Born into a Jamaican-American family in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, Shawn Mims grew up influenced by the rappers just south of him, in Harlem. Despite the fact that he lost both parents by the time he was 13, Mims focused on music (his mother had given him his first set of DJ equipment shortly before she died) and school to keep himself out of trouble. Though he briefly attended community college, Mims decided if he truly wanted to make it as a rapper he needed to drop out, a move that paid off career-wise: he was soon featured on the song "Love Em All" by Canadian group Baby Blue Soundcrew, which was nominated for Best Video at the 2001 Much Music Awards.
"I Did You Wrong" came out in 2003 thanks to help from the Miami-based production team the Blackout Movement, and in 2006 the rapper, who was now going by MIMS, independently released the single "This Is Why I'm Hot." The song did well enough on local radio stations, including New York's Hot 97, to garner attention from major labels, including EMI and Capitol Records, which released MIMS' full-length debut, Music Is My Savior, in 2007.
Mims graduated from Westbury High School (Old Westbury, New York) and was born in Washington Heights, NY. He began spending time in Harlem with Cam'ron as an acquaintance. In 2001, he was discovered by Quincy S/Duq Entertainment and soon after featured on a Canadian compilation entitled Private Party Collectors Edition Vol. 2, by Baby Blue Soundcrew. His guest appearance on the single "Love 'Em All", alongside Choclair, enabled him to be recognized in Canada. The music video was nominated for a 2001 MMVA award. This song was never officially released in the United States. Mims also released his own single entitled "L.O.V.E." which was commercially unsuccessful.
Soon after his recognition in Canada, he would gain connections with Blackout Movement. He would release his first U.S. Single, "I Did You Wrong" gaining modest momentum across the United States. This would not be enough to finalize a legitimate record deal for the artist. In 2006, He began to record tracks for Latin hip hop label Urban Box Office. He decided that it would be in his best interests to structure his own label situation. He would create American King Music alongside business partners Corey Llewellyn, Erik Mendelson, ILLCee and Gp.
Mims released his second effort on April 7, 2009, titled Guilt. In October 2008, "Move (If You Wanna)" became the first official single from Mims' new album, peaking at #63 on the Hot 100 charts. The second single was released on April 7, 2009, entitled "Love Rollercoaster" featuring LeToya Luckett.
In February 2010 Mims appeared alongside hip-hop legends KRS-One and Redman on a song entitled "How To Be An Emcee 2010".