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Why does this 26-year-old rapper call himself ‘MIMS’? Two reasons actually: it stands for Music Is My Saviour, a sentiment that he deeply believes in, and secondly, well, it’s also his real last name. His hit track This Is Why I’m Hot has earned him raves since it released so check it out after you read about this month’s New Artist Alert.

1. He truly believes that music is his saviour.

Music has played a big part in MIMS’ life (real name Shawn Mims) from a very early age. By the time he was 13 he had lost both his parents, and the only thing that kept him steady in life was music. As a result, when it came time to choose a name for his album, he came up with the best phrase for what music meant to him, Music Is My Saviour.

2. His breakthrough song comes in two flavours: hip-hop and rock/hip-hop.

The song that topped the charts and brought MIMS into the spotlight is a self-assured introduction set to tight beats, and called simply, This Is Why I’m Hot. The song came out without hype and then rose rapidly in popularity, thanks to its massive demand in nightclubs. The track was produced by up-and-coming DJ/producers The Blackout Movement and MIMS explains in his official biography, “They understand what the mentality of a DJ is and that's where we broke the record, the mix shows. The DJs broke the record, and when a DJ creates a record and another DJ listens to it, they have a connection. I think that's why a lot of DJs appreciated it.”

3. The key to his success is the fans.

When a song becomes big by demand as opposed to by marketing hype, there is just one set of people responsible for its success: the fans. The crowd at the clubs, and the listeners of the radio stations where the song was played, kept requesting it until it became a hit. There was something about the track that made them relate to it. According to MIMS, “For so long, I think that New York has had this arrogant approach to hip-hop and it's always been, 'We're from New York. We are hip-hop.’ A lot of times, we don't necessarily pay homage to those outside our market. We have every right to be proud because of hip-hop being created and started in New York, but we do have to pay homage to some of these areas that are making great music, like Chi-town, the Dirty South, the West Coast.”

On the album, MIMS gave his fans a treat. An alternate version of This Is Why I’m Hot appears on the release, only this time the hip-hop beats are replaced by crunching guitars and riffs on the song whose title says it all: This Is Why I Rock. What does it sound like? Think Jay-Z meets Linkin Park. MIMS’ approach to his debut album is a fairly simple one. He explains, “I wanted to take a club approach and make a dance record. I wanted to keep the lyrics semi-simplistic. I'm not lyrically overstepping myself. I'm keeping myself in a pocket to where I feel people are going to recite the words and be able to feel it.”

You can read the rest of our feature on MIMS in the May 2007 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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