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Phoenix Son: Mr. Miranda Interview [ En Español Click Aqui ]
12/29/12 at 10:00 PM ET - exclusive interview by Dante


Phoenix rapper Mr. Miranda

In an age of record labels focusing mostly on what's marketable, one Arizona rapper sticks to Hip Hop's roots.  Mr. Miranda has earned a spot for himself in the Phoenix rap scene with a flow and lyrics that conjure up memories of Hip Hop's golden era.


Mr. Miranda has opened for a variety of artists, ranging from Evidence of Dilated Peoples, to radio mainstay Pitbull.  The Southwest rapper spoke to us about his latest projects, plus some interesting family ties, in this exclusive interview. Your were born and raised in Phoenix, right?




Why is that your flow and delivery isn't typical of what people might expect from a Southwest Hip Hop artist?


I'm such a Hip Hop head in general, a student of the art. I picked up on different styles. I always wanted to stand out. I looked at it like, it doesn't matter where you're from. If you're a true Hip Hop head, you can pretty much do whatever.


Who are the rappers that influenced your music?


Me being close to L.A., you had Ice Cube, N.W.A.. All the way to the East Coast. Gangstarr, Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul. It varies, it wasn't just one in particular.


Not to really pigeonhole where you fit in as an artist, but do you cater more to a backpack rap audience?


It really just depends. The way I see Hip Hop going now, lyricism is starting to come back. You're starting to see more change, more people of various groups are starting to get attached to that real Hip Hop essence. It doesn't even really matter. If they want to consider it that, that's cool.  But I feel like I'm open to everybody.


So what's the name of your upcoming EP you dropped?

It's called "The H & M EP"

And who did the beats?

It's produced entirely by my man Hexsagon.

How did you connect with him?

We met at a hip hop show here in Phoenix. He had just moved here from El Paso and was already familiar with me, so we just exchanged numbers and started making music together

What can you tell us about the EP?

It's different from anything him and I both have done in the past, it's a step into the electro funk world. It's upbeat and awesome, I think people will definitely enjoy it because it's something for everyone

Where can people listen to or download the EP?

It will be available on


Why are you dropping an EP instead of a full-length album?


This is actually the first EP that I've ever done. I've always wanted to, but EPs are good because they're short, and get the point across.


Guys tend to go overboard sometimes. You've got 15 records, seven are good, eight are fillers. It just becomes kind of redundant. Every track starts to sound the same after a while. With EPs, it's perfect, you're giving them just enough.


But you've obviously dropped full-length albums before.


Yeah. We both have an album titled "Love, Tears, and Smiling Faces" set to release in 2013. We dropped a single for it last year titled "Key to Success" and featured my boy DJ Madd Rich on the cuts for the chorus.


The record got a lot of love all over the net. The project has been two years in the making, but it's ready. People can find it on  as well, and we'll have it on iTunes, most likely.


Have you shot any videos for the full album?

We shot one for "Key to Success" and it's on Youtube. It's my best video yet, and is directed by Moses Lujan


A while back, you dropped "The Superfreak Tape: A Tribute to Rick James." What inspired you to release an EP like that?

I've always been a huge Rick James fan. When he passed away, I noticed no other artists or DJs did any tributes for him, so I thought it was a great opportunity to do one. It got a lot of love as well, and was a very fun project to make.

Have you collaborated with any other known artists?


Yeah. One of my first albums in '09, the project called Lets Get on with the Music. It was a collaborative project with a producer from here, he goes by Jimmy Nelson. He did all the production. On there, I had Jaz-O, Jay-Z's mentor.


What about concerts, have you shared the stage with any established artists?


I've opened up for quite a few artists ranging from Evidence of Dilated Peoples, Aceyalone, Little Brother, Ne-Yo, Common. Pitbull, if you want to keep it Latino [laughs].


I'm also in a group, we go by Writers Guild. There's four of us. One of the artists that was on Big Beat Jawn, my buddy Random, we've opened up for Slick Rick, Pharoahe Monch, a couple of other names.


Speaking of keeping it Latino, what's your family's background?


I'm Mexican.


Is there a significance to name Mr. Miranda?


There actually is. My uncle... are you aware of the Miranda Rights?


Of course.


That was actually my uncle, Ernesto Miranda.


Run that by me again?


[laughs] Yeah. That was actually my uncle. My middle name is Ernesto, I was named after him. He was my grandfather's baby brother. It was the case of Arizona vs Miranda that he was involved in.


Around those times, there was really no evidence, DNA testing, stuff like that. It was their word against yours, no innocence until proven guilty. When he was incarcerated, he was already a very educated individual, but he got more educated while he was locked up. He was constantly writing to his attorney, asking him why he wasn't really given a fair chance.


He didn't get to prove to everyone that he didn't do the crime they were convicting him of. Even his attorney was kind of like, I only do this for you because the city pays me. He started really reading his letters and thought, wow, this guy has a valid point.


His attorney John Jacob Flynn really fought for him. It took seven tries, and on the seventh one, the judge finally gave the okay to it. They had to release him from prison. But he had so many priors, he had done 22 years, something like that. After that, it all changed. They weren't allowed to just handcuff you and throw you in the car. They had to read you your actual rights.


Nice backstory there. Since you're repping Arizona, what's the biggest change you've noticed to Phoenix Hip Hop since you've been in the game?

There's been some big moments out here for sure, the scene has definitely come a long way. I think the biggest change is the unity out here, more artists are collabing with one another, rather than battling one another. So that's a plus because that's how a city gets on, by supporting each other and helping everyone get on.

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