History In The Making
Michie Mee: Canadian Hip-Hop History In The Making
Long live the Queen! This timeless phrase is ideal when referring to Canadian Hip-Hop icon Michie Mee.
Michie Mee is known within the music industry for her unique rap style of combining reggae and dancehall with hip-hop. Many successful artists have followed in Michie’s footsteps using this gifted technique. With over two decades in the entertainment industry, the Juno nominated rapper and actress is not only an inspiration for female musicians, but also all artists nationwide.
Michelle McCullock was born in St. Andrew, Kingston, Jamaica, later relocating to Toronto, Ontario at a young age. While in her mid teens, Michie began crafting her rap style, which quickly gained attention by both Canadian and American rap artists. Michie would also travel frequently from Toronto to New York City giving her more exposure amongst the hip-hop elite.
While performing in rap battles, Michie introduced a new formula by being able to switch back and forth between North American English and the Jamaican form of English known as Jamaican Creole or Patois. This daring move would ignite audiences and leave often Michie’s rap battle competitors stunned.
During a concert in Toronto, fate stepped in and Michie was introduced by Boogie Down Productions to perform on stage. This was a major accomplishment for a young Canadian MC to receive such recognition by a successful New York rap group. Michie would go on to team up with DJ L.A. Luv and form the duo, Michie Mee and L.A. Luv. By the late 1980s, Michie was featured in the Canadian hip-hop compilation Break’n Out, which was produced by B.D.P. members, KRS-ONE and the late Scott La Rock.
By the ending of the decade, Michie Mee would make history by signing with First Priority/Atlantic Records, making her the first Canadian rapper to sign with a major record label in the United States. “Elements of Style” was Michie’s first single with L.A. Luv. The single was successful in the U.S. and the duo also appeared on the compilation The First Priority Music Family: Basement Flavor on tracks “Victory is Calling” and “On This Mic.”
In 1991, Michie released her debut album, Jamaican Funk: Canadian Style, which infused reggae and dancehall elements within the rap album. The hit single, “Jamaican Funk,” received a Juno Award nomination in 1992.
Throughout her career, Michie has opened for many artists including Will Smith, Salt n Pepa, Heavy D, and LL Cool J. She also had the pleasure of touring with Queen Latifah, Audio Two and fellow Canadians, Maestro Fresh Wes and the Dream Warriors. Although she was a powerful force within the hip-hop culture, Michie’s musical talents did not stop there.
She went on tour with singer Sinead O’Conner and was a founding member of the metal band The Day After, formally called Raggadeath, once again showing her skills as a versatile musician.
In 2000, Michie released another album with Koch/E1 titled, “The First Cut Is The Deepest,” which would bring forth yet another hit single “Don’t Want To Be Your Slave.” The single featured Esthero and earned Michie another Juno nomination. That same year, while promoting her new album, Michie also toured hip-hop super group, Public Enemy.
Although Michie has a profound love for music, she has also showcased her talents outside of the music industry. As a member of ACTRA, she has acted in movies and television shows such as Short Circuit 2, Night Heat, La Femme Nikita (CTV), Da Kink In My Hair, Soulfood, and has made a special appearance co-hosting TSN’s “Off The Record”. She was also co-host of Canada’s longest running rap radio show, The Powermove Show on CKLN Radio in Toronto.
Michie has starred in the groundbreaking hip-hop series Drop The Beat and appeared in the blockbuster “In Too Deep” starring LL Cool J and Omar Epps, “My Baby’s Mama” with Eddie Griffin and “Chicks With Sticks” featuring Jason Priestly. Michie’s vibrant nature in a work environment is frequently noted and she is often asked to host events, which she does on a regular basis.
Aside from her life as an entertainer, Michie is also a mother who makes it one of her duties to keep involved with today’s youth. Knowing first hand the twists and turns artists often face in entertainment, Michie is an avid supporter of children striving to achieve a good education. Michie herself left university after her music career began to soar and has always spoken openly about the importance of education.
Michie Mee has had an outstanding career in entertainment thus far. With her currently working on hot new music, acting roles and a feature in the 2011 CBC hip-hop documentary “Love, Props and the T. Dot,” this trailblazer’s saga still continues. Michie Mee’s reign as Queen is far from over.