It is increasingly evident that to be successful in the current landscape of music, artists can no longer be contained in boxes and in fact must for their own survival become multidimensional. Lil Wayne conjured his inner rock star and marched to multiplatinum; Linkin Park blended programmed drums and rap with big guitars and soaring vocals to grow an international fan base; Kanye West reinvented himself as an emo singer on “808s and Heartbreak”, and the list goes on. Blame it on the internet or globalization, but the walls separating musical styles are increasingly looking like lines in the sand… and Soul Mafia is a wave.
A jazz saxophonist/rapper/guitarist who looks like an MMA fighter, a classically trained pianist turned hip-hop producer who has an infatuation with 80’s rock, a foster kid from Indianapolis who channeled his pain into singing like the hip hop Marvin Gaye, and a young drum phenom born and bred in Crown Heights Brooklyn who plays like the loudest rock drummer you ever heard: musical genres crash as often as cymbals. Hints of Prince, Billy Idol, Daft Punk, B.I.G., even Coltrane and Beethoven dance in and out of their new album, but despite these unlikely ingredients, Soul Mafia somehow still sound like pop.
Arriving in New York City in 2001, GC and keyboardist/producer Prism began to establish the Soul Mafia brand through a trial by fire of open mics, battles, self promoted shows, and guerilla marketing tactics. By developing Pursuance Inc., the production wing of Soul Mafia, through placement on FOX, ESPN, and MSG, GC and Prism were able to finance their grass roots efforts. The early years were characterized by a revolving door of supporting players, but after several line-up changes, GC and Prism found the missing elements of Soul Mafia in drummer Lil D and vocalist Iam Beck.
With the inner circle established and battle tested from Detroit to South Carolina, the new album MK Ultra complete and the Wasted tour locked, Soul Mafia is ready for the world. Forged through years of struggle and sacrifice as individuals and as a collective, Soul Mafia is prepared to go the distance. In the words of GC, “might lose my shirt, but never the shoes; receipts you keep when you pay your dues.”
It may have seemed like a lofty goal for an
independent rapper to get Lil Scrappy and Iam of Soul
Mafia on his first single. Not for Mike Petrone, whose
breakthrough record “Crank It” is heating up the
streets of his native Atlanta on the strength of spitfire
verses and an insanely catchy hook.
The independent release of the epic LP “The Last Hundred Yards” is just the most recent
accomplishment from this multifaceted individual who served two tours in Iraq, was wounded twice,
and received his Purple Heart, all before the age of 22. The remarkable story of how Petrone
received his Purple Heart is detailed in his music video for his song “Baghdad”
(www.myspace.com/mikepetronemusic) which was filmed overseas during Petrone’s second tour in
Iraq. Authenticity is a prevalent theme from this artist who chose to skip a rap moniker and use his
The buzz about Mike Petrone is hard to contain. Already, he has been featured on Fox News, Fort
Benning TV, VH1, and various other media outlets. His debut single “Crank It” is additionally
featured on To the Fallen Records Hip Hop’s Volume 2. He has performed in countless venues
nation wide and always dazzles his audience with energetic, electrifying live shows.
Petrone is frank and humble about his talent and his place in the rap landscape, “I’ve always been a
fan of hip-hop first, and an artist second. Even if I quit rapping today, I’ll still be a fan tomorrow!”
Perhaps risking his safety everyday and watching comrade’s fall has undeniably inspired Petrone’s
modesty, maturity, and passion for life…or maybe he was just born to “CRANK IT!!!”
Soul Mafia’s tracklist
Videos of Soul Mafia
Photo’s of Soul Mafia
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