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.