So many refer to the “Come Up” in jest recalling depictions of the rap game drenched in diamonds and fancy foreign cars. How often do you sit back and really ponder how much making a dream come true can mean to a person who has traveled a rough road.
Mike D’Angelo has just been added as the newest Hip-Hop artist on Birdman’s heavy hitting Cash Money Records roster and few have been as deserving as he. I went to see the hungry artist during one of his late sessions at the DC metropolitan area classic, Night Flight Studios. D’Angelo sipped a bottle of Hennessy, spit some powerful freestyle verses and began his life story of how he came to this turning point in his career.
“Like many drug dealers during the 80’s early 90’s my mother went from selling to using. I was still so young when so realized she couldn’t care for me anymore” said D’Angelo. In the height of his mother’s addiction he was sent from Edgewood apartments in Washington DC to live with his aunt in Patterson NJ. This transition was intended to place him in a more stable environment during his formative years but the peace was very short lived and the nightmare began.
An abusive friend of the family began brutally beating, physically attacking and torturing the young Mike D’Angelo every time they were left alone. His cries for help went unheard for years until the day he was almost killed. D’Angelo’s attacker threw him out of his third-story bedroom window. He was 11 years old. His body hit the concrete below and he fell into a two-month coma. Waking up to his family still in denial of what occurred made him realize he needed a plan to get away and save his own life.
Music became an escape from his circumstance. Artists like Nas and Tupac influenced D’Angelo heavily. He began to freestyle and craft verses to express himself. It gave him a freedom and confidence his abuse had taken from him. At 14 years old he ran away from his aunt’s house and hit the streets fending for his self armed with nothing but headphones, sharp wit and a voice.
He reached out to his uncle Rich Harrison, the producer responsible for music by artists like Amerie and Mya. He taught D’Angelo how to work the boards and he produced his first song at 15 years old. This sparked an interest in other musical instruments as well and D’Angelo began teaching himself how to play guitar, piano and drums. He slowly but surely became proficient in each. He began a campaign encouraging his supporters to “Be Legendary”. The best way to truly influence people is to be the best you can be and leave a powerful, positive mark on the world.” said D’Angelo.
D’Angelo continued to work hard refusing to let his dreams of spreading his music and Be Legendary campaign die. Recently, fueled by his passion for success, he set out on his own personally funded multi-city tour. During his stop in Los Angeles CA. he ran into recording artist and actor from the hit movie Straight Outta Compton, Compton Menace. Compton Menace began creating music with D’Angelo. He saw the abundance of talent immediately and signed him to his label, MHG. Compton Menace then introduced Mike D’Angelo to his friend and colleague Birdman.
Birdman said, “ I see you moving out here like no one else. You need a strong team behind you to make this happen.” Birdman offered D’Angelo a spot on his Cash Money team as well. The ink is barely dry and the rest of the story is yet to be disclosed but recent radio interviews, up-coming television and concert appearances are fair warning an amazing time in Mike D’Angelo’s life is here and now. Though he realizes life will soon change drastically and the excitement is building every day, Mike D’Angelo promises one thing will always remain the same, “I will continue to Be Legendary for my loved ones and supporters, no matter what.”