on Swishahouse he was in a group called Souf Folk, in which he used the alias Sache. He released one album with Souf Folk called Country Thuggin in 2003. He is also known for his catchphrase "Mike Jones, who?" usually repeated several times and for handing out shirts with his cell phone number (281-330-8004) printed on the back.
Jones originally wanted to be a National Basketball Association player who rapped on the side. He transferred from school to school many times, forcing him to only play in YMCA leagues due to transfer rules after the 9th Grade. Jones dropped out of high school and briefly took jobs at fast food restaurants. He worked at a Compaq plant and sold cell phones from an apartment on Antoine Drive. T. Brown, Jones's partner in several financial ventures, said that he sold some "dime bags" for six months, but the two mainly bought "T-Mobile Sidekicks" and sold them for an inexpensive price.
Jones often visited his grandmother's house in the Studewood area of Houston. He credits her with giving him the ideas to pursue rap, to use his real name, and to write songs for strippers.
Jones began his musical career in a group called Souf Folk, using the alias Sache. He released one album with Souf Folk called Country Thuggin. In 2001, Jones formed his own independent record label, Ice Age Entertainment, and began solo rapping. He independently promoted and distributed his music on the streets and pressed it on DJs at strip clubs.
Jones eventually signed to upcoming southern record label Swishahouse after meeting with Swishahouse A&R T. Farris. At that time, Swishahouse was signing fellow upcoming southern rappers Slim Thug, Paul Wall and Chamillionaire. Farris recalled signing Jones, saying, "I heard him on one of my partner's mixtapes and I wanted to meet him and try to get him to rap on our mixtapes. We linked up, signed him." DJ Casual from Meridian, Mississippi was the first person to play Jones on the radio. He loved what Jones was doing and passed it on to several fellow DJs.
In 2004 after the release of his breakout single "Still Tippin'", which was receiving lots of radio play, Jones signed a major deal to Jive Records and Warner Bros. He quickly released his second single, "Back Then", which eventually went Platinum, making it Jones's first Platinum single. On April 19, 2005, Jones released his debut album, Who Is Mike Jones? After two months the album also achieved Platinum status, eventually reaching double Platinum. It is Jones's highest selling album to date.
After leaving Jive Records Jones signed to a distribution deal with Asylum Records for his label Ice Age. In September 2006 Jones released the single titled "Mr. Jones". It debuted at #92 on the Billboard Charts. The song gained further recognition when fellow rapper Lil Wayne freestyled on his version "Sky Is The Limit" for his "Da Drought 3" mixtape. On January 31, 2007, Jones announced an upcoming EP and a movie, both titled The American Dream. On April 21, 2007, Jones released the second single from the EP, titled "My 64", featuring Bun B and Snoop Dogg. The single debuted at #1 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. On November 20, 2007, Jones released The American Dream it debuted on the Billboard charts at #183.
On November 27, 2007, Jones released the debut single "Drop & Gimme 50" for his second solo album, titled The Voice. "Drop & Gimme 50" featured Hurricane Chris. On May 19, 2008, Jones released the album's second single, called "Cuddy Buddy". The single did well on the Billboard Hot 100, debuting at #78. On December 2, 2009, the third single from The Voice was released. Titled "Next To You, it debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #63. On April 28, 2009 The Voice was released, debuting on the Billboard 200 at #12 and selling 25,000 copies its first week.
During 2010 and 2011, Jones went on a hiatus. On August 20, 2012, he announced his return, explaining the reason for his hiatus was due to financial disputes with his former label, Asylum Records and that money had been taken from him. He announced he was finished with his next album, Where Is Mike Jones? and that he was working on its follow-up, titled WHO!Print, with further plans to release a mixtape called Ballin Underground 2.
On August 28, 2014 during an interview Jones would talk about his upcoming album Where is Mike Jones?, his upcoming mixtape Money Train and would announce he had signed a new distribution deal with Atlantic Records stating "It's just a group of people who are all about making money and having money. Once people really understand what the Money Train is, then they'll be onboard with it." On December 28, 2014 Jones released a new single titled "3 Grams" featuring appearances from Slim Thug and Yung Duece.
On January 1, 2015 Jones released a mixtape titled Money Train. On February 5, 2015 Jones announced via his Instagram he was working on another mixtape entitled Money Train: Reloaded which will be a sequel to his mixtape Money Train.
His first acting role was a minor part in the Fox television series Prison Break as Darius Morgan, C-Note's brother-in-law. In 2007, Jones released his movie The American Dream, in which he starred, with much of the plot based on his life.
Jones has his own line of Cognac called "House of Dobbe".
Jones has been actively involved in many charity programs, such as his Ice Age for Kids and The American Dream Foundation, through which he hosted community youth events and donated thousands of dollars to help.
In 2004, Chamillionaire called out the rest of the Houston hip hop scene because he felt like they weren't representing the best of what Houston had to offer, lyrically, and urged them to improve in order to gain the recognition he believes Houston deserves. In response, Swishahouse took offense and replied by criticizing Chamillionaire. Chamillionaire then accused Jones, a past member of Swishahouse, of slander. As a result, the first CD of The Mixtape Messiah included insults directed at Jones, including the tracks "You Got Wrecked", "Who They Want", and "Game Over".
On February 10, 2007, YouTube user FDTV Video Podcast uploaded a parody video of Chamillionaire shooting Jones. It ridiculed Jones and was the subject of some small further controversy. However, in late 2008, the beef between the pair had died down. Chamillionaire apologized to Jones in 2010, marking an official end to their dispute. He said, live on stage, "From the bottom of my heart, I apologize to Mike Jones for the triple disc Mixtape Messiah 1 diss tracks. I mean no disrespect."
On August 12, 2008, at the Ozone Awards, Jones got into a physical altercation with fellow Houston rapper Frazier "Trae The Truth" Thompson. Trae Tha Truth punched Jones three times--once in the back, once in the face, and once on the nose. The last punch broke Jones's nose. They have since resolved their issues and are now reconciled.