You may have seen Mir Fontane’s names all over the blogs recently, but one thing remains true: his real fans remain by his side. When Cardi B released her most recent single “Up,” the similarities between her hook and Fontane’s “Stuck” were uncanny and did not go unnoticed. He repetitively raps on his song: “if it’s up then it’s stuck” — exactly what Cardi says on the chorus of “Up.”
— MELODY MONSTER🧀 (@MirFontane) February 5, 2021
However, the show must go on. The New Jersey rapper merely views this as motivation to go harder, especially given the positive response on his standout single “Call J. Cole.” Coming right back with more heat, he recently followed it up with his newest release titled “Made In Trauma,” holding fans over until his forthcoming project Melody Monster. When it comes to his bars, his melodies, his flows, and his choice of trap-heavy beats, Mir Fontane comes out on top in his own lane, with his own sound and story.
AllHipHop: How does cannabis improve your life?
Mir Fontane: My mind’s constantly racing so it helps me to slow things down enough to process s###, to actually think things out and not think too far ahead. It helps me manage my anxiety too.
AllHipHop: What are you most excited for with Melody Monster arriving on March 12th?
Mir Fontane: Melody Monster has been in the works for a couple years now. I’m more excited for the album. This is my favorite album: my most introspective, my most vulnerable. I haven’t dropped a project since 2019. I’ve been doing EPs since my brother got murdered. I took that time off to come to terms with things and tap into myself. I’m less into writing trying to make hit records, more into writing from the heart. SThis whole album is way more introspective than anything I’ve done before.
AllHipHop: How is music a coping mechanism for you?
Mir Fontane: At the time, I didn’t even want to do music. I wanted to stop, but I know he loved music a lot. All he wanted us to do is to continue doing the Southside thing and make it mainstream, make it big. For me to stop, I know he wouldn’t agree with that. I’ll be letting a lot of fans down, a lot of people that look up to my music and constantly hit me up in the DMs to be like “yo, this song’s getting me through a rough time right now. I wanted to reach out and say thank you for making it.” Little stuff like that keeps me going. That’s why I’m excited for this album. A whole bunch of tracks are relatable to a lot of my fans right now, especially because they haven’t heard a lot from me in the past couple of years.
AllHipHop: Someone asked is “Down By The River” about your brother?
Mir Fontane: Nah, that’s way before I lost my brother Jose. “Down By the River” was somebody I grew up with, a similar story actually. It’s why I do music. A lot of my people love music or they have certain outlets they wish they could do, like everybody can’t sing. Everybody can’t rap, everybody can’t draw, everybody can’t do certain things, but they all have the same goal in mind: to get out of this f###### city. For me, I’m able to tell their stories. I’m able to do interviews like this and give them a voice when all they feel they have is to do street s###. They look to me as a beacon of light and I stand on that. “Down By the River” is one of many people that I’ve lost coming up before I even got into music. I got a thousand more stories to tell of people I’ve met, to give to the world.
AllHipHop: Has J. Cole called yet?
Mir Fontane: Nah, J. Cole ain’t called yet. I’m still waiting on a call. If y’all can make it happen, pull your strings and make it happen.
AllHipHop: What were you feeling recording that record?
Mir Fontane: I was motivated. I wanted to get back to that essence of when I first started making music. Before I started experimenting into melody and singing like that, I was really into storytelling. Lyricism, real bar heavy. Don’t let a line go past without it having some type of meaning. I want to let people know I still can rap. I’m not out here making TikTok songs or sing-songy records. I can rap with the best of them, it was one of those moments.
AllHipHop: What do you admire about J.Cole? On the lyricist tip, he’s crazy.
Mir Fontane: Growing up off of being introduced to hip-hop, it was more so Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Biggie Smalls, the real lyricists. As I got older and I started getting into music for myself and what my own taste was, I got into Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole. That’s around the time I was going to college. I found that me and J.Cole had really similar stories, even down to the struggles with his stepdad. Being this kid with big dreams but you’re on this college campus feeling like you’re bigger than everything that’s here.
You’re destined for something so much bigger coming from the city, so many parallels I related to. The things I didn’t pick up with J. Cole on the street side, I got with Kendrick. J. Cole played a real big role in me taking my own skills, outside of punchlines I learned from Lil Wayne. J. Cole was way more: it’s okay to tell your own personal story. It’s okay to be personal in your music. I hold that dear to myself because that really was the last artist I listened to before I dropped out of college and went on this venture of music.
AllHipHop: Talk about working with Mike Zombie, I know he’s from Jersey too.
