Song of the Week: Mic Geronimo – “Masta I.C.”

At this point, it feels like I am using Song of the Week just to bring up old songs that spark feelings (which I am totally okay with). For example, this edition of Song of the Week features “Masta I.C.” by Mic Geronimo. This song came up because I was randomly listening to Blackstreet’s second album, Another Level (an album that may or may not have been the soundtrack to me becoming a man). Track 2 off that album is “This Is How We Roll,” and that song samples “Masta I.C.”

“Masta I.C.” came out in 1995 and is basically a classic example of the East Coast hip-hop sound from that era. The production is handled by a then lesser-known Irv Gotti, who infused the beat with a jazzy and soulful feel and used samples from “Rebato Summer” by Gene Harris and “Rain, Rain, Go Away” by Bob Azzam.

It’s probably the hook that stood out to most people on the first listen (“I’m so high, you so high/I’ll be gettin’ money ’til the day that I die”), but you can’t sleep on Geronimo’s smooth delivery and wordplay (“Behold the uncontrollable, I keep the whole world in drama/Smoke my competition now they’re just a bag of skama”). I almost forgot to mention that Royal Flush is on the hook (Who remembers “Iced Down Medallions”?!).

As for the music video, it’s whatever was cool during the 90s New York Hip-Hop era: shots of the hoods, a group of people standing around while the rappers rap, driving while rapping, slow motion, etc. I approve of all of this of course

Looking back, Mic Geronimo is probably a one-hit wonder. He had others songs to point out, though, besides “Masta I.C.”. “Time to Build” featuring DMX, Ja Rule, & Jay-Z (The original Murder Inc.) was on the same album as “Masta I.C.” (The Natural). A couple years later Mic also had “Nothin’ Move But the Money” featuring Puff Daddy when Puffy was one of the biggest stars in the world. But “Masta I.C.” is easily the best song of Mic Geronimo.

A few more random thoughts:

There was a 1996 MTV documentary-style special called Sex in the 90s that featured Mic Geronimo that nobody remembers. There is a clip on YouTube, so I’m glad I didn’t just imagine that.

It took YEARS before I knew what “Masta I.C.” actually stood for: M. I. C. Mic Geronimo’s first name.

Check out the Song of the Week below. The Masta I.C. enters now in your brain.