Thursday, May 3, 2012


Mickey and Mallory…Natural Born Stars

By Ma’at Atkins

Photos by B Free Paparazzi and Ma'atology (Playboy Ro pic) 

St. Louis bred recording artists Playboy Ro and Ms. Kriss have come up with a new super duo —and they are about to take the music world by storm.

Their name—Mickey and Mallory.

Named from the 1994 cult film, “Natural Born Killers,” Mickey and Mallory is about to release a music video teaser to their first single, the retro soul groover, “Gangsta Lovin,” on May 8 (they will shoot a full video in “Albuquerque, New Mexico” )followed by their EP of the same name that will be released May 22.

They describe their music as “Music and Mayhem” defined, as "real music, Grammy winning music and no gimmicks.”

Both artists were destined to work together. They first encountered one another in 2003 when she and Playboy Ro’s cousin and rap partner, Young Slim aka Q Ball (who was her friend), of Ball and Ro, were listening to music in his car by Ro’s house.  Not knowing who was bumping the beats outside, he “reluctantly” came out of the house to hear the wicked beats and saw his cousin in his car with Kriss. They egged her on to sing under the beat and that’s where the initial spark ignited.

“I don’t think I really respected my talent until years after I graduated from high school, where I was like, okay, this is something I should do.“ Kriss confided.
“I was basically a single mother trying to figure everything out.”

Because of her budding revelation, she began singing at various St Louis spots and writing lyrics for St Louis artists such as Chingy’s sister, Zaneta. Her skills led to her working  with  Big Al of D2 Productions (who produced Nelly, Pretty Willie, Ol Skool) and working under him and boosting her confidence as an artist. She even recorded her first single, an adult oriented song called “Back Out.”

“To be honest, I haven’t heard a sound like we had in St. Louis,” Kriss said.
Thus, the Hazelwood East High School graduate started to become serious as a singer and budding songwriter a couple of years after people told her she could sing. 

Meanwhile, both Playboy Ro, who’s a McCluer High graduate, and Ms Kriss were working diligently on their respective careers. During his tenure at Morehouse College in Atlanta (where he got serious with music), Ro hooked up with dee-jay Jason Ford producing music in his dorm room and pitched songs to some of the Atlanta based radio stations with not much success.

When Ro returned home in 2002, he connected with a friend named Jason Clay, who was going by JMC and had his own rap group called Out Da Blue. Ro decided to join in with the group and help finance a record company (of the same name) and studio time.

Thus, both Ro and Kriss started to taste some of their initial successes.

Ro along with the group Out Da Blue recorded many songs when they reunited, yielding their biggest hit, “Nikki” which was released by default.

“At the time JMC had a song he thought would be a hit and at the time the Ying Yang Twins was hot and made records that didn’t make sense, so he was like were gonna do the same thing and I didn’t like the record “ Ro said, “ Every song we recorded had a four letter word and the only clean song we had was ‘Nikki’ “

So they ran with it “Nikki”—pressed the vinyl and shopped it to the stations and the only dee-jay who was feeling it was DJ Kaos of 100.3 The Beat who put it in his mix in the clubs which led other dee-jays playing it.

“We saw him [Kaos] at Vintage Vinyl and he said that he felt that it was a hit,” Ro said. “and we were like, yeah, alight like whatever.”

The song eventually was a St Louis smash and it crossed into other cities and toured  based on the strength of the single as well as their second single, the follow up, “Hennessey No Ice.”

But the group suddenly disbanded due to ego clashes.

Then, in 2003,  he teamed with his cousin Q Ball to form Ball and Ro. It was also during this time he met with Ms. Kriss  (when she was sitting in his car listening to music at Ro’s house) who began working with Big Al at his recording studio, Black On Black. Their lab work in the studio led to other artists who were there recording to stop their sessions and see them record. As a result of Kriss’ talents in the studio, Big Al scooped her up to work with her.

Fast forward to 2007 she auditioned for McDonald’s R&B/Soul Search Contest in 2007 at The Loft in Midtown St Louis. Although she lost, it didn’t break her stride. She auditioned again in 2008 at the same venue and won. Her grand prize was signing a single deal with Sony Music.

“It was a great experience being the first female to able win and  an accomplishment even if it didn’t go anywhere, Kriss said.

While Kriss was auditioning for the first time for Soul Search, Ro and his partner, Ball was partying like rock stars traveling and touring the country, partying on yachts of potential backers for national exposure with their upcoming project.

But they had setbacks just as soon as they were about to blow up.

After signing with Sony, the A&R guy who was working with Kriss got fired which caused a delay in her single deal.

“My question was, ‘What am I gonna do now?'”  Kriss said.

Meanwhile, as Ro was touring the country and having meetings with financial investors on yachts, he wrote, a rock edged rap song called “Rock Star” in 2007 and, soon after, was allegedly stolen by members of The Shop Boyz who came out with “Party Like a Rock Star.” That song reached platinum status and garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Group Performance (Ro is currently in litigation with The Shop Boyz)

“The problem was when your young, you don’t know what your doing, and not knowing the politics of the business, you can find yourself in no mans land, “ Ro said, “and we got caught in it. I couldn’t muster up the energy at the time to keep climbing up the mountain an get to the top to get kicked off again.”

Nevertheless, they continued on with their grind.

Kriss used the $10,000 worth of recording time  that she won from Soul Search and recorded about 25 songs with Dave, the other half of D2 Productions. One of the songs from that session, “That Fire”(with a rap hook by rapper Murphy Lee)  became her first promoted single which got heavy spins in the St Louis area as well as various other cities in the country.  

Ro went solo in 2009 with his debut solo project, 63140 (the zip code to his hometown, Kinloch, Mo) and followed up in 2010 with  Prodigal Son. It was on his second solo CD that he reteamed with Ms Kriss. One of the songs they collaborated on was, “The Takeover.”

Meanwhile, in early 2011, Ro got in contact with one of his Atlanta connections, music mix master Arvelle Poe  aka DJ MastyrMind who was working on a new web cast. Poe needed a theme song for his show. Ro asked him what was the name of his show and he told him: The Takeover. So, Ro sent him the track that he and Kriss recorded called “The Takeover.” Poe loved it, inquired who was the female on the track and suggested he and Kriss should do more songs together.

Six months later, in the fall of 2011, Mickey and Mallory was formed--and the mayhem began.  The duo is working with various producers in the St Louis area on their project including Emmy Award nominated production duo, Starstrukk Productions.

According to Ro, the group he and Kriss formed has the “right sound and the right look.” Kriss said that their project is based on “years of grinding and doors closing and opening and it’s not an overnight success.”

Fans will have a chance to see the two of them perform for the first time as well as listen to the tracks from their upcoming EP when they will present a listening party and meet and greet May 26, Memorial Day Weekend,  at the Inspot Dessert Bar and Lounge near the U City Loop in St Louis.

For more info on the listening party email at

For more info on Ms Kriss’ projects go to,,  Twitter: mskrisstweets Facebook: Kristin MsKriss Stimage

For more info on Playboy Ro’s projects go to,  Twitter: /playboy2710 Facebook: Al Cole

1 comment:

  1. "RO" this is Pep. Push it to the limit bro. Can't no one stop the grind of a man from the huSTLe City of St. Louis. Keep it up. T