Money Mike debuted, as was the custom at the time, with freestyle, breakdancing. “Talking about Money Honey Mike is talking about a whole package. He danced and was inhabited by the style specific to hip-hop culture. The first time I saw him he was wearing his jeans front to back, a snapback, fashionable Nike shoes; it was thought that he was already living in the United States. Mike was already like the rappers on TV. As soon as you saw him, you quickly understood that he was versed in hip-hop”, recalls Tchak who rubbed shoulders with him within Live Jam, a structure set up in 2002, to allow the public to attend at the live performance of the rappers, of which Money Honey Mike was a member.
Following the death of Master Dji in 1994, Mario Bregard initiated a tribute concert at the National Theater. The artists who took part in the event, including Money Mike, united to give birth a little later to Original Rap Staff (ORG). In 2001, Jean Huberman Charles was also one of the founders of ASRAP which aimed to promote the work of rappers, according to one of the founders, Peter Ronald Berlus.
The latter presents Money Honey Mike as a model of his time. “When a young person wanted to rap, he followed Mike. With his way of dressing, of speaking, he was always in a hip-hop environment. Mike really represented what was called an MC. His influence was so enormous that Signal radio had offered him its antenna for a program on his domain. In the early 90s, there weren’t too many kreyòl rap music videos. The release of “Bagay dwòl” in 1994 made a big impact. Mike stood out. With his group, he allowed rappers to understand that they could produce the same works that they saw on TV. Mike influenced all social strata, notably with the release of ORS’ first album in 1997, where he imposed himself on titles such as “Pardon”, “A toi”, “Merci”, “Whose Style is this” , among others. It was the fever in the media”, says Ronald Berlus, former member of ASRAP, who presents Money Honey Mike as the prince of Kreyòl rap of which he believes that Master Dji is the king.
“I have a sister who told me about a Kreyòl rap video she had seen. She thought they were people from the United States. One evening, while I was in the shower, she called me shouting to tell me that the video was being shown on TV. In my haste, I hurt my mouth, but I had quickly forgotten the pain, I was so amazed. I saw Mike behind a grid which launched “Microphone” on a hardcore instrumental. It was breathtaking,” recalls Tchak.
As for the Rockfam rapper, Pikan, Money Honey Mike is the one who pushed him towards Kreyòl rap. “Parents, in the old days, did not want their children involved in rap. However, they weren’t stopping them from listening to Money Mike. He was one of the few rappers, one of the first, who allowed rap to break through barriers. “To you” was played in schools, in living rooms. Unlike his peers, Money Mike was not seen as a delinquent but an instructor. Everything a rapper wanted to be,” the black handkerchief reads. “Without Money Mike, Kreyòl rap wouldn’t be at this level. On the radio, in his groups, solo, on TV (Channel 11), he promoted the movement in every way, like a complete MC,” continues Pikan.
“Mike was second to none. His name was scary in the middle, ”says Peter Ronald Berlus. Despite his success and popularity, Money Mike was nevertheless of the discreet type, according to Tchak, his colleague at Live Jam and ASRAP. “He was a humble man who loved God, his friends and his country. Mike valued his friends a lot and always gave them comforting advice, like in his lyrics. Mike was also a pleasure seeker, a dreamer, a humanist, a father who loved his children, attached to his friends and family, passionate about life and hip-hop,” adds Peter Ronald Berlus, who worked with Money Honey Mike. to ASRAP, now CEO of One million Recordz, manager of Trajik Daking and Yizra’El Reggae Band.
Today’s generation knows little about Money Mike. “He felt betrayed. »
Despite his key role in the rise of Kreyòl rap, today’s young people in general and young rappers in particular show little attachment to the personality of Money Honey Mike, believe his congeners. “Mike has done everything to remain eternal and legendary. We, as rappers, have done our part. It is up to historians and journalists to do theirs. There is a serious archival problem. Retro broadcasts, writings informing young people about the genesis of the heritage that is Kreyòl rap are lacking. We must quickly create a memory of Kreyòl rap intended for the young generation. The latter must dig into the annals of this musical trend over the past three decades to better orient itself instead of turning only to what is trending,” argues Peter Ronald Berlus.
“It’s inconceivable that a teenager today doesn’t know about Money Honey Mike. It’s not his fault. He consumes what is sold to him. We don’t protect our legends,” regrets Pikan. “In my generation, we had respect for our predecessors. But that is not the case today. When the generation of the Barikad Crew and Rockfam appeared, they made believe that they were the ones who took the movement to a high level, ignoring the work that had been done before them. The slogan “Granmoun yo echwe” is proof of this. Money Honey Mike left disappointed. The disappointment of not having benefited from the recognition for its contributions on the part of the actors of the present. He hid himself and only spoke to a few trusted friends. He felt betrayed,” says Tchak. “Only old timers will put their egos aside to recognize Money Honey Mike’s place. The new ones will like to say “RIP Legend”, but they will lose their title of king, president, general, majesty, dad, etc. “, retorts Peter Ronald Berlus.
“Mike, it’s a big piece. A musical giant. A monument. It’s not anyone. It’s really sad that even the Ministry of Culture didn’t welcome his departure,” Tchak points out. “We cannot remain indifferent, as veterans of Kreyòl rap. We are working to pay Mike a tribute worthy of the one he was, ”he announces.