After much success in the early 2000s with his platinum record, “Back Then,” and double platinum album, Who Is Mike Jones?, to his infamous feature on T-Pain’s “I’m’ N Luv Wit A Stripper” in which peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts – Mike Jones has definitely made his mark in the industry. Yet, due to financial disputes with his label during the prime of his career, Mike Jones was forced to refocus his attention on getting the money he was owed in order to properly move forward in his career. Due to such an unforeseen discrepancy, a hiatus was necessary. But on the bright side of things, not only has Mike Jones resolved his issues and finally returned to making music, but he has also chosen to return to the industry as a source for up and coming artists to be educated and informed as much as possible to avoid being taken advantage of by major labels similar to his very own experiences within the industry.
We were able to catch up with Mike Jones and briefly discuss his new approach to making sure artists get the money and deals they deserve, the motives behind his new approach, as well as the new music he is making in comparison to all of the hits he’s made in the past.
The Source: Since you’ve been signed to a major label deal before. What would be the right deal for you when it comes to signing another major label deal?
Mike Jones: That’s actually what I’m going back and forth with labels about – for me to be able to do like Cash Money or like No Limit did and be able to really put my artists on and give the right game. There are a lot of artists who are only seeing 10% of the whole 100% of their deal. But when people get with me they get 50% of the whole 100% and now you’re 40% up on the train. So I’m getting a setup situation to where I can be able to do that for artists through the deal that I sign.
I’m not trying to see an artist who can be a Kobe or who can be a Lebron and put them in a effed up situation. I’m trying to empower.
If you’re at Walmart for forty years because you love your job and they treat you right and you’re cool with the minimum wage – what’s the difference if I pay you right and keep it real with you and have integrity then you’re going to want to stay with me for forty years too. With MoneyTrain everybody’s one hundred, everybody’s getting education, it’s like coming to school and learning.
Your song ‘Sauce’ is getting a lot of radio play and traction right now. Can you tell when you’re making a song if it will be a hit or not, or if it will be something labels and/or the streets will be attracted to or not?
I made “3 Grams” in 2014 and labels are just now interested in that. How can I know what people are going to like? “Still Tippin” was made in 2003 but blew up in 2005. Nicki Minaj made “Moment For Life” two years before it blew up so how can you really know what’s what? When I made “3 Grams” it was really just a record for all of us to smoke to because we had a long day and we have to pat ourselves on the back and “roll up three grams — I went from being broke to being a rich nigga”. We went year after year pushing ‘3 grams’ as a street record. That’s like building the foundation. Everybody just watched us push it. Now the video is finally shot. I got my artist, Yung Duece, and Slim Thug as a feature and it blew up. The song already did 600,000+ streams to date. So you really never know.