It's been four years since Mike Jones broke onto the scene giving out his cell phone number. While it may have seemed like he disappeared, Mike has been hard at work behind the scenes, not only on music, but also his physical physique.
We recently ran into the Houston rapper, and we were surprised to see that he'd dropped a considerable amount of weight. According to Mike, his motivation was Subway spokesman Jared ... no we're kidding. Either way, he said a diet of Subway and routine exercise helped him shed nearly 100 pounds.
"I was almost 300 pounds man. I lost almost 100. I'm 190 right now," Mike told BallerStatus.com. "That goes from eating Subway, running on the treadmill, and watching what I eat. I'm trying to make sure I'm the urban Jared right here, baby."
Mike says that with his long absence from the music scene, he felt compelled to come back with a new look, image and sound. While he insists his new singles, "Next To You" and "Cuddy Buddy", aren't nothing new when it comes to his musical range, he admits that to the fans and the general public, it's something fresh new.
"I've been away from the market so long, I just wanted to come back with a new look, a new image, and a new sound. Really, the sound been here, but since people say it's new, it's new," Mike says with a smile.
Aside from showing off a new slimmed down version of his previous self, Mike let us preview some brand new tracks from his forthcoming album The Voice, which shows several different sides of the rapper.
"I called the album The Voice because I wanted to let people know what the long wait was about, and what happened," the rapper explained.
"I explain the four-year hiatus, and I let people know all the gossip you wanna hear about. That's why I call it The Voice. It's best to hear it out my mouth. ... I really just wanted to just let my true fans know where I been, and why I was took away from the game, and why this happened and why this happened."
The first single from Mike's second LP is "Next To You," which is currently in heavy rotation at radio and the accompanying video is getting burn on both MTV and BET. Before the album drops, he plans to follow up with the second single, "Swag Through The Roof."
It features guest appearances from the likes of Bobby Bobby, T.I., Lil Wayne, Plies, and Trey Songz, while production credits include Mannie Fresh, Mr. Collipark, and J.R. Rotem, among others.
He also let us know he's got a new cell number for the fans. Just like he did when he first stormed onto the scene, he's allowing fans to call him direct. His new number is 281-206-4336.
The Voice hits stores April 28.