cheek by jowl

Mike Jones vs. Mike Jones: Who’ll Reign Supreme?

Rapper Mike Jones (left) and escort-turned-author Mike Jones (right). Photo: Getty Images (left); AP (right)

Poor Mike Jones. It’s bad enough that the Houston MC, whose sophomore disc The American Dream drops in July, has to compete with heavyweights like Kanye West and T.I. this summer, but fetching male escorts, too? The escort in question is yet another Mike Jones — this one of Pastor Ted Haggard sex-scandal fame — whose tell-all I Had To Say Something hits stores today. Will up-from-the-underground Mike Jones I hold on to his hard-fought name recognition against new blood Mike Jones II?

Quality of Sworn Enemies
Jones II: Landed a big one when he revealed the details of his illicit relationship with the then-president of the National Association of Evangelicals.
Jones I: Can brag only of a now-expired beef with fellow Houstonian Chamillionaire.
Verdict: We’re not sure exactly how many people are currently enrolled in the “Chamilliatary,” but we’ve got a hunch the 30 million–deep NAE has got it beat. Round one goes to Jones II.

Knack for Self-Promotion
Jones II: Became a national figure when he went public, but will now have to find a new livelihood — unless he’s got a few more whoppers to reveal (I Had to Say Something…Again?).
Jones I: This somewhat-limited MC has arguably done more with less — he’s branded himself with woodpecker subtlety, leading to a deal with Warner Bros. and his own imprint, Ice Age Entertainment.
Verdict: Who? Mike Jones! Who?! Mike Jones!!! Round two goes to Jones I.

Literary Acumen
Jones II: This is the escort’s first book, and he takes an even, conservative tack — impressive, when your subject matter includes stars-and-stripes thongs and “crotch nuzzling.”
Jones I: Is all about the Houston hip-hop holy trinity: whips, girls, and grills.
Verdict: Despite his deeply constrained worldview and limited vocab, Jones I has made a living by writing, not “massaging.” Advantage: Jones I.

Impact on Society
Jones II: Took a gigantic, valuable public risk in bringing down the deeply hypocritical, far-too-powerful Haggard.
Jones I: Has said “candy paint” about 3,757 times. He makes drowsy former labelmate Paul Wall sound like Shakespeare.
Verdict: We’re all for creative license, but round four goes to Jones II.

The Future
Jones II: His post-book outlook is grim; he’s mentioned SeaWorld as a potential employer.
Jones I: His new single, “Mr. Jones,” is his best work since the woozy “Still Tippin.”
Verdict: Jones I’s domain-claiming single is just too much to overcome. Round five, and the title of True Mike Jones, goes to Mike Jones (the first).
—Amos Barshad

Mike Jones vs. Mike Jones: Who’ll Reign Supreme?