Meredith Lindemon (writer)
Mike Jones is known for giving out his cell phone number, screen name, and e-mail address to fans, but, ironically, he can be a hard man to get in touch with. Some calls to him go straight to a busy signal, and once, while attempting to schedule this interview, his manager said he had just dropped his cell phone in a swimming pool.
But eventually he answers the phone while driving his Phantom to the Houston airport. He’s headed to Atlanta to check out a producer for his upcoming album, The American Dream. He just got in from Los Angeles this morning, and it sounds like he’s holding his cell out of the window of the car. Being from Houston, Jones got labeled as part of the dirty south. “Oh yeah, I was different from the rest but I still got put into that group. [That label] did help me sell two million records [of debut Who is Mike Jones?],” he says. “But every city’s got its own style. We let everyone know how we do where we’re from.”
Despite having a platinum-selling album, Jones hasn’t quite gained the mainstream notoriety of other Houston artists, like Paul Wall. But, that’s cool: “He’s grown, I’m grown, there’s no comparison,” says Jones. “I went platinum in two months but I’m cool with everybody from Houston, that ain’t changed.” When asked why he resorted to guerilla marketing tactics, like giving out his personal contact information, the answer is simple. “I gave them out because a lot of people were booking fake shows. Now people can call me to see if I’m really going to be [at a venue].”
People can also see him on the small screen, as he’s appeared in shows such as Prison Break. He’s also coming out with his own movie to coincide with the release of The American Dream. Of his new project, he says, “This album’s got more features. We’ve got Snoop, Twista…I really put my time in.”