A buzzing new artist from San Antonio talks with Billboard about repping his city and his goals for the rest of 2022.
Mike Dimes has much to be grateful for. The San Antonio rapper was named one of Spotify’s 10 artists to watch in 2022 by Most Necessary, with over four million monthly listeners. Music tastemakers such as Pigeons & Planes have recognized him as a new and promising artist. The 21-year-old’s career trajectory is on the rise, especially since the release of his latest project, In Dimes We Trust, in March. His music has Southern roots with the swagger of A$AP Rocky, delivering impressive consistency and creative flows for someone still in his rookie year.
Currently, Mike Dimes is on tour polishing his live set, having just completed a three-city Who Is Mike Dimes? The tour that hit Houston, Dallas, and his hometown, which sold out. Shortly after, he was tapped to join Denzel Curry on his Melt My Eyez Tour, and in April, he’ll be supporting EarthGang on their Biodeghettable 2022 North American trek.
Even though he was still working a 9-to-5 job not that long ago, he’s adjusting quickly to life as a rapper – one who’s also studying business management at UTSA. “I don’t want to sound egotistical with it, but I’m better than half of these rappers probably, so I knew my time was going to come,” Dimes says, calling from Vancouver B.C. on one of Curry’s tour stops. “You always know it is going to happen, but when it really happens, it’s like, ‘Oh, s–t. I didn’t know it was going to be like this.’ It is never how you expected it to be.”
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On March 26, Dime’s Dallas show in The Cambridge Room at House Of Blues drew a small crowd, so there was plenty of room for young fans to get rowdy. Fans heard of Dimes through his “My Story,” which went viral on TikTok last year. His fans connecting with his music live, especially after his tracks “Home” and “No Trends” opened up the mosh pits, created an exciting atmosphere normally reserved for larger festivals. Watching him being joined on stage by openers Doeman and Quality Control’s Metro Marrs and a bunch of friends, for a final performance of “Home,” the future of Texas hip-hop looked to be in good hands.
According to the Billboard interview:
You’re one of the rappers we get to vote for to decide this year’s XXL Freshman 10th spot. Throughout the history of the Freshman class, you had Kirko Bangz and Megan Thee Stallion on there that represented Texas. What would it mean to you if you did the same?
It would mean a lot, ‘cause I’m a military child. I’ve been to a lot of places, but I always ended up back in Texas in different parts. Since I’m in San Antonio, all my music started in San Antonio… I haven’t seen one rapper from San Antonio on the list before. It would mean a lot for me to be on it so I could rep — not just my state but my city as well.
So you were in and out of Texas. When were you in San Antonio for the long haul?
My dad retired and we moved here to San Antonio. We’ve been in San Antonio for seven years. There and where I was born were the two places I’ve been for longer than five years. That’s why I always claim Texas.
San Antonio is such a culture-rich city. What are some of your favourite things to do there?
I ain’t gonna lie, man. I really stay in my house and work on music, 24/7. I mean, I go [out] with my friends. We skateboard. We go fishing. We do very country boy things. Sometimes you’ll catch us going to the arcade. We don’t like clubs. We do childish things if we are not working on music. We don’t like to be in the mix that much.
Before rapping, you played sports. What type of sports did you play?
Of course, when you’re a little kid, you played baseball. That was the first sport I was into. Then I was on track. My baby fat started widening out on me and I was into football. And then, in 7th grade, or whenever I moved to South Carolina, I started growing and becoming really tall. And I just started playing basketball for a couple of years, and got ranked. When I moved to San Antonio, I quit.
From there, was that when you decided to do rapping full-time?
Yeah, because I was always writing poetry. I was a big 2Pac fan, and 50 Cent. So when I first got introduced to them, I just loved writing poems. And then I quit basketball and I didn’t know what I was going to do. But we used to go around school and sometimes skip school to go to fast food spots and freestyle for free food. And then, I heard of A$AP Rocky and I started making my poetry into raps. And after that, I heard of Joey Bada$$ and I was like, “Oh, I could take this really seriously, and make this into a career.”
Yeah man, you probably hear it in my music too — a lot of times I say Cinco’s name. When I first moved to San Antonio, I moved here for basketball, and I was going to continue [doing it]. Me and Cinco were both in Spanish class. I met him because the Spanish teacher said something to me. And I looked around like, “What the f–k did she just say?” Everybody looked at me like, “Oh my God.” And he just started laughing. He sat next to me and we were just talking.
And the next day I just quit basketball. I quit basketball after my first week of being in San Antonio. He was like, “What do you want to do?” I was like, “I wanna rap.” He was like, “That’s dope. Let’s get it then.” He was playing football. He just said, “Let’s get it.” I was like, “Yeah, bro.” He heard some of my poetry. He was the first person to see my poetry and lyrics. He was like, “Yeah, we are really going to do this.” I was the new kid and I didn’t know anybody. He knew everybody.
And then every night, we’ll just be on the phone talking about how we were going to take it seriously. We were going to make a crew. We were just going to take over everything when it comes to music. It’s like little kids chasing dreams. That’s how we were every single night. ‘Cause I had an Android. We were on the phone having these conversations. It wasn’t even like FaceTime, it was a phone call. We’d just be in our rooms planning out how to do it all. He didn’t know anything about music. He just supported it, because he knew that’s what I wanted to do.