Who? MIKE JONES. Who? Mike Jones. It’s a mantra repeated on almost every song of this aptly named Houston rapper’s major-label debut, WHO IS MIKE JONES? (SwishaHouse/Asylum/Warner Bros.) None too shy about self-promotion, Jones even works his cell phone number into his music. Such incessant hype has earned Jones his share of fans and detractors (“a lot of haters and a lot of homies,” as he puts it), but they all know his name. By hooking up with Warner Bros., Jones becomes the first of the protégés of DJ Screw—the late pioneer of the screwed (slowed down) mix tapes that now distinguish the city’s burgeoning hip-hop scene—to go national. “Still Tippin’,” the album’s first single, typifies his sludgy, smirking, and playful drawl, with a hometown charm that can come only from the slow-crawl highways of Houston.
From the June 2005 Issue Subscribe