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Original filename: MOLOTOV.pdf
Title: Personality profile
Author: Johnson, Jordan

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By: Zeryus Hall
MOLOTOV: Something like a sequel
It’s late May and I’m sitting in a makeshift studio in a small, stuffy apartment that sits
above a barbershop. Loud, soulful beats radiate from the speakers, rattling everything on the
cluttered desk and making everyone unknowingly nod their heads. A good friend of mine
paces back and forth. Silently mumbling along to the track, he glances at me occasionally.
Though he doesn’t utter a word, the message is clear: he’s found what he was looking for.
Upon first glance, 22-year-old Mike McGaha looks like an average student. Adorned in
everyday college accessories, -- headphones, backpack, and a notebook – he walks confidently
through the student center. It soon becomes clear however, that he is not your average TSU
“OPENMIC can I have your autograph?” someone jokes. Another asks, “Yo, when is
your next show?” “Downloaded the new mixtape last night… its tight!” exclaims one girl. As
usual he smiles, awkwardly accepts the compliments, and keeps moving.
Humble as he is, it’s hard not to acknowledge his many accomplishments. Excelling in
academics, the onetime president of Collegiate 100 has competed in competitive competitions
such as the Thurgood Marshall and OFC conferences as well as interned with well-known
street wear brand ’10.DEEP’ in New York. In addition to this, he is known as one of the
frontrunners in Nashville’s hip-hop scene and is considered one of the best emcee’s in the city.
After winning “Mixtape of the Year” in The Nashville Scene’s ‘Best of Nashville’
edition, OPENMIC has been hard at work prepping for the release of his newest project titled,
“MOLOTOV”. Released on Monday, download numbers already exceed 1200.
“MOLOTOV stemmed from a Molotov cocktail,” the rapper explains. “…it’s not a
very sophisticated weapon, but it was very effective ‘cause it was still explosive. That’s the
concept of the tape.”
The mixtape is a collaborative effort between OPENMIC and local producer Ducko
McFli. Multitalented, Ducko sometimes stands in as OPENMIC’s DJ. He also helped design
the artwork for the mixtape.
On recording MOLOTOV, OPENMIC says the process “was done extremely
“We did MOLOTOV in three days… three studio sessions,” he remembers. “I was at
Ducko’s apartment and we’d just stay there for like four hours at a time.”
A far cry from his last project, “For the Rebels”, MOLOTOV is sonically different
from anything else he’s done. Though the lyricism is undoubtedly still present, the sound is
bolder. More confident.
“A lot of the tracks are big. A lot of the tracks are very loud in nature. I just encourage
everybody to play it as loud as you can without damaging your ear drums,” he says.
Almost as soon as it was released at 11:30pm, MOLOTOV received immense praise
eventually becoming a trending topic in Nashville on social media site Twitter. Ironically, the
mixtape was not such an immediate hit with OPENMIC as it was with fans. Initially, due to
bad luck and bad timing, his enthusiasm in the project waivered.
“We were supposed to put the tape out over the summer,” he says. “Ducko emailed me

the tracks while I was in New York and just really didn’t like the way it sounded… really
didn’t like the mix. So we decided to go in and re-record them.”
Unfortunately when it rains, it pours. After re-recording the songs, Ducko’s computer
crashed, taking with it all the original files and beats. Again the project was put on hold as he
now had to go back and recreate all the original tracks once created in the stuffy little apartment
above the barbershop.
Luckily, everything came together and in the end, a quality projects exists that both men
can be proud of. It also encompasses the same feel of the original done back in May.
After hearing the final mix, only hours before it was set to be released, OPENMIC
“finally felt excited.” As the download number steadily increased with each refresh of the page,
it was clear he had a reason to be.
Never complacent, OPENMIC is already working on future projects. In addition to
various upcoming shows, he is also working on concepts and ideas for his next mixtape “For
the Rebels 2” as well as his first album. From both of which he says “expect great things”.

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