Who is Mike Jones? If you don't know, go ahead and call his cellphone number at 281-330-8004. Since his early days as a struggling artist, the Houston-based rapper's main promotional gig has been to publish his phone number in freestyles and on t-shirts, along with the question Who Is Mike Jones? Though gimmicky, the ploy worked - Mike Jones' 2005 album Who Is Mike Jones? was instrumental in bringing the distinct sound of Houston rap into the national spotlight.Released on independent Houston label Swishahouse Records in April 2005, Who Is Mike Jones? was the first Swishahouse album to receive a nationwide distribution deal. The album clung strongly to the bizarre Houston "chopped and screwed" sound, which features rhythmic, slowed-down beats and vocal samples. The album produced three singles - "Back Then", "Still Tippin'", and "Flossin'" - and was notable for including a plethora appearances by Houston rappers (among them Slim Thug, Paul Wall, and Bun-B), helping Houston's rap scene to receive the nationwide exposure it deserved. After rising to the #3 spot on the Billboard 200, Who Is Mike Jones? went on sell over a million copies, earning a Platinum certification by the RIAA. A number of Houston-based rappers went on to produce hit albums in the wake of Mike Jones' debut, notably Chamillionaire's The Sound of Revenge and Paul Wall's The People's Champ. While Mike Jones is probably not Houston's most talented rapper - with weaker lyricism than Bun-B or Trae and a simpler flow than Chamillionaire or Lil' Flip - his enthusiasm and energy makes him an easy listen; it's no surprise he ended up as Houston's ambassador to the rap game. Though Mike Jones left Swishahouse records in late 2005 - citing financial disagreements with Swishahouse owner DJ Michael 5000 Watts - to form his own label Ice Age Entertainment (Fabo, Lil' Mo), he has since squashed his beef with Michael and returned to the Swishahouse camp. His next album, The Voice of the Streets, is set to be released on Ice Age and distributed by Swishahouse in mid-2008. So far two singles from the album have been unveiled, "Drop and Gimme 50" and "Cutty Buddy".
At least three artists share this name: 1) A southern rap artist from the northside of Houston, TX, born January 6, 1981. Mike Jones has become well-known for his unique repetition of his own name throughout his songs. Many of his songs contain the phrases "Who is Mike Jones?" or "Mike Jones!" His major promotional gimmick is to sell and hand out shirts with his cell phone number on them (athletic department-style shirts reading "Property of Mike Jones"), as well as shouting out the number throughout his mixtapes and albums, encouraging fans to call him on his Motorola phone.
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