Maura Magazine | J. Pablo

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Before Mikey Likes was making music-inspired ice cream from scratch, the New York native was just like pretty much every other kid growing up on the Lower East Side of Money-Makin’ Manhattan.

Home Cooking

Hood Chef was born Hector Vasquez on February 29—which means that the rail-thin, tattoo-covered Brooklyn resident has been bucking the norm pretty much since birth. Like many growing up in the Borough of Kings in the 1980s and 1990s, Hood Chef was constantly inundated with the idea that slinging rock or having a wicked jump shot were the only viable options to get off the grimy corners of Crooklyn. He escaped the street life without doing either, but he stayed in the hood—because that’s where he felt most needed.