MC Serch

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MC Serch
Birth nameMichael Berrin
Also known as
  • T Bone Lemke
  • White Monster
Born (1967-05-06) May 6, 1967 (age 55)
New York City, U.S.
GenresGolden age hip hop
Years active1986–present[1]

Michael Berrin (born May 6, 1967),[2] best known by his stage name MC Serch, is an American rapper and music executive. He gained fame as a member of the group 3rd Bass, which was active in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Serch has also worked as a solo artist and as a producer for other artists. In 1994, Serch executive produced Nas' debut album, Illmatic, which is "widely seen as the best hip-hop album ever" according to Billboard magazine.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Serch grew up in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York City.[4] He attended Far Rockaway High School[5] and graduated from Music & Art High School. He is of Jewish descent.[6]


After recording three albums with 3rd Bass — The Cactus Album (1989), The Cactus Revisited (1990), and Derelicts of Dialect (1991)—Serch launched a solo career with Return of the Product (1992, Def Jam). The album featured two hit singles: "Here It Comes" (which hit #1 on Billboard's Hot Rap Tracks chart); and "Back to the Grill" featuring Chubb Rock, Red Hot Lover Tone, and Nas. Serch was the executive producer of Nas’ Illmatic.

He also helped to cultivate the rapper O.C. after hearing him on the Organized Konfusion song "Fudge Pudge", helping him secure a record contract with Wild Pitch Records. In 1995, Serch also mentored the newly formed Non Phixion.

Since retiring from performing, Serch has run a promotions company (Serchlite Music). He appeared in Spike Lee's Bamboozled (2000) as a member of the fictitious hip-hop group Mau Maus (played by other real-life hip-hop performers such as Mos Def, Charli Baltimore and Canibus). His character was a white revolutionary who was supposed to be "1/16 black".[7]

From 2003, he hosted Serch In The AM on Detroit urban radio station FM 98 WJLB; he was the first Jewish DJ at that station. MC Serch was dismissed from WJLB in March 2006, reportedly due to a dispute over a Super Bowl weekend party at the club Motor City Live.[8]

Serch also hosted the VH1 reality series Ego Trip's The (White) Rapper Show which ended in March 2007. On the show he was known for his catchphrase "Woop-WOOP!". A follow-up show, Ego Trip's Miss Rap Supreme, debuted in 2008.

Serch has since returned to the radio airwaves in Detroit on the urban station Hot 102.7. Serch has also worked with Hot 102.7's youngest intern (The Black Intern) Daniel Berry, and Rucka Rucka Ali (Comedy Music Artist). Serch appeared in some of Rucka Rucka Ali's music videos.

In 2018 he gave an interview with DJ Vlad in which he claimed MC Hammer had once taken out a $50,000 contract on Serch's life, following a misunderstanding over lyrics.[9]

In May 2021, MC Serch joined VidSig, a live global video platform, as Chief Creative Consultant.[10]

Serch was an executive at HitPiece, a startup creating NFTs of songs that shut down in February 2022 under threat of action by Recording Industry Association of America, which labeled it a "scam operation" and after public criticism by major artists including Wolfgang Van Halen.[11]



with 3rd Bass[edit]

