By Cameron M. Bray ’16
Under the alias of “602god,” a reference to Phoenix’s area code, Michael Rowe ’18 crafts freestyle rap mixtapes—a hobby that has earned him the reputation as “the rapper of sophomore year,” according to Michael Murphy ’18.
Rowe said he first became interested in mixtapes after vacationing in California last summer.
“Over the summer in California I got challenged to a rap battle,” he said. “And I thought to myself, ‘What if I get challenged again?’ I thought I had to be prepared for the future, so I just started to rap for fun.”
Besides preparation in the case of a rap battle, Rowe said he makes mixtapes for fun and as a way to express himself.
“I just like to have fun,” he said. “I’ll say whatever’s on my mind. Some days I’ll get home, a line will pop into my head, and for 30 minutes I’ll just start writing stuff down, and I can record it right then and there.”
Rowe said he writes primarily about inspirational themes—being yourself (“Just gotta do yourself,” he said) and being happy.
Bennett Houck ’18, a friend of Rowe’s who helps give him feedback on his mixtapes, said that Rowe’s hobby was another example of the unique interests found on Brophy’s campus.
He said that for Rowe making mixtapes is not only a way of expressing himself in a unique way, but also of relieving stress.
“I think making (mixtapes) is something that is relieving to him,” Houck said. “It takes stress off his mind. It’s something he can do to get his mind out of homework and such.”
He said that he would encourage Rowe to keep making mixtapes if it makes him happy.
“I think it’s something he enjoys doing, and so if it makes him happy to do it, he should do it as much as he wants.”
Murphy, another friend of Rowe’s who has known him since 7th grade at All Saints, agreed with Houck and said that Rowe’s interest in mixtapes was certainly unique.
“I think it’s cool,” he said. “I think what he’s doing is awesome … It’s really unique. I think he’s gained this reputation as the rapper of the sophomore year.”