Johnny Nunez, WireImage
The BoomBox: Tell us your origin story.
I've been rapping since I was a child. I had been in the freestyle circuit and won a few battles, but in 2004, I dropped my first radio single with the Clipse. I dropped another record with Freeway, produced by Clinton Sparks, and one called 'Home of the Realest' that was the top record on 92 Q [in Baltimore] for 13 weeks straight. That really kicked things off.
As far as history, I've done it all. I'm the premiere artist from Baltimore and one of the most premiere artists in the whole DMV area. I've been featured on 'The Wire'--both the show and soundtrack. I've had five videos featured on MTV Jams. The biggest was 'Harder Than Baltimore.' One time I actually saw it air between Jay-Z's 'Death of Autotune' and Michael Jackson's 'I'm Bad.'
Be honest, though. Aren't you a little sick of 'The Wire'?
You always take for granted what's in your hometown. What's everyday to you is very entertaining and extraordinary to the outside. You always take for granted what's natural.
What's the split between Baltimore and the region? A lot of Baltimore rappers we've talked to seem insulated and anti-DMV. How have you gotten past that?
Baltimore is a world of its own. DC has a very different yet similar culture. The big difference is that they listen to go-go and we listen to club music. We dress a little different. The slang is different. They tend to be more Southern. We're more influenced by the North in general. The crazy thing is that once you get past the differences, it's pretty close. Some of my best alliances are in DC. As far as Baltimore being a world of its own, 'The Wire' speaks on that. It's a world of its own, but as far as the DMV, that's a bigger world of its own. I'm B-more til I die, but I want to be that aspect of the DMV movement.
You recently moved to Atlanta. How's that going?
Being out here, next to these alliances that are making hip-hop choices all over the world, has changed everything. For instance, I'm having a meeting yesterday and we just see Polow da Don walk out of the restaurant. I chopped it up with him real quick, but that's everyday, though! Whether you're at the mall or a restaurant, it's the most productive place for making a star in hip-hop right now.
Let's get into the mixtape. What do you look for in a beat when putting together a project like this?
There are only three producers outside of the industry tracks I went over. Mbahlievable has the most tracks. The big single right now is '6:30 (Six Thirty),' which has been killing the streets, and the club single is 'Block Star,' which is also produced by him. DJ Booman is on there. He's responsible for most of the popular B-more club music. He does those uptempo club records. He did a record with me, Raheem DeVaughn and Phil Ade on there. I've been building with these guys through the years. I'm a street dude, but you don't want to come off cliché and sticking to what you're used to. I pride myself on being a brilliant MC. Every time we come, without sacrificing my integrity, we always dare to be different. They come to me with something that will challenge me, but can be more than the cliché way of telling my story. It's not locked into a box.
How did you hook up with DJ Whoo Kid?
My best answer is by the grace of God. The conversation just started because he was feeling my music. Whoo Kid isn't the type of DJ that needs to do this type of work, but he likes stamping something that he believes can be a movement and leave an imprint on the game. That's the power he has. Thank God he was feeling my music and was willing to work with me.
What comes after 'Mullyman Vs. The Machine?'
The future plan is to become one of the greatest that ever lived. That's an infinite possibility--from awards to sold out concerts. I don't see no limit to this thing. I'm not an artist that's gonna leave a small dent. I'm gonna tear this whole rap game apart. Expect infinite things. Awards: Just name a show and I'm gonna be there. Videos, sold out stadiums, a frenzy of a movement. It's gonna be crazy.
Download Mullyman's new mixtape here and follow him on Twitter @mullyman.