A lifetime, generation, and musical life cycle ago – aka in the ‘90s – Ming was part of an experimental hip-hop group you might have heard of: Ming + FS.
The duo used breakbeats as the foundation for most of their work, but was best known for eschewing musical boundaries and resisting tidy little labels, freely incorporating elements of house, electro and drum ‘n’ bass into their music. They affectionately dubbed this smashed-up style “junkyard,” a moniker that got picked up in dance music press, and on their own releases (like 1998’s “Junkyard Drum ‘n’ Bass”). Over the course of their decade together, Ming + FS played over 1,000 shows in the United States andabroad; released four albums, a series of EPs, and countless 12 inches and remixes.
In 2006, Ming parted ways with FS to open his own company, Hood Famous Music (HFM). “When I was with Ming+FS, the industry wanted everything to be in a bucket, genre-specific,” he says. “I wanted to stay in music, but not the same type.” Fast forward five years and Ming has stepped right back into the remix ring, churning out re-works for pop icons and upstarts that incorporate an even broader palette of sounds. He turned Beyonce’s “Who Runs The World” into an electro-meets-dubstep anthem, framed around Diplo’s now legendary beat. He stripped down Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” to a slapped bass and plucked guitar before building to a rock-propelled danceepic. And for the Black Eyed Peas’ “Rock That Body,” he chose swirling, dubby synths and bass, and warped vocal treatments.
Armed with a newfound sense of liberation, over two decades’ worth of production know-how and tools, and inspiration from dance music’s bevy of new champions, Ming is looking toward the musical future he always dreamed of. But the sweetest part of all for this musician-by-blood is just being back in the mix. “I’ve got something to say – again,” says Ming. “I felt like it had been said and done. Now I have my voice back.”