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Blak Iz Blak" 2000 Mau Maus (Mos Def, Canibus, Charli Baltimore, Mums, Gano Grills, DJ Scratch) Bamboozled (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
"Fuck You" 2001 DJ Tomekk Return of Hip Hop
"2 Hits & Pass" 2002 Afu-Ra, Agallah, Big Tigger, Buckshot, Craig G, Mr. Eon, Scram Jones, Smuv, Steele, Tony Touch D&D Project II
"Let's Talk" 2005 Hot Karl The Great Escape
"MC Serch Intro" 2007 Kaptain Nemo The Legend of Kaptain Nemo - Official Mixtape
"For the Love of Hip Hop" Kaptain Nemo, PJ Sumroc
"This Is Not a Game Aaaatlaaaantis (MC Serch Interlude)" Kaptain Nemo
"Round Here" Krohme All Praises Due
"Benneton" 2009 Kurious, MF Doom, Kadi Amin II
"Rolling 110 Deep" 2021 DJ Kay Slay, 3D Na'Tee, AZ, Aobie, Big Daddy Kane, Black Thought, Bodega Bamz, Brand Nubian, Bumpy Knuckles, Bun B, Bynoe, Cassidy, Chris Rivers, Chuck D, Coke La Rock, Consequence, Conway the Machine, Cory Gunz, Crooked I, Dave East, DJ Doo-Wop, Drag-On, E-A-Ski, Fred the Godson, Ghostface Killah, Gillie da Kid, Grandmaster Caz, Gunplay, Havoc, McGruff, Hocus 45th, Ice-T, Inspectah Deck, J.R. Writer, Jim Jones, Joell Ortiz, Jon Connor, Junior Reid, Kaflow Kaboom, Kool G Rap, KRS-One, Lil' Cease, Loaded Lux, Locksmith, Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz, Maino, MC Shan, Melle Mel, Merkules, Mike Cee, Millyz, Mistah F.A.B., M.O.P., Ms. Hustle, Mysonne, Nice & Smooth, Nino Man, OT The Real, Omar Epps, Onyx, Oun P, Outlawz, Page Kennedy, Papoose, Pretty Tone Capone, Prince The King, RJ Payne, Raekwon, Rah Digga, Ransom, Ras Kass, Kool DJ Red Alert, Redman, Rockness, Ron Artest, Roy Jones Jr., Royal Flush, Saigon, Shaquille O'Neal, Sheek Louch, Shoota 93, Sickflo, Sonja Blade, Sporty Thievz, Stan Spit, Styleon, Styles P, Super Lover Cee, Termanology, Tone Trump, Tony Moxberg, Tracey Lee, Trae tha Truth, Tragedy Khadafi, Treach, Trick Trick, Twista, Uncle Murda, Vado, Wais P, Young Buck Accolades


  1. ^ Stereo Williams (February 28, 2018). "The Year That Changed Hip-Hop Forever". The Daily Beast. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  2. ^ "About MC Serch". Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  3. ^ "The 10 Best Rappers of All Time". Billboard. November 12, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2021. 20 years later, Illmatic is widely seen as the best hip-hop album ever, a flawless blend of vivid street poetry and dream-team producers...
  4. ^ Jackson, Brian Keith (December 31, 2006). "Ice, Ice Babies: Reality-TV show tries to create the next Eminem". New York. Retrieved November 23, 2007. I grew up in Far Rockaway, and you'd always see shoes on the line.
  5. ^ Schwach, Howard (January 26, 2007). "Rockaway Rapper Hosts MTV's 'The White Rapper Show'". Wave of Long Island – via
  6. ^ "Interfaith Celebrities: Of Hip Hop, Heroes and the Oscars". Retrieved April 24, 2013. Berrin, who is Jewish, worked until recently for a very popular Detroit radio station that mostly plays hip hop music and whose listening audience is mostly black. ... As reported in a January 25 issue of the Detroit Jewish News, Berrin, 39, and his wife, Chantel, are members of Congregation Sharrey Zedek, a large Conservative synagogue in suburban Detroit. In a 1993 profile in the News, Chantel— a convert to Judaism—talked about her conversion and Michael talked about race and religion.
  7. ^ "Blak Iz Blak". Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  8. ^ Graham, Adam (January 8, 2007). "The Serch for the next white rap star". The Detroit News. Retrieved January 24, 2007.
  9. ^ "MC Serch: MC Hammer Put a $50k Hit on Me Over Dissing His Mother on a Song (Part 5)". YouTube. November 13, 2018. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  10. ^ "Hip Hop Legend MC Serch Joins VIDSIG in Creative Role". Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  11. ^ Trapp, Philip (February 7, 2022). "Who's Behind HitPiece, the Music NFT 'Scam' That Angered Bands + the RIAA?". Loudwire.

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