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Mike Stud came on my radar in December of 2010 with the release of his first single and music video “College Humor”. Shortly after either Mike himself or someone in his camp reached out to collaborate with the Hip Hop artist that I managed. I immediately declined, telling my artist that this “frat rap” was a fad and there was no longevity in aligning himself with an artist like Mike Stud.
From a distance, Mike appeared to be a novelty, a one hit wonder. A white, good looking college athlete who appealed to other college students with his witty rhymes over some basic hip hop production. It was 2010 and “Frat Rap” was everywhere, and honestly, I just wasn’t impressed.
By 2012 I actually had met Mike personally through my high school friend Jon Kilmer and though I still didn’t necessarily respect the music, he definitely grew on me as a person. Got to party with him after a fraternity show in upstate New York and to say the least, dude could hold his own.
Mike Stud Debuts the Music Video for His Track “Mind Games” (Official Video)
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In the spring of 2013 I gave Mike a ride back from NYC to Rhode Island after spending time with him in Kilmer’s studio and then hittin the city at night. It was the first time I had been alone with him and so in my typical nature, I rattled off questions to get to know him better. We bonded over similar backgrounds and pursuing athletics in college as well as mutual friends. We spoke about his music, his vision and his brand. And over the course of those 4 hours, outside of now considering Mike a friend, I became a believer in Mike Stud’s music.
I officially moved to LA in The fall of 2014, around the same time Mike Stud and his crew took the leap to the west coast. Coincidently we found places across the street from one another. It was at this point, Mike let me into his circle, and I was able to see things more clearly. Spending more and more time at the house I realized just how much everything was calculated. He had his best friend and stage party animal Blue, his photographer and creative prodigy Foley, his iconic and brotastic filmer, Kilmer and his Day to Day Manager and muscle, Gerry. Everyone was working so hard, perfecting this image and product, and they were all in it together, in this dope 5 bedroom house in West Hollywood. It was a family working towards a common goal, and it was honestly inspiring to see.
For the past year now I’ve been acclimated into Mike’s inner circle and gotten to see everything. From pro athletes visiting the house playing ping pong to late nights and early mornings in the studio to solid nightly hangs at On The Rox. Coming from New England we were all experiencing LA for the first time and it’s everything we thought it would be and more. But during that year I watched Mike work through his music and mature ten fold. The studio, walking distance from the house became this place of transformation for Mike as he took his “frat rap” sound and matured it to something much broader and relevant, but even more so, a sound that he could truly call his own.
After a year in LA, this sound on “These Days” is a massive step for Mike and his team. I believe he has absolutely established himself as a musician, through both his writing and delivery and the way he works each session with producer Louis Bell, another Boston transplant in the circle, whose work has recently has been featured on Justin Bieber’s latest album. Mike has matured and grown out of the “Frat Rap”, “White Rapper” stigma that followed up early in his career and broken from the pack to create a lane very much his own. As much as I am proud of how far Mike has come and what he is created, I am overwhelmed with excitement for what is about to come, now that he has reached this next level within the music industry
Here is my review of Mike Stud’s “These Days” Album:
“Swish” – Produced by Louis Bell & James Defina. This track truly sets the tone for the whole album. It establishes that the Mike Stud you know and love is still here with his witty one liners but the production and music as whole as jumped to the next level. This is definitely a single and it shows.
“Running around a brand new town,with the same whole crew that I started with”
Exactly what this year has been for Mike in LA.
“I switched up now I’m pitching hits”
The connection to baseball in his music is still strong as ever.
“The TV show bout to pop off so I really don’t need to make a deal soon”
They have been shooting the first season of their reality show on NBC and will continue to through this upcoming tour.
“It’s a New Era, no Mitchell & Ness tho”
Mike is one of the first non-athlete to sign an official deal with New Era
Gerry has a very successful mom, who he loves and respects immensely. Found this as a great example of how intertwined and calculated this whole family is with Mike Stud.
“10th Inning”– Produced by Jitta On The Track, who many of our readers may know from his solo career as an artist. Mike and Jitta worked hard on this track in LA and I think it really shows. The melodic beat mixed with a dope hook really cements this one for me. Maturation evident in the song writing in general, more serious in nature but still an absolute hit, in my opinion. Love the hook with the “Make hits like Ken Griffey in the 10th Inning” keeps the baseball theme alive.
“After Hours”– Produced by Louis Bell & James Defina. Solid production meets great song writing. Hook is super catchy, definitely one of my favorite songs on this album. Can see girls really feeling this track as well. Definitely Mike Stud 2.0 and can’t see his fans being mad about it.
“Anyone Else” – Produced by Louis Bell, James Defina & Jahphet Landis. Mike wrote this song with Grammy producer and writer Frank Duke and it’s about his girlfriend, model/actress Josie Canseco, former MLB star Jose Canseco’s daughter. On a side note, having spent quite a bit of time around the two both in Boston and in LA, this relationship is as real as it gets. And the song captures that (and when the video drops, you’ll see the realness in their relationship come to life in visuals as well).
Best Line: “All Day we lay low, Postmates can’t say no, No way Jose way can say No” Alluding to her father Jose Canseco saying no to their relationship.
“Black Out”– Produced by Louis Bell & James Defina. The female vocalist is Whitney Phillips who is around the studio in LA a lot and super stoked to finally hear on a track with Mike. This track gives me goosebumps. It’s about Mike’s come up with his “friends” and it completely hits the mark. This group of friends have worked so hard to get here and he talks about how much he counts on them. The hook is massive and goes perfectly with Louis and James’ production. Would love to see someone remix this ASAP.
“Spell Check” – Another track produced by Jitta On The Track. Short one but solid album track. Production slows down but you’ll catch yourself nodding your head.
“YNK” – Produced by Louis Bell & James Defina. YNK stands for You Neva Know and literally the most common phrase to ever come out of Blue’s mouth. Catchy quick track that ties in the theme. Love the word play.
“These Days” Remix – Produced by Louis Bell & James Defina. Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman on verse. Might sound strange to people but Mike and Marcus attended Duke University together and played baseball there before Marcus was drafted. Really bridges the gap here between music and baseball but it’s not forced. The come up for both have their parallels and it’s great that they can still collaborate while pursuing different careers. And to be clear, Stroman is not trying to be a trapper, he;s merely just telling his story through a medium that works. Track is hot and most of you should have seen the video which came out last week, directed by another one of our friends OVO Ryan.
“Through The Night” – Produced by Gxnxvs and Louis Bell. Mike created this song with Gxnxvs and it’s definitely one of the more mature tracks on the album. Another track that girls are definitely going to swoon over and offers a healthy balance, flexing Mike’s different strengths on one album. Definitely an emotional one too with Mike on the hook as well.
“Jack Daniels” – Produced by Louis Bell, James Defina & Kahri Mateen. Raspy hook is a different sound for Mike Stud and it’s an organic product of him cutting this record at 4am in the studio. Definitely a bro track, that I see a lot of die hard Mike Stud fans rallying around.
Make sure you catch Mike and the crew on the road this winter. Tour jumps off Friday and I will sure be flying out to a few dates myself.