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Interview: Mickey Factz of Pendulum Ink

Mickey Factz is a 15-year veteran emcee with experience under a label, as an independent artist, and as a mentor of aspiring artists. We at the MSQ Shop salute a recent venture he has undertaken, a Hip-hop masterclass known as Pendulum Ink. To learn more, we sat down with Mickey to learn more about Pendulum Ink and why the education it brings is necessary.

Interviewed by Max Olarinde.

Max: So how would you explain Pendulum Ink to those who are unaware, in your words?

Mickey: Pendulum Ink is a school founded by Mickey Factz whose sole purpose is to give emcees, poets, writers, and onlookers the tools to be better emcees. With over 80 courses, we dive into not only the creative aspect of writing within Hip Hop but also rap theory, the music business aspect, mental health, content creation, and battle rap.

Max: How did the idea for Pendulum Ink get started?

Mickey: The idea of Pendulum Ink came about in 2021. I wanted to start a masterclass on lyricism. After doing substantial research, I began the process in late 2021. I went to a singular class that I co-hosted with one of my professors and co-owners, Comikbook Cam, and he inspired me to flesh out a whole curriculum. I then reached out to co-founder Chilla Jones and co-owner Jeff Walker and began putting this whole thing together.

Max: Why would a hip-hop masterclass be important for indie artists?

Mickey: In my opinion, Pendulum Ink is important for the culture as a whole. We build a sense of community that you normally wouldn't get in this era of music. From learning about reverse punchlines to tonality, cadence, and pocket to contracts from record companies to the emotions it takes to create timeless music, this is a space for the indie artist to shine and not go in blind to the constantly changing music business. Max: What obstacles (if any) were encountered by you and your team while setting up Pendulum Ink?

Mickey: I think there was some self-doubt with some of us. This is something that has never been done to this magnitude. It also hasn't been proven yet. So that thought process of potentially failing or not meeting the marker you set can be a huge undertaking. But we persevered through constant affirmations, hard work, and determination. Now we are very close to having a full set of students to teach in our inaugural semester. Max: As both a student and a tutor of hip hop, what mistakes do you see a lot of brand new emcees making career-wise?

Mickey: Being in the music industry for so long, a lot of times we get the glamour and glitz confused with the actual work that has to be put in. Frivolous spending, poor attitudes, work ethic, inner vices, and refusal to reinvent are just some of the many things I have seen and encountered firsthand as a young emcee in the business. Pendulum Ink provides experiences and particular guidelines to avoid these kinds of scenarios. Max: Do you feel like the poetry that exists in rap isn’t perceived as poetry, whether it’s from people within the culture or by outsiders?

Mickey: It's not perceived by the culture or outsiders because of the negative connotation that comes with Hip Hop due to certain images that have been marketed. Make no mistake Hip Hop is at the forefront of advanced literature. Poetry exists as well in this art form and should be exalted by everyone that partakes. Max: Ideally, where would you want students to be when they finish Pendulum Ink, either skill-wise or knowledge-wise?

Mickey: Every student fills out an application. During this process, not only do we get information about the student but we also gain knowledge on where they are musically and lyrically. We safeguard this information until graduation when we show them their growth as an emcee. I'd like them to have the tools to understand and write better rhymes.

Max: What is just one fact every indie artist should know before trying to start a rap career?

Mickey: Everything that glitters isn't gold. Just because something looks shiny doesn't mean that it is. Do research on every potential situation that you may come across. Also, work very hard. Long Live Lyricism.

Learn more about Pendulum Ink on their website here.

Written by Max Olarinde, @mobeige1 on all social media.

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