Back Then They Didn't Want Him

They might be the apex of pop glitz and video glam, but historically the VMAs haven't really been an oasis of new, progressive sounds -- and to be fair, award shows rarely are. But this year MTV is at least trying to be hip. The MTV2 award highlights new and emerging artists, though the definition of emerging probably differs from the norm. Nominations include Daddy Yankee for his reggaeton hit "Gasolina," Fall Out Boy's "Sugar, We're Going Down," My Chemical Romance's "Helena," The Bravery's "An Honest Mistake," and Mike Jones's "Still Tippin'."

We recently caught up with Houston MC Mike Jones to ask him about the VMAs, the stormy-weather haters, and his ubiquitous phone number.

Did you watch last year's VMAs?

Naw, I didn't get a chance to watch it. I was on a plane going to a show. A lot of people tell me that it's a big deal, so I can't wait.... But I really don't watch that many videos myself.

Would you have been surprised if someone had told you then that you'd be nominated for a Moon Man?

Yeah, I would've been. Every sort of accomplishment means a lot to me. Because all the people who didn't show me love back then will have to watch what they say now. Every award is well deserved and appreciated.

So, this is kind of a vindication for you?

Yeah, it's just something to let them know that a lot of people watch my work and appreciate what I've been doing.

Do you think MTV championed you, or do you believe they were forced to recognize you because of the groundswell of attention you received?

I've forced my way through everything, through the underground and the mainstream. Once MTV [saw] how hot I was, they had to jump on board and show support.

Houston has a music culture very much its own -- from the grilles to screw music. Do you think that culture is getting watered down at all by the mainstream attention?

After a while, it'll get like that. But right now it's still new. This is just the beginning. By the beginning of next year we'll still be talking about where we're from, but we'll start making jams just like every other city makes jams. Right now we're just trying to get something established.

What's up next for you?

Clothing line, movies, and my new album, American Dream. And please let everybody know that the 280-330-8004 number is for real. Y'all call me.


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