Mike Foy Discusses "GhettoPhysics," Skripture and CSI: NY
Fri, 22 Oct 2010 11:35:45
Mike Foy is inextricably tied to hip hop.
In fact, he's a lot closer to the genre than most of its chief purveyors. Starring in the gritty docudrama, GhettoPhysics: Will the Real Pimps and Hos Please Stand Up!, Foy injects main character Marvin with a sense of street truth. He gives Marvin an edge, making for a real slam dunk performance. As Skripture, he's also readying his official debut album, High Road, for release soon. It's an explosive and entrancing collection of gritty rap music that's infectious and invigorating. Plus, Foy brings that fire on his guest starring role on CSI: NY airing Friday October 22. The man is a triple-threat and he's ready to shake the game and the screen up…
Mike Foy sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for an exclusive interview about GhettoPhysics: Will the Real Pimps and Hos Please Stand Up! [In New York and Los Angeles now], his song "Waited," the records that shaped him and so much more.
What's your take on modern hip hop? You're bringing something a little different to the game.
I've been doing this since 1998. I think a lot of music nowadays is watered down. I don't feel that realism in much modern music, so I try to get good beats and make personal songs that people feel. That's my take on it. Usually, I'll get tracks from a producer or I'll have an idea in my head. I either let the beat tell me the story or I have a story ready. Typically, I like to write to the beat. I'll listen to every instrument on the track, and the words will come to me. I want to make every song like a single. I don't want any "filler" records. With my roles, I try to pick quality stuff.
Is storytelling an important element of what you do?
Yeah, my stress relief comes through the music. It's a way to keep me sane. I release that in the music.
What's the story behind "Waited?"
On that one, I was getting frustrated. It feels like it's been taking forever. I've been out for a long time but now people are just starting to notice. Nobody pays attention until you start getting opportunities, then everybody wants to focus on you. It tells the story leading up to now. It's finally kicking off after 12 years. People think it happened overnight or something [Laughs]. It's not about the money. The money will come if you do quality stuff. You want to do something good and be consistent.
Do acting and creating music come from the same creative place?
They really come from the same place for me. The music is more personal, but the acting is a way to get into these different characters. Some of them are similar to me. They have similar upbringings, so I'll take a little piece from here or there. It's a bit of the same process, and it makes it easier with the acting. I have a photographic memory with the music so I learn lines really quick. I'll go into an audition with 15 pages memorized. People look at me like I'm crazy because I got it the night before [Laughs]. I did this one movie where we doing rehearsal two days a week for like two months. After the first two days, I knew the whole script. I never needed the script again.
How did everything come about with Ghetto Physics?
The role of Marvin seemed pretty interesting. It had some comedy so I replied to the call in L.A. Casting. They called me in for the audition, and I ended up booking the role.
Did you connect to Marvin quickly?
It was pretty instant. Marvin was like this smartass class-clown. Normally, I typically get the bad guy roles on TV. They don't let me do comedy much. I'm actually kind of a funny guy in person, so it was easy to tap into this guy. I was a bit of a smartass in college. I felt at home playing him; it wasn't much of a stretch.
Which records shaped you?
My idol was always LL Cool J. I loved his music and Tupac's. It had similar stories to me growing up. A lot of Jay-Z, Nas and Eminem stuff was big for me. Eminem's second album, The Marshall Mathers LP, resonated a lot. Then there was a lot of Outkast too. I love Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. Eminem came out like a beast hitting people in the face.
If High Road were a movie or a combination of movies what would it be?
I would say The Pursuit of Happyness. It's crazy how that movie is like my life story minus the kid and the profession. It describes how, my whole life, nobody took me seriously, they left me hanging or counted me out. It's like a perfect soundtrack record too. It's about overcoming all odds. You might think it's talking about a woman but it's really talking about the music as something that saved me.
Have you heard Mike Foy yet?
Photo by: Albert Quackenbush