MICK Brings His Beats & Brooklyn Pride to Billboard Lounge

Michelle Farsi/Nets
Mick performs at Billboard Lounge after the Brooklyn Nets v. New York Knicks game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Feb. 1, 2017.

The hometown hoops team may have the worst record in the NBA, but Brooklyn will always have its music. On Wednesday night (Feb. 1), after the Nets blew a lead they’d held for most of the game and fell to the New York Knicks at the Barclays Center, Mick Batyske — the superstar DJ known simply as MICK — plugged in his laptop downstairs at the Billboard Lounge and erased the pain of the L.

MICK told Billboard beforehand that he was going to focus on Brooklyn classics, with some emphasis on soon-to-be father of twins Jay Z. The DJ kept his word, and after opening with Puff Daddy & the Family’s “It’s All About the Benjamins (Remix),” he worked in Hov favorites like “I Just Wanna Love U (Give it 2 Me),” “Public Service Announcement,” and DJ Khaled’s “I Got the Keys” — which features Jay rapping the very un-parental line, “I been speedin’ through life with no safety belt.”

Brooklyn also means Biggie, and MICK mixed in the late icon’s verse from 1995’s “Realms of Junior M.A.F.I.A.,” as well as bits of “10 Crack Commandments.” Nodding to Queens, the DJ did the latest-and-greatest thing with A Tribe Called Quest, spinning segments of the 1991 classic “Can I Kick It?” and last year’s excellent “We the People…”

But MICK didn’t kick it purely old school. Next-gen Brooklyn hero Young M.A. got a good look with her hit “OOOUUU,” and Rae Sremmurd and Migos — perhaps the Beatles and Stones of '10s rap groups — got some love in the form of their recent chart-toppers, “Black Beatles” and “Bad and Boujee,” respectively. There was also plenty of requisite Drake, though MICK picked Rick Ross’ verse over Drizzy’s when it came time for French Montana’s “Pop That.”

All the while, MICK kept a low profile in the booth. Rocking all black and a knit cap, the self-professed “style influencer” and “brand consultant” kept focus on the most important thing when you’re trying to rock a party: the music.

“I play more records than most DJs,” MICK told Billboard, explaining a technique that’s earned him gigs spinning for the likes of LeBron James, Jay Z, and even Michelle Obama. “I like to take people on a journey.”


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