Name: Mic Geronimo
Where You Find Him: On Twitter, @MicGeronimo.
What You Might Know Him For and Why You Could’ve Cared: Mic Geronimo had a spark when he started his career. A native of Queens, New York, thanks to his acquaintance with Irv Gotti (then known as DJ Irv), who he met at a local high school talent show, the two came together and crafted a single known as “Shit’s Real” in 1994. The single, which showcased a gritty Mic Geronimo, flowing rhymes about his daily routine over a looped segment of Deniece Williams’ soothing “Free,” was beloved throughout the New York underground circuit and made respectable impact on the Billboard charts. This lead to a deal with Blunt Recordings (an indie hip-hop label under TVT), which gave Mic Geronimo a budget to craft his debut album The Natural.
“Masta I.C.,” the first official single off The Natural, was crafted by the then up-and-coming D.I.T.C member Buckwild, who recalls: “It was crazy because ‘Masta I.C.’ took like ten sessions all because [Mic Geronimo] came with the entire Wasteland. All of them were cool. That’s when I first met Royal Flush. He had the idea for the chorus. We had a skeleton for the record but it was just too many people around. I told Mic by the third session, ‘Yo, leave everybody home and come by yourself.’ So the next day he came, brought half the entourage. I was like, ‘Look y’all, let Mic do his thing. When he’s doing the chorus, everybody could be here.’ By the time we got to the chorus, we just had Flush and Mic because it didn’t work with everybody in there.”
Thanks to Irv Gotti’s involvement, The Natural even boasted a posse cut, which was regarded as the first Murder Inc. collaboration, with “Time to Build” featuring the then unknown DMX, Ja Rule, and Jay-Z. While the album’s singles and gritty East Coast production received respectable play within underground circuits, it failed as a commercial success.
The follow-up album, Vendetta, ignited an even bigger hype with contributions from producers Pete Rock, Havoc, and The Hitmen & Puff Daddy. It also included cuts like “Single Life,” featuring Carl Thomas and Jay-Z, and “Usual Suspects” with DMX, Ja Rule, The LOX and Tragedy Khadafi. For the most part, the album retained its previous effort’s gritty underground sound. But it was eventually Puffy (who showed interest of managing Geronimo) and his flashy décor that hurt Geronimo’s image amongst critics and fans. The surprisingly gaudy single, “Nothin’ Move But the Money,” made the Billboard Hot 100, and remains the most successful single to date for Geronimo. However, when the smoke and mirrors faded, Geronimo was left without Puffy, Irv Gotti, and his former collaborators (Jay-Z, DMX, Ja Rule) who would become rap superstars.
Current Status: After his departure from Blunt Recordings/TVT, he released two additional solo albums, Long Road Back with Warlock Records in 2003, and Alive with Major Key Entertainment in 2007. He hasn’t released any new materials to date. He is, however, active on social media. His Twitter is updated almost on a daily basis. —Jaeki Cho (@JaekiCho)