Mir Fontane: That’s my brother. I always try to get in the studio with Mike, we do that whenever we can. Whether he’s in LA or he comes to Jersey, we link up. This new album Melody Monster, Mike has 5 or 6 tracks alone. We went crazy this time around during the pandemic and all the time off we took, we definitely locked in and found different vibes. He called me at different times when I was going through my depression, when I was at my lows or climbing out of that hole. He’s feeding me beats, motivating me to continue making music and not give up on it. Document what I was going through, I thank him for that because it helped me to create this body of music I have right now. A bunch of different vibes. It’s all over the place, but it’s cohesive at the same time.
AllHipHop: Someone said “I love how Mir’s always on positivity and weakness, such a genuine person.”
Mir Fontane: Even when I was coming up, I never wanted to portray like I’m larger than life. At the end of the day, I’m a human being which gave me my superpower. That’s everybody’s superpower. I can’t be you, that’s literally what makes you you and makes you great. I always wanted to find who I was, no matter how much I thought I knew who I was. Certain s### happened in life that forced me to retrieve inside myself and find things wrong with me. Work on some shadow work, things I don’t like about myself. All the ugly sides about yourself that people don’t like to fix, you gotta fix those things.
Music’s an outlet for me. Drawing and art was an outlet for me, playing basketball, talking to my friends, playing the game. I was finding little things that made me happy to be alive. I was living for everybody else more than myself. I thought that was a good thing being able to live for the fans, but I feel like I didn’t belong to myself at a certain point. I had to get back into finding out who I was, the music benefitted from that.
AllHipHop: You say “you’re the face of your city.” What does it mean to have hometown love?
Mir Fontane: It feels great. The crab and the bucket mentality is an inner city thing, there’s a lot of that going around. My grandpa told me a quote, a lot of people will shake the ship because they’re not the captain of the boat. I understood people will do something to tear me down because they weren’t the first one to do it or they aren’t the one getting all the praise. I got a whole lot more love and support than I got hate from the city. I embrace that more than anything.
Those rocking with me and was genuine about it, I did all I could to help them and continue to today. I take a lot of pride in that. The older people running the city before it was me and how they’re really controlling the city, it was a dynamic of dog-eat-dog type s###. They didn’t want to see anybody be bigger than them. I’m at a point where if you can do it, do it. I’ma be there cheering for you because at the same time, we all playing for the same team. I’m not in competition with anybody, I don’t want beef with anybody from my city. That’s counterproductive to what I’m trying to get done. It means a lot of people are starting to embrace that now.
AllHipHop: We gotta get into this Cardi s###. What was your reaction when you heard Cardi B’s “Up”?
Mir Fontane: I was asleep when I first heard, it was 3am and my phone’s going crazy. I’m thinking the worst. When your phone’s going crazy at that hour… I pick up my phone, I didn’t even want to look at the message thread. I glance at it, I keep on seeing Cardi B within all the messages. What’s going on? I open up Ish Williams’ message first, he’s like “is Cardi B stealing your s###?” He double texts like “nah, she’s definitely stealing your s###.” I’m really not understanding what’s going on. As he’s typing, I’m going back to the other messages to see what they’re talking about.
As I am, he sends me a side-by-side video that’s going around the internet right now. I click and it’s my “Stuck” video, okay cool. Then it’s her record, wait when did she drop this?” because I don’t really keep up with Cardi B’s music. I’m thinking she been dropped it, they said “she dropped it minutes ago.” People send me records all the time from certain artists like “oh, I tink this person’s copying your flow.” I say all the time it’s a reach. I always say “good looking for you to be looking out for me in that way, but I don’t think this person’s stealing anything from me.” Everybody’s sing-rapping nowadays, right? But this one stuck out because we’d been performing and promoting this song all summer.
It really stuck out because I was about to not do music. I was going through depression, a whole bunch of s###. This was around April, my birthday month. My boy Mir Pesos, I went to a couple of his sessions. We never did a song together because he wasn’t the type like “oh Mir Fontane, let’s get a record,” trying to get clout off me and I respected him for that. I’m not even trying to make music. My boy Wayne Campbell’s making beats. He’s trying to get me out of my slump, shout out Wayne. He hit me up like “we’re in the studio.” They’re recording in a shed in the backyard. I pull up, Pesos is already recording his verse. I sit down and be quiet, they’re recording. He gets done with his verse but the whole time he’s rapping, I’m listening to the beat like “I got something for this.”
I don’t rap no more, but you can’t walk away from something you love. I didn’t come to rap but yo, this is hard. He sits down next to me and sees me mouthing the hook that’s in my head. He said “you got something? Lay it.” Alright so I go and lay the verse. I didn’t write it, none of that because I don’t write, I wasn’t doing music. IIf you know my music, you know I get real complex with my writing. That’s very, very simple when it comes to Mir Fontane’s catalog. I came up with “up then it’s stuck.”
This whole thing was never about the phrase or the hook. She could’ve said “ducks in a truck”, anything. It’s the cadence, the melody, the high hats, all that sounded the same to me, which made me say “this is our s###, this the s### we made.”
