Year: 2007 Produced By: 1120 Album: Chicago: The Photo Album Label: N/A
The name Mikkey Halsted may be new to some, but those in the know recognize Mikk as one of the most storied MCs in Chicago history. After being discovered by Kanye West, Mikk was snatched up by Cash Money during their (first) heydey. After years of penning tracks for CMR and helping Lil Wayne "get on his shit," Mikk was tired of sitting on the shelf and departed for greener pastures over at Virgin during Jermaine Dupri's tenure. During this time, Mikk was hard at work with No I.D. (who was serving as executive producer) on his debut album, and out of this came "Liquor Store," which, surprisingly, was going to be Mikk's first single. The controversial record took liquor and corner stores in low-income areas to task for selling junk food and unhealthy products at inflated rates to those who didn't know or couldn't afford better. Chicago's Arab community in particular was grossly offended by "Liquor Store," and a handful of stores (from liquor to clothing stores) issued a full-on boycott of Mikkey Halsted's music and mixtapes. The Chicago Reader and NPR went on to do a feature on the track, which led to the Inner City Muslim Action Network launching an investigation into small Southside stores and "food deserts"—neighborhoods with poor access to healthy food. Now that's powerful music.