Over the years, the Detroit hip-hop scene has given us artists like mainstream stars including Eminem and Big Sean, street legends like Royce Da 5’9” and arguably the greatest hip-hop producer of all time, James “J Dilla” Yancey. While those names are familiar, Michael “House Shoes” Buchanan remains unrecognizable to many. However, if it weren’t for House Shoes (who got the nickname from wearing house shoes damn near everywhere he went) and his selfless efforts since 1994 there may not be a hip-hop community in Detroit for us to gush over. The quick witted, sharp tongued producer and DJ has long played the background in order for hip-hop’s version of Motown to develop but now it is his time to step up and show the world what he’s all about with his long awaited debut album Let It Go. In a sit down with Life+Ttimes, House Shoes explains how he was bestowed the title “Detroit’s Hip Hop Ambassador,” why it took him 18 years to put out an album, his relationship with J Dilla and the evolution of the music industry from vinyl to mp3.

Life+Times: How did you get the title “Detroit’s Hip Hop Ambassador?”
House Shoes: I always provided for the Detroit scene above my own needs. I’ve used my platform to expose the best music the city had to offer. I definitely appreciate the title but every title leads to you being put in a box. I don’t just play Detroit shit.

L+T: Detroit is well respected outside of the city for its presence but what is it like on the inside?
HS: I’ve caught some heat for saying this. It’s a regular ass city of followers who are about whatever is hot. Detroit does not embrace the artists that have represented for this city and it has forced a lot of us to not really give a fuck. We don’t make music for the city or to make money. We make music because that’s what we do and we do it better than damn near anyone else.

Read the full interview here