Photo by Andrew Zeiter
Last week a steady stream of Treated crowns, leather and sneakers streamed into the Hard Rock Café in Chicago. The crowd that makes up a large part of the hip-hop scene here was assembled in the Loop to give one of their own a proper celebration for the release of Mic Terror’s Fresh Prince of Darkness. The album’s release, debuted under the Chicago independent hip-hop label Closed Sessions, was a community affair of artists, management and a wide swath of the crowd that took hip-hop music in the scene to another level. If you’ve been to a rap show in the Second City or spent some time at local boutique Jugrnaut, you’re familiar with the Treated Crew. Led by Kanye West’s DJ Million Dollar Mano, the squad has established itself as a bastion of what rap is in the city and there are few who have had a larger impact on the crew, it’s origins and what the music had developed into than Mic Terror, who capped weeks of promotion for the project with a rousing performance that had the packed crowd rocking with him from start to finish as he pulled from a multitude of experiences for the set, proving why he has had the kind of staying power that wasn’t evident in the city even a decade earlier. The 28-year-old Dolton native has been a mainstay for about a decade now, progressing in his own lane while also pushing those around him to continue to grow, resulting in the push that has been a huge spike in hip-hop emanating from the center of the country as of late. For FPOD, Mic Terror shows a matured, true side of himself, pulling from years of experience and learning to create a project that accurately and succinctly sums up Mic T as an artist and a person. To hear him say it, his previous projects were largely rooted in attempting to perfect this or that, whereas on his latest release he felt more comfortable spreading his wings and exploring territory he hadn’t to this point. The result is a fully-fleshed out album that exudes exactly what the Treated Crew name has come to represent over the years. I recently had a chance to stop by Soundscape Studios in Chicago to sit down with Mic Terror and discuss the ins and outs of what the ride has been like this far, what lays ahead and the role he finds himself in within his scene as it expands exponentially.