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A member of the divergent Rap-A-Lot Records family, based in Houston, Big Mike (aka Michael Banks) first made his name with the Geto Boys. Members Scarface and Bushwick Bill hired him to take the place of Willie D. after a fallout within the group. Mike appeared on the 1993 album Uncut Dope, and began his solo career one year later with Somethin' Serious, recorded for Rap-A-Lot. When the label signed a deal with Virgin, Big Mike moved as well. His second album, Still Serious, hit the Top 20 upon release in April 1997. Hard to Hit appeared two years later but soon Big Mike announced he was unhappy with the album and took an extended break. The break lasted until 2005 when he returned with Naw'lins Phats on the Blackstone label. ~ John Bush