ATLANTA, GA – Like so many other artists before him, the biggest hurdle that MYK-O has to overcome on a daily basis is fear. Fear of failure. Fear of letting other people down. Fear of making a fool of himself. But mostly, fear of not living up to his fullest potential and fulfilling the purpose for which he feels he was put on this earth.
But fear is something that MYK-O conquered a long time ago when he was just little Michael growing up on the streets of South Atlanta. He grew up in a house with parents who love music, and Jay Z was a prominent fixture in his household. Jay Z’s music quickly became inspirational for MYK-O – so much so that it went beyond the music and onto Jay Z himself. Young Michael looked up to the legendary rapper and the life he’d made for himself. He learned how to make music by listening to Jay Z, and he learned how to conquer fear by learning about the obstacles that Jay Z overcame.
Today, MYK-O is an aspiring artist who one day hopes to follow in Jay Z’s shoes. His debut album, “The Life Before” is his first step toward making that happen. And though he has overcome a lot of the struggles he dealt with growing up in the poorer part of town, he has returned to his roots for this album not only to illustrate to his fans where he came from, but also to bring hope to the children who live in those neighborhoods.
“This is a concept album about my childhood, adolescence and maturing and how those things parallel with today,” he said. “It deals with culture and economic status and race and all those things. And it shows that there’s always a process before progress – things need to happen before success can come. I was raised by a single mother and lived in the struggle in a bad neighborhood. Now things are better, but I’ve chosen to move back so that I can bring hope to the youth out here. The name of the album nods to my life before, but it also nods to the way music used to be – that vintage sound.”
MYK-O embraces that vintage sound while still bringing his own unique stamp and style. The result is an alternative hip-hop album that has a classic feel of that golden age of hip-hop. The poetic elements marry with the jazz elements and set the foundation for lyrics that are poignant and thought-provoking while also being entertaining.
The first single from the album is called “Black Diamonds,” and he shot the music video for the song in the poorer neighborhoods of West Atlanta.
“I wanted people to have an appreciation for what it took to make it out of the struggle and what the process is like,” he said. “You can see all these dilapidated houses and get a visual of what’s going on out there. But you can also see the potential of these kids who live there and how they need help. They’re trying to fend for themselves, but they’re brilliant and I’m trying to show them that there’s more if they just keep pushing forward. The point of my music is to bring inspiration.”
MYK-O also has a nonprofit organization 501(c)3
Proceeds from album sales and merchandise sales will benefit the lives of young children and youth in impoverished and at risk neighborhood by providing them art and music therapy . If you would like to make a custom donation just click the donate button. This a 501c3 organization. All donations are tax deductible
To listen to MYK-O’s music, make a donation or to follow him on social media, please visit the following links:
“The Life Before” Album: