Behind the Boards: Mike Crook

Mike Crook has been making noise in the streets of LA. By now, his tag has been on Blueface’s viral hit “Bleed It,” while credits on tracks from The Winning Team such as “Chupa Mi Pito” have embedded him directly into LA’s scene. Besides Blueface, 1TakeJay, and Rucci, he has worked with artists such as E-40, AzChike, Saviii3rd, and Mozzy, and as successful as he’s already been, it’s clear this is just the beginning.

This week, I had the opportunity to get to know the real Mike Crook, as he explains his journey thus far and the story behind his relationships with artists in the city.

Songs to Know:

 

Blueface – “Bleed It”

 

Blueface – “Slidin'”

 

Blueface – “Bonco”

 

Rucci – “Can’t Tell Me Shit”

 

1Take Jay – “Chupa Mi Pito”

 

1Take Jay – “ZeZe Remix”

Give us a little background on where you grew up.

“My dad lived in San Gabriel, California which is about 15 minutes East of Downtown LA. My mom lived in Glendora, Ca which is about 30 minutes East of Downtown, so I grew up back and forth with them but went to Glendora Schools my whole life.”

How did you get started becoming a producer?

“After my dad had passed in 2012, which was my sophomore year in high school, I went to visit a medium, which is someone who speaks to the dead. She explained how my dad was telling her to tell me to stop playing football and to do music. The whole situation with that is bizarre but I have the tape recording. I was surprised because I knew nothing about music! I just would listen to it and would be a fan of different people. I was supposed to just play football and go to college. So being a music producer wasn’t in the plans.. I was just taught to go to school, graduate, and then work a regular job.”

How long have you been producing?

“Continuing from the last question, I bought the music equipment in 2012 with some of the birthday money I had received. I eventually returned everything because I was terrible at it, and just kept playing football…But, at the end of high school career in 2014 is when I picked back up at it. Rebought everything. I knew I didn’t want to attend college and work a regular job for the rest of my life. So I’ve been doing music consistently since about 2014.”

What artists have you worked with so far?

“Blueface, 1takeJay, AzChike, Saviii3rd, Rucci, E40, and I got some shit coming with Mozzy, & a lot of others I can’t really think of.”

Who is your favorite artist to work with?

“1TakeJay and Blueface are probably my favorite, because they really were fucking with me before anybody. 1takeJay always pulls up to the studio and we probably do like 5 songs every session. We have a lot of songs on the way, it’s crazy.”

Favorite song you’ve done?

“Blueface – “Bleed It” and this song “Bitch“ by 1TakeJay. It’s not out yet but I have it on repeat at the house and in my car…”

“I have a lot more songs with Blueface, Mozzy, Saviii3rd, E40, 1takejay… on the way”

Explain the relationship between you and Blueface – and how it feels for your single “Bleed It” to become viral in such a short period of time?

“I met Blueface in the summertime 2017. I think he only had about 15,000 followers at the time. “Deadlocs” & “Thotiana” had just dropped and my homie kept on playing them. I don’t think “Deadlocs” even had a million views. I ended up reaching out to Blueface on Instagram, because he was reachable at the time. At this time nobody was using my beats like that, and I was working a delivery driving job, so I just had money sitting there. Literally nobody was hitting me back when I asked them for their beat email. When I would email beats I would never hear back from people. One day I just thought to myself… I’m just going to do a beat tape with artists on it and pay them something to come to the studio..drop it and see what happens…So I sent him a DM and asked if I gave him gas money, bought food & drinks, & took care of bro… would he come to the studio. I booked a session from 7pm – 11pm and he showed up right at 7pm. I’ll never forget that because a lot of rappers show up 3 hours late and all that. We ended up knocking out “Slidin” & “Bonco” that night.. and he dropped it on his 2coccy EP. We just stayed in contact and I would send him beats. I would watch his IG stories and see he was actually using them. I didn’t see him for like 3 months & randomly one day he invited Scum Beatz and I to the studio with Quavo & Dj Mustard, which was something I’ll never forget. Now, I’m on stage with him at the majority of his shows. I’ve been around him a lot the last few weeks and it’s just dope to see the growth. I’ve sent him 60 beats for his new upcoming album & I know I have a few on there as of now.

I feel like the gas money, food, and drinks were the best investment I have ever made, because “Bleed It” changed my life. It’s crazy to see “Instagram Famous” people dancing to the “Bleed It” Challenge. It’s kinda surreal honestly, because this song is the reason I’m moving into my new apartment. It really opened doors for a lot of other things.. When I saw it hit 1 million views in 12 hours, I knew it was a wrap. Especially with that beat because I made it in 2017 and wasn’t even expecting him to pick that. I just sent it in that pack of 60 beats not even thinking anything of it.”

Do you prefer to work with artists at the studio, or send them beats through email?

“I like being in the studio with the artists because the vibe is different and they can tell me to switch certain things. Also, I know if they used my beat or not. Sometimes when you email beats you don’t really know if they are going to use it, and it’s kinda just sitting there. So I feel more involved when we record everything at the studio.”

Who are you trying to work with in 2019? Maybe someone outside of your comfort zone?

“Gunna, Lil Baby, Young Thug, Juice WRLD… more artists in the south. I feel like I could reach majority of the artists on the West Coast.”