Introducing ‘Notes from Mr. Sandman‘ – a column slapping a spotlight on lyricists overlooked, under appreciated, or just plain criminally slept on. Or like a man named Nas once said, “I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.” Enter Mr. Sandman with what y’all missed while chasing the REM dragon; Photo: N/A

Mickey Factz is an all-purpose lyricist from the Bronx who has the ability to speak to multiple generations.

Adept at mixing and matching different styles of rap, Factz is from a fine class of golden-era and straight underground to pop. His ability to traverse different landscapes is centered around a nucleus of hard work and commitment, an ambassador who proved that you can be malleable yet still maintain a distinct and personal style.

Mickey Factz is a brain. He had the opportunity to go to law school at NYU, but gave it up for a chance at becoming a rap star. To pass on something as prestigious as a law degree or at least a shot at one is a testament to his guts. His dedication has led to 15 mixtapes and one stellar full-length, and his stock continues to rise with a slew of fresh singles.

For the Culture” was an early cut that served as a nation-wide introduction. The style is in the same vein as what was coming out of the Midwest in the early 2000s, a Kanye-esque beat with a Lupe Fiasco style of delivery. His exuberance has sustained him for over a decade, and from the jump he was honoring his commitment to the culture: [LISTEN]

Throughout the years Mickey Factz took swift steps in his development, sometimes releasing multiple mixtapes in one year. This allowed him to stay sharp, constantly building upon his previous work. Exploring different styles gave him the chance to practice multiple rhyme patterns making him one of the most adaptable lyricists in the game.

Mickey Factz’s first studio album The Achievement: circa ’82 is an album that took over a decade to complete. All the mixtapes were him stretching his legs and having fun, and The Achievement was the culmination of all that he had learned. He commissioned producer Nottz who had worked with a broad range of artists including Kanye, Lupe Fiasco, Puhsa T, The Game and Drake. The production allowed Factz to explore both the pop world and underground, one of the few artists who could bridge the divide and not sound like a tourist.

Factz invited a solid roster of guests to help him showcase his skills. He went toe-to-toe with some of rap’s fiercest lyricists including Blu, Phonte, Curren$y and Styles P. The combination of dense beats and wicked lyricism made it a debut that was well worth the wait. The Achievement was the third in a trilogy of albums that showed just how far he came and the type of adversity he had to endure to get there.

Some People” is the culmination of all his work, a lifetime’s worth of trials and tribulations packed into one song. The classic boom-bap melds seamlessly with Showtyme’s soulful crooning, and with a proper backdrop Mickey hits a lead-off homer: [LISTEN]

Mickey Factz’s debut is the tip of the iceberg. He planted all the seeds, and has enough of a catalog to go back and explore ideas for future full-lengths. Depending on his mood he could either return to his roots and flesh out one of those gritty underground gems or bolt the other way and go all out pop; either way he’d still bring a level of storytelling that would make him an immediate draw.

What he decides to do is entirely in his hands, but whatever he chooses it’s a guarantee that it will be a quality product with depth and flavor. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another ten years.