Maybe you haven’t heard of Mike Stud, but you’ve definitely heard of Cranston, the Newport Gulls, and St. Raphael Academy. And though you may not have realized it, that was probably Mike Stud’s music blasting through your friend’s bluetooth speakers at the beach last summer or the day party you went to yesterday. Even ignoring his music career, Mike Stud, the stage name of Michael Francis Seander, is about as Rhode Island as it gets.
Before getting into his rap-game status, let’s look at the facts. Before he was Mike Stud, he was Michael Francis Seander born and raised in Cranston, RI. From the beginning, if Seander was going to get famous for anything, it would certainly be baseball. He attended St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket where in 2006 he was awarded both Gatorade Player of the Year and Louisville Slugger player of the Year for Rhode Island. And at 6’2″, his stats on the basketball court were nothing to sneeze at either. What we have here are the makings of a local hero, especially in the close knit community that is our small state.
Seander cashed in on those awards when he accepted a scholarship to play baseball for Duke University upon graduation. As a freshman he was the team’s closing pitcher and like so many of us, found himself back in Rhode island for the summer. Here he played baseball for the Newport Gulls at Cardine’s Field right downtown. Following his time at Duke he played a season of baseball at Georgetown while earning a graduate degree in sport’s management.
But it is the injury he suffered following his sophomore season at Duke that facilitated his reincarnation as a rapper. While recovering from Tommy John’s Surgery, Seander started making music to pass the time. And thus, Mike Stud is born. His first release was a music video entitled ‘College Humor’ which was mostly a joke for his friends on the baseball team. This joke has earned the YouTube video nearly two million views since then. He quickly followed up the first video’s success with the track ‘In This Life’ on which he linked up with fellow artist Alex Lagemann. These singles were then followed by his premier mixtape ‘A Toast to Tommy’ in 2011. From that point on, it became pretty clear: Mike Stud was here to stay.
The three studio productions Stud has released since then were entitled ‘Relief’, ‘Closer’ and ‘This Isn’t the Album’. While most of his music has yet to occupy mainstream appeal, Stud has developed something of a cult following amongst the fratboy communities his lyrics seem to be tailored to. His latest single, however, entitled ‘These Days’, marks something of a coming of age for Mike Stud. His beats and his flow are finally combining for an undeniably head-bobbing, if derivative, sound.
In my opinion, Mike Stud is a Rhody celebrity that we don’t brag about enough. To be honest, it’s hard not to be a little envious of a guy that had to choose between professional baseball and becoming a famous rapper. In any case, Rhode Island’s small size makes these success stories feel close to home. Check out Mike Stud, his music is pretty chill and chances are you have a mutual friend or two.