It was never about her saying “Up then it’s stuck,” I see a lot of people saying that. We made the record in April. From April 2nd, we’re performing it. We ended up dropping the teaser video at the end of one of his videos called “Pocket Rocket Pes” on August 6th. They dropped the official video to “Up” on September.
I don’t want to say it caught me off guard because I know certain people who work with Cardi close to her camp, but any artist would be shocked if you wake up and hear your s### in somebody else’s… especially somebody that big and to that caliber where they can bully and say “I didn’t even know who you are, where could I get it from?” Specifically if I know main people that have things to do with your song, they know me and are fans of my music, I can’t reach that far. My arm’s not that long.
AllHipHop: So how do you feel now?
Mir Fontane: To me, that’s something that happened on social media. Behind the scenes, I’m handling my business and whatever we gotta do as far as legal situations. Melody Monster was already dropping March 12th, we already got our rollout plan. I wake up at 3 o’clock in the morning and there’s a song that sounds like my song. The fans were already saying “did you hear this? Check this out, I think Cardi B’s doing boom, boom, boom.” When I put it up on Twitter, I never mentioned Cardi. I never said her name, I put up this emoji. I only had 18K on Twitter, I might get a couple of hundred opinions. I started getting hundreds of thousands of opinions, it started catching a wave. Why’s it going crazy?.
I look back and she replied to me in less than 24 hours, and only me. That’s very suspicious that you’re jumping out of the window for that, guilty vibes. I felt some type of way, then she put a date on it. That’s crazy you put a date on that, we did our teaser the day before that. Everything was lining up really weird for me. It made me feel like “alright, that’s f##### up,” but at the same time, it could be a blessing in disguise. A lot more people say “it’s f##### up, but I’m so glad I found your music. I love ‘Call J.Cole,’ I found ‘Bodega.” Where have you been? I’m so glad I found you. You got catalogs of music, I can go back.” It’s finding a new show on Netflix: it’s seasons, I can start from the beginning. I take the good with the bad, we handled the situation. I was never upset or blamed Cardi, I know she’s part of a bigger structure. She’s a megastar, she has a team behind her. Somebody messed up or thought they could get over, wrong guy. Big Camden, big Jersey!
AllHipHop: How does it feel to have “Bodega” hit 3 million on Spotify?
Mir Fontane: It’s such a blessing. I thank everybody that’s been playing it, everybody continually streaming it. I always aim to make timeless music, I don’t make music that’s not going to be cool by next year. I want to thank everybody who continues to support and stream these songs at any occasion, even send me the videos on Instagram so I can put them back on my story. It’s a blessing I even have several songs to be able to hit millions on streaming platforms. I never could have even imagined this when I first started to make music. I was thankful to get a thousand views on Youtube at one point, to even get a hundred plays. To even see where we’re at now, we’re going to keep on taking it up. God-willing, we take it to the top.
AllHipHop: Are you doing features with other rappers?
Mir Fontane: Hopefully in the future. It was way easier to get features when the world was open and you running into rappers face to face. It’s really hard. You don’t know who you’re talking to on these social sites. If you’re talking to them or their manager, or if they got an intern who runs their social media account. It’s hard to do that, but there’s a couple people who I know for sure see if we can get something lined up. Iron sharpens iron, it’s even a couple of old features I want to go back and make some new records. I want to get a record with Packman. Doe Boy’s been one of my favorite rappers recently, I love his energy. Later down the line, probably get a Durk feature. Step outside the realm and create something completely new.
AllHipHop: What do you do for fun? What do you do to stay grounded?
Mir Fontane: I crack jokes. I play video games, I play NBA2K. I don’t know if it’s winding down, but I write music still. I make art and draw on my tablet, my iPad. If you like art, I encourage you all to download Procreate. It’s a great app. I like to stay creative. I don’t really like to stay too out of the creative element, because then it’s hard to get back into.
AllHipHop: What’re you most excited for with Melody Monster coming out?
Mir Fontane: I’m really excited for the rollout: what we have planned for the deluxe, how we’re going to do the deluxe, what comes with the deluxe album. Overall, I’m excited to get the fans new music. New Macaroni, new Mir Fontane, big Melody Monster. It got all different kinds of flavors. If you like “Call J.Cole,” we got more records like that. It’s a mixture of “Camden,” “Macaroni Tony,” and “Who’s Watching the Kids,” all of them put up into one album. If you’re a fan of Mir Fontane, this album’s going to be an overdose for you
AllHipHop: What’re you most excited for in the new year?
Mir Fontane: Listen, we’re going to get millions this year. This is the year where s### goes crazy: different confidence, different energy. I’m real excited for the world to open up, get back on tour, get back to doing these shows. I know everybody wants to see me.