Richmond, Va. —It’s a calm Wednesday evening in the East End of Richmond, Virginia and at the beginning of a dead-end street sits Michael Bass’ townhouse. From the outside, the blinds are closed, the grass sits uncut, and there’s a faint beat emanating from the house.
Going through the front door, the beat becomes less muffled, a haze is in the air and at the end of the hallway is a living room, or what appears to be.
“Could you turn my headphones up a little bit” calls out Michael, 35, from back left corner of the room.
Depending on the day, Michael’s—or as most people call him “Mike,”— house could be your typical suburban living space, or a hub for the ever-growing Richmond hip-hop scene that is talked about a lot more these days in music publications.
Mike—stage name Michael Millions—is an up-and-coming artist and music engineer whose roots are planted and thriving in Richmond, Virginia. The very place he refers to in “Sirens” in his recent full-length release “Hard to be King” as “once one of those capitols where those murders be”
His mom was a dentist and his dad was in the Navy who made sure basic needs were met. The artist received a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with a focus in photo/film from Norfolk State University, but he always came to realize he just wanted to make music.
“My parents never told me what to be, I always told my parents I was going to be a rapper and they would just be like, ‘Did you turn them college applications in?’”
He left the communications field and ventured into IT through his uncle. Mike was making music and working at the Bank of America in Downtown Richmond in the IT department until his job was dissolved. The same day he got the call, he got a check in the mail for a music project he was a part of. That’s when he made the choice to leap head first into music.