I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to conduct this cool interview with U.S rapper Matt Maddox where we spoke about his forthcoming album 'Righteous Fury', his views on contemporary hip hop...and the animal who would most like to be! check it out below!
Hey Matt Maddox, what's good? Do you want to give a brief overview who you are and what it is you're about for the readers out there who may not be familiar with your music?
I'm an MC who has been rhyming since the 3rd grade. I am from LA/Hawaii and make raw, lyrical, grimy, edgy, & sometimes politically charged Hip Hop music.
You are currently gearing up to release your second solo album 'Righteous Fury'. What is the meaning behind that title?
It pretty much sums up the meaning behind the record. I have a lot of pent up emotion and aggression, which equates to an enormous passion. It's basically a feeling of having enough of what the Rap game is becoming, and taking a not so subtle approach to voicing my feelings.
It's been 4 years since your debut solo album 'Asylum Artistry'. How would you say you have evolved as an artist over that time and how does your new material differ from the older stuff?
I've definitely grown as a songwriter, wordsmith of sorts. I feel it differs as it's a lot less politically charged, and is a lot more open. For the listeners, it's easier to relate to me, my struggle, and my purpose, as a man and an artist. It's alot more personal and in depth.
'Righteous Fury' boasts some brilliant production from the likes of C-Lance (Vinnie Paz, Madchild, Jedi Mind Tricks) and Sicknature (Snoowgoons). How do you go about choosing the beats that you rap over?
A lot of the beats I choose are based on the vibe I'm tryna project. I get beats all the time from all kinds of producers the world over (as you can see) and I honestly let the music talk to me. The beat chooses me in a weird way. I'm just receptive and open minded when I listen to beats, and some of them speak to me more than others.
You also have some pretty cool guest appearances from the likes of Reef The Lost Cauze and Adlib, among others, how did those collaborations come about?
Adlib is a brother to me. We've toured together and worked with several of the same people in the past. Godilla actually linked us up several years ago. Reef, I met when I was out visiting Adlib in Philly, and doing some shows and shit on the east coast. We had spoken bout puttin in work before hand, and when we linked up agreed to get down with the track.
If you could work with any artist in the world, no matter how big, who would it be and why?
Nas, or maybe Redman. I would say Wu-Tang but that's several artists. It's because of the influence they've had on me and my generation.
Do you have any plans to come over to the UK and rock some shows in the foreseeable future?
Definitely. No confirmed dates yet as I'm going to be in the states and Canada over the next few months. I would imagine it would be directly after that.
What is the craziest thing you have ever experienced on the road?
Probably my first tour, last night in Spain. We (myself and DeLaRue Squad of BCN) were out celebrating, (getting real drunk walking around Barcelona) with no plans of sleep until I caught the train to France in the morning. As we left the last club, I got into a fight with multiple guys who looked like older businessmen. Poppin shit I ain't understand and acting like little kids though. Definitely didn't look the part they played but you never know. The homies had my back, but I kinda went ahead, nuts on some solo man shit as they watched my craziness.
Was there any particular moment in your life when you got that kind of ‘eureka’ moment and realised that music was what you wanted to do?
When I first heard some shit my brother was bangin. It was a long time ago but I remember coming home from school and my big bro was in his room jammin. I walked in and heard it, and immediately knew. "I wanna do THAT!"
Do you have any interest in music outside of the hip hop world and has any of it had an impact on your musical output?
Definitely. I love Heavy Metal, some Punk Rock, Reggae, Classic Rock etc..I have an appreciation for all music honestly. Not saying I'm a fan of it all, def not, but I do appreciate it.
Will you be releasing any more music as part of the Guerilla War Tactix or are you concentrating 100% on your solo career at the moment?
There's been talks about it actually. I'd love to. We've been pretty busy all working on our solo careers, but when we wrap up our projects I think it could definitely re-emerge.
If you weren’t in the music business what do you think you would be doing as a career?
A bounty hunter or some shit. I'd be down to do some wildlife type of preservation work, or endangered species protection type shit too. Poaching poachers would be a great gig.
I don’t know if you know much about psychometric questions but apparently the type of animal you would most like to be can tell us a lot about the type of guy you are. .. so… What type of animal would you most like to be and why?
Shit, I'd say a Lion. I'm a very protective father, and a beast when threatened or pushed to a breaking point. I love my family and friends fiercely, and will protect them just the same. I ain't really afraid of much either, especially not another organism of any sort.
In your song 'No Country for Old Men' you state that 'shit has changed: fakeness now makes it as truth' what exactly did you mean by that line and what do you think is the main problem with Hip Hop at the moment?
Fakeness makes it as truth. I'm tired of hearing these fake ass, posing motherfuckers talking about how much coke they flip, and guns they bust man. Everyone's an Al Capone incarnate. The main problem is the corporate entity behind the scenes exploiting the shit out of it. It's almost always been the case, but especially the feminization, regurgitation, and lack of talent is really taking it over the edge. It's all sounding the same, and looking the same for that matter. I don't see leggings and ugg boots on men as Hip Hop.
What current artists out there are you feeling then?
Dead Rabbits. Mostly a lot of the people I work with, honestly.
If you could borrow Doc Brown's DeLorean and go back to any point in time where would you go?
Feudal Japan. The age of Samurai.
I will finish with a few more random multiple choice questions:
Kanye or Jay Z?
Jay Z (really not a fan of either)
Drugs or Alcohol?
Eddie Murphy or Chis Rock?
Nike or Adidas?
Meat or Veg?
Linkin Park or Limp Bizkit?
Car or Motorbike?
Godfather or Goodfellas?
Thanks a lot for taking the time do do this interview is there anything else you would like to add?
The RIGHTEOUS FURY album is available to preorder and will be in stores, and online globally February 25th. Please, take a minute to check some of the music out and let it speak for itself. I know these days it's hard, (I myself am guilty of it too) to not just dismiss everything new you come across due to sheer overwhelming volume. I humbly ask for just a few minutes to let the music speak to you. You can reach me on twitter @MattMaddox82 or connect on Facebook at OfficialMattMaddox, drop by, say what's up.
Thanks for having me.
Interviewed by Matt Watkins