THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST IS NOT WHERE YOUR AVERAGE HIP HOP STORY BEGINS...BUT THEN AGAIN, MIKE BARS IS ALSO WHERE YOUR AVERAGE RAPPER MEETS HIS END.
Born and raised in a quiet neighborhood in Portland, Oregon - Mike Bars has never fit the mold you might expect from a hard core rapper. With lyrics ranging from humor to pure paranoia - at times even playing out like a murder fantasy - the Pacific Northwest native’s sleepy upbringing might come as a surprise to some.
But every story has a dark undertone…and it wasn’t long before the threads of his childhood image would begin to unravel.
In his early teens, Mike began struggling to grip reality. The medications the doctors prescribed him for ADHD and anxiety only seemed to make things worse, and he began to spiral down a bad path, being forced to switch schools and enter counseling - but it wasn’t until he ditched the pills that he discovered his own remedy: music.
Falling in love with the lyrical aspect of Hip Hop, combined with his love for melodies, Mike got his hands on an old microphone and quickly began teaching himself to make beats and record. Channeling his obsessive compulsive thought patterns into his craft, he began studying the ins and outs of guerilla music marketing to save money, and how to get noticed in the clutter of today's music scene.
Word spread fast. Becoming notorious for his outlandish and unorthodox image, he began gaining some attention from the blog circuit for his wild and hilarious debut music video Grown Folks. Not long after, he began opening for larger acts such as T-Pain, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Three 6 Mafia, Hopsin, and Twista.
But it wasn't until 2013 (after forming the Portland movement, Treehouse Gang) that Mike began receiving worldwide recognition for his debut solo mixtape, 16 Bars. His self-directed/edited music video for the tape's first single There Will Be Blood (featuring Funk Volume artist SwizZz), has now racked up an impressive 3.4 million views on YouTube, and nearly 100,000 likes on his Facebook page.
Now, in 2018, Mike has plunged back into the spotlight with an innovative new sound with the release of the EP, Desperate Measures. Bars demonstrates his penchant for visual artistry in his new videos for the tracks “Up to No Good” and “Oh! (Buried Alive)” .