Mickey Avalon, Everyone's Favorite Former Heroin Addict and Male Prostitute, Rides Again
Mickey Avalon, party rapper extraordinaire, is set to drop his new solo album Loaded today. We last checked in with him for a 2006 cover story depicting his utterly-wild ways; plenty has happened for him in the ensuing years, including many shows and songs on the Entourage and The Hangover soundtracks. But a sophomore album never seemed to surface. Issues with former labels MySpace Records and Interscope led to the move to the new imprint, Suburban Noize, which was co-founded by Kottonmouth Kings vocalist Brad Xavier.
In anticipation of his release party at Key Club tonight, we joined him and his girlfriend/assistant at 101 Coffee Shop in Hollywood to chat recently. Clad in a tank top and jeans, the native Angeleno was a mess of hair and tattoos, and he was eating what looked like his first meal in weeks. Quickly mumbling his hellos, he casually pulled out an airplane bottle of Jameson whiskey, which he used to augment his iced coffee as we discussed his previous life as a male prostitute and heroin addict, as well as a strange Sean Penn story.
Hip-hop is notoriously homophobic. Do you feel other rappers give you less respect because you were a male prostitute?
Mickey Avalon: That was the joke, because rap is the most homophobic kind of music. If you want to make fun of something, you can brag about fucking someone's dad in the ass. When I did this Boost Mobile commercial with Young Jeezy and Jermaine Dupri, I put on extra makeup and people were like, "Who's the drag queen?"
You were a heroin addict for a while. How long ago did you kick the habit, or are you still using?
I got on methadone a while ago. I'm not sober, but I'm off heroin. I wish I would have been on it ten years ago. I'd be a spokesperson for methadone [laughs]. And then people say, "Well, what happens when you have to get off?" I mean, why do I have to get off it ever?
You had a rough upbringing. Your family members used and sold drugs, you lost your sister to an overdose and your father to a drunk driver. How did these events shape you?
Everything that happens to you shapes you. I think it's good to move forward. I didn't have any breakdowns when it happened or anything. I was sober when my sister passed away. I do think life is great, though. Once you die you don't get to live anymore.
After your father's accident, the doctors asked you for permission to take him off life support. What was it like facing this decision at the age of 19?
I'm the one who took him off life support. He wouldn't have made it. He was going to die soon anyhow. He had tuberculosis. It sounds all dramatic and ironic and almost funny. Someone gets sober for two years who was a bad drug addict and a drunk driver hits him. I don't know, I guess it wasn't hard.
Your lyrics are extremely explicit. Are you as perverted in real life as you are in song?
[Laughs]. Um. . . I don't know? That stuff I am shy about. I don't kiss and tell.
Most people don't write songs about their dicks. Are you that infatuated with yours?
I probably am, but I didn't come up with that idea or song. I thought it was stupid. Andre Legacy came up with the idea. We told him, "That's a real stupid idea." But we did it anyway. I definitely didn't think it would be one of the biggest songs. It's like a universal topic that won't go away.
You had a disagreement that ended your collaboration with Dyslexic Speedreaders. What was the nature of the spat?
I wish it was a cool story. It was just stupid business shit. It's not like we fucked each other's chicks or anything. I had a manager and I brought them on board. Basically, we weren't working out. They stayed with the manager, which was fine. I didn't leave because I didn't like him [the manager]. I just knew it wasn't going to work.
Have you repaired the relationship?
Andre and I still talk. Not to sound gay or anything, but the reason we sounded good is because we were all having fun. But now it's done.
What happened with Interscope Records?
Taking too long to get my record out. I can't tour if I don't have a record. I didn't want to wait any longer. No bad blood or anything. I can always go back for my third record. If you don't put out music, people will assume you don't have any -- and then you're a "has-been." There are so many cooks in the kitchen over there, and they have to give their main attention to U2 and Dr. Dre.
Why did you decide to release your new album on Suburban Noize?
I signed with their management company, Regime. It might not be the best idea to sign with a management company that also works with a record label, but we wanted to get it out quick.
You are about to begin your first tour in three years. Are you excited to get back on the road?
I've actually been on the road the entire time. I just haven't been able to do a proper tour without a record, which has been frustrating. As much as you might hate your job, it's good to do something. When you're home for a while, you get cabin fever. It's not glamorous. You learn to pace yourself. At the end of the night, I will smoke a joint and go to sleep.
What was it like touring with Ke$ha? Does she really brush her teeth with a bottle of Jack?
She likes to have fun and she was cool. She was just getting started and getting her feet wet, but we didn't really hang out that much.
Finally, have you met Jane Fonda? Do you think she is a fan?
I was in the studio, and she wanted me to come to her Christmas party. Sean Penn took me about three years ago. She had the song on a mixtape and asked me if I would sing over it. I said, "For you, I will." She was talking about how Sean Penn had done the movie Milk, and there was a scene of him getting fucked in the ass. The other guy had to wear a fake dick, and I guess he was giving it to him so hard the fake dick shot off and so then it was the real one. I'm listening to this conversation and it's like my grandma talking about this.
Mickey Avalon will hold his record release show at Key Club tonight, April 24, at 8:00 p.m.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.