Icon The Mic King
Icon The Mic King
It’s a Renaissance linked to a culture that spans over a quarter century’s time. A generational art form, that rose to prominence in a well-documented creative surge in the late 80’s. A culture that achieved economic importance in the trend-minded upswing of hip hop’s popularity in the mid to late 90’s. A culture that turned inward as it subsequently collapsed upon itself, growing too big to support the rapidly swelling ecosystem.
In a staggered genre that has arguably seen it’s glory days come and go, there has risen an enigmatic figure that will lead us into yet another age of artistic prosperity. Allow me to show you the many sides of the lyrical Rubik’s Cube that is iCON the Mic King. On a balmy late August night Michael King took his first breaths in the maternity ward of the Pennsylvania Hospital. He would be the first grandson born to either side of his family. Declared the “the chosen one” by his great grandmother who, living to be 104 years old, proved to be as resilient as she was wise. iCON’s status as one of the chosen would be tested in numerous ways as the years carried forward.
Even death made an unexpected attempt. At the age of six, Michael King, having no concept of mortality, was involved in a life altering car accident that threatened to take him away from the world before he came to realize his purpose. On a rain soaked night in Philadelphia Michael’s uncle made his way to the local hospital. Michael’s mother was pulling an 11-7 shift there. Ambling to a stop at a traffic signal Michael gazed out of his passenger side window.
While he took in the sea of city lights that drenched 29th Street in a swirl of colors, his uncle twiddled the knob on the car radio. Settling on the easy R&B of WDAS, the wafting sound of synths and sultry voices is overtaken by the dissonance of screeching car tires. A large Cadillac slammed forcefully into the back of the Honda driven by Michael’s uncle. Inside the car, a split second passes before the impact, but it seems like ages.
His automatic reaction was to try and brace himself. Clutching the armrests on either side he realizes that he isn’t wearing a seatbelt… Michael went barreling through the windshield of the car. That kind of trauma should have killed a boy his size. But Michael wasn’t killed.
In fact he walked away virtually unscathed. That night, something was made deadly clear. It was not his turn to go. There were bigger things in store for the boy who would become king. In the streets of Philadelphia iCON the Mic King is more of an idea than an actual person.
There are plenty of stories, all lending to an indelible mystique that makes him as intriguing as he is critically heralded, and perhaps even more misunderstood. iCON is no stranger to paying dues. His work ethic is evidenced by a recording catalogue stretching back to 1995, as well as an impressive international touring schedule yielding passport stamps on three continents in seventeen countries. Delivering powerful hypnotic and awe-inspiring performances with DJ Fishr Pryce at the helm, Mike King’s legend grows with each show-stealing concert date.
His most recent projects: “Mike and the Fatman”(Uprising records), which saw him teamed up with Chum the Skrilla Guerrilla on production, with features by Killah Priest and Blue Raspberry, as well as “Rent Money Music 2: C-Notes for the Car Note” were to released to critical acclaim. Unfortunately the scope of those projects was hindered by a lack of resources. But with the proper push… Upcoming projects and testaments to the Renaissance include “The Season of Our Discontent” produced by Blastah Beatz, and genre-bending electric/hip hop hybrid group Robots With Hearts with Ninja Tune Records’ black sheep, Animals on Wheels. Chum and iCON are also reuniting to release a new progressive set. A dynamic and compelling emcee, iCON may better be placed with the likes of Dostoevsky, Philip K.
Dick, and Franz Kafka than that of his rhyming peers. As one of the City of Brotherly Love’s Premier talents, iCON the Mic King is a man with a purpose. Laying the framework for a new generation of credible artists, using his love of creating timeless music to fuel his epic and visceral rhymes, and leading hip hop into its next golden age by example. Of course, that’s what any good king does. -A.
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