The Leaders of the New Cool

Artist Profile: Mikkey Halsted (Leaders of the New Cool Chicago)

Posted on: November 29, 2009

The Uncrowned King

In a congested rap landscape a militant MC with respect for the art of wordplay, musical integrity and a respect for the sacred power of music has emerged from Chicago, hip hop’s latest hot bed for talent. Up steps Mikkey Halsted a product of the Southside of Chicago’s notorious Wild 100’s section. If the master’s degree in education does not hint at the extraordinary aptitude of this master of ceremony then certainly the first entrée into the music of Mikkey will leave a listener refreshed with the idea that the revolution just might be closer than previously contemplated.

Not new to the industry, Mikkey got his start with super-producer Kanye West, who produced his first demo that landed him a deal with Cash Money Records. The CMR chapter turned out to be short stint, but a fruitful period musically and professionally as Mikkey went on to feature on 7 Cash Money releases that were certified platinum or gold and performed on several major tours throughout the country. During his tenure with the New Orleans based powerhouse, Mikkey had the opportunity to expose millions of fans to his brand of music he coins as “militant-street-wisdom” and rub shoulders with the industry’s elite including Lil Wayne, R. Kelly, Jay-Z and producer Mannie Fresh, whom Mikkey maintains a strong relationship with to this day.


Throughout Mikkey’s exploits in the industry ranging from his Cash Money days to his 2 year deal with Jermaine Dupri during JD’s brief stint at Virgin Records, Mikkey has earned the respect of some of the biggest names in the industry and a sizeable fan base. Fans and colleagues cite Halsted’s razor sharp lyrics and delivery along with his insightful observations as an indication of his distinctiveness in an industry crowded with impersonators. Acclaimed producer NO ID (Jay-Z, Common, Toni Braxton, G-Unit, Jamie Foxx) had this to say when asked where Mikkey Halsted fits in the evolving story of Chicago and hip-hop, “the perspective of Mikkey Halsted is as crucial a piece to the Chicago hip-hop puzzle as some of the successful artists I help to break including Kanye West and Common” says NO ID. “The Chicago story will never be told in its entirety unless Mikkey gets a chance to speak his peace.”

Being a product of a collective that has produced an elite group that reads like a Chi-town who’s who, (Kanye West, Common, No I.D., Shawnna, Rhymefest and others) Mikkey Halsted is a recognizable brand with the pedigree of a super star in the making. After his stint of successive short lived record deals, Mikkey Halsted has emerged a more skillful artist with a more militant perspective poised to provoke change in a time of uncertainty that extends beyond the face of hip-hop. There is no question regarding the music industry’s acceptance to Mikkey Halsted only a matter of who will be left standing when the revolution is broadcasted.


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