Mikey Lion Gets Loud With His Favorite Hip Hop-Inspired House Tracks

Mikey Lion, the head-honcho of the West Coast’s wildly popular dancefloor collective and community, Desert Hearts, revisits his hip-hop roots with a handful of tracks that blend the genre with his rowdy electronic music methods.

6 min
Mikey Lion 1 1536x715
Mar 6, 2020
Mikey Lion

Hip-hop was always my first love of music and is ultimately what got me into DJing. When I was 13 years old, I saved up all my birthday money and bought a pair of Technic 1200s and a mixer and used to scratch over hip hop instrumentals for hours every day after school. Eventually, my taste turned towards house music, but I’ve always preferred my house to have that tough hip-hop attitude. I like it hard, I like it mean, and I love house tracks with elements of hip-hop over there. It’s hard to do a house track that incorporates hip-hop elements on it without being cheesy, so when it’s done right, I have so much appreciation for it, and it’s one of my favorite styles of music. When Beatportal asked me to do a chart, I knew I wanted to do something that represented my roots and the house that I fuck with. So I hope you enjoy these 10 house tracks with a hip-hop attitude.

Mikey Lion 2 1536x1024

Mikey Lion – I Feel High (Original Mix) [Desert Hearts Records]

This is the A-Side of my new EP coming out on my Desert Hearts Records imprint. It’s actually a chopped up hip-hop sample that makes up the words “I Feel High.” I wanted to make something nasty, tough, and dripping with attitude. This was the result.

Marcos Strous – Tip Toe [Safe Music]

This was one of my favorite tracks of 2019. As I said, it’s pretty hard to have full hip-hop verses over a house track without it sounding cheese —but this song isn’t having any of that. It’s an absolute stomper with hip-hop drums, lyrics, and attitude for days.

Mikey Lion – That’s Hot (Original Mix) [Desert Hearts Records]

This is the B-Side of my new EP on Desert Hearts. It’s not particularly hip-hop, but I think it’s mean as fuck and that constitutes attitude in my book. It’s chugging, it’s synthy, and it’s been killing for me on the dancefloor.

Vlad Malinovskiy – U Make Me Curly (Original Mix) [Flumo Recordings]

Oh man, this tune right here is a classic to me. It’s a buttery smooth house track with hip-hop lyrics over it and it always reminds me of hanging out with my friends back in the day listening to old school rap and vibing out.

Andreas Henneberg – Password Invalid (Mikey Lion & RYBO Remix) [Desert Hearts Records]

When we approached this remix, Rybo and I had never put hip-hop lyrics over a house track before, so we knew we had to do it right. We only wanted to feature the lyrics a few times and let the groove do the rest of the talking, but we were able to splice in some of the grunts and other elements from the lyrics to give it the character we wanted.

Danny Serrano – Money (Original Mix) [Moon Harbour Recordings]

Another track that’s as mean as they come. It’s not particularly hip-hop but the content of the lyrics always remind me of the gangster hip-hop mentality. 10/10 house track with attitude.

Mikey Lion – Drum Formulas (Original Mix) [Desert Hearts Records]

This was one of the first tracks I ever made. Gang Starr has always been one of my favorite hip-hop groups of all time. Guru is without a doubt one of the best rappers of all time and DJ Premier is probably my favorite hip-hop producer ever. At the time, I knew I wasn’t going to make anything worthy of Guru’s lyrics, so instead I paid tribute to them by grabbing a vocal sample of Guru talking and chopped it into house track. It’s still one of my favorite productions ever.

Pele, Shawnecy – 99 Problems (Original Mix) [Desolat]

Named after one of the most iconic Jay-Z songs ever and riddled with classic hip-hop samples, this tune on Desolat was one of my favorites when it came out in 2016.

Robosonic – Busted (Original Mix) [DFTD]

This is another classic to me that I actually managed to pull off the west coast G-Funk whistle on a house track. It even gets close to being cheesy but has enough gangster attitude to keep it cool. The build is great and when it finally drops it’s a crowd pleaser every time.

Lui Maldonado – Wood (Original Mix) [Playmobil]

I honestly forgot about this song until I started searching for tracks that fit with this chart. In my opinion, this song is the definition of tough. This is what I’m talking about when a track has attitude. On the notes for this song, I actually wrote: “hard, tough, gangsta shit.” Which, oddly enough, is what I end up writing for half the tracks I play.

Mikey Lion’s new ‘I Feel High’ EP is out now via Desert Hearts Records.

You might also like