Michael Harts, aka Mike Swag is a Sterling, Illinois native and a rising talent in the world of rap music.
He brings a fresh, new and genuine take to the hip hop scene, with his own personal brand of music. Mike's music offers listeners a realistic take on his life, while helping him express his views. He does not use profanity or rap about violence and illegal acts, opting to rap about real-life experiences and feelings.
Growing up in a household where both his mother and father were pastors, Mike Swag and his two siblings learned from an early age that the main goal in life is not to be accepted or to try and fit in with everyone else, but to live with a sense of purpose and integrity, even when you think no one is watching you. As the saying goes, “character is who you are when no one is watching,” and Mike has incorporated this belief not only into his life, but into his music as well.
In a word, the music of Mike Swag is realistic. His articulate lyrics carry weight and tell stories from his own life: his strong Christian upbringing, relationships, struggles, tears, laughter, joy, and everything in between. The music isn't overbearing, yet won't put listeners to sleep, and can be enjoyed by anyone from grandparents to children. Too often now, rap is all about drugs, violence, degrading women and other debaucheries. Some rap artists swear incessantly and preach to their listeners that they are the “realest” in the game. Mike Swag does not curse and actually does live what he raps about, while trying to serve as a role model and provide a good example for those around him and in his life. One of his goals in music is to not sell himself short by riddling his lyrics with profanity and violence, and become something he is not, just to get people to listen to his music.
Mike Swag hopes to help people understand that God has equipped them all with unique talents, and by using these special gifts, everyone can do their part to change the world. His vision for his music career is to change the perspectives of others about life, in a positive way, so they can move forward.
Mike's personal definition of the word swag is “fresh or cool in whatever you do.” Despite the negative connotation that sometimes come from the word being used to boast about amounts of women, cash or fame, Mike willingly attaches “swag” to his music, his brand and his image. Fittingly so, his approach brings a fresh, new and genuine take on hip hop.
Mike Swag got involved with rap in high school, after writing some hooks in his downtime and seeing a potential in what he was creating. Soon after, Mike was asked to help with the music for his church youth group. This gave him the opportunity to not only help others, but to work on crafting his own talents. Once he realized how much he enjoyed making music, Mike Swag took his chance and ran with it.
As his career begins to grow, Mike has traveled the country to speak at youth conferences, churches, schools, and other venues. To date, he has released five music projects: T.K.O, summer 2009; The Karate Kid Mixtape, fall 2010; and All Highlights, a full length album released in February 2012, the follow up All Highlights 1.5 was released May 2013 and his latest project is All Highlights 2.0 released October 2013 , it's the final project in the All Highlights music series. He also has recorded and released four music videos, all self-produced and edited.
In addition to working alone, Mike Swag has collaborated with both his siblings. His brother, who goes by H-Street, travels to concerts and performs with Mike, and his sister, London Bridges, appears on his albums as well. A new addition to Mike Swag's traveling team is Mike Swag's girlfriend Sonia, her powerful vocals bring more depth to the team. Having his family work with him provides Mike with a unique situation in which he can express his music the way it is meant to be projected.