featured interview

M-Dot Connecting The Dots Doubters, dot your I's and cross your T's, because M-Dot is not the MC to be over thought. Starting from M dot A dot (Massachusetts), as a member of the ExperimentalMindState aka EMS crew, and with a good amount of rap awards under his sleeve, the Boston MC is on a mission to conquer the globe with tight overseas connections and energetic performances. On ‘Run MPC’, he linked up with French producer Jean Maron, an album that caught much critical appraisal…

The ‘Run MPC’ album got a good review on Hiphopdx.com (3.5/5). Are you an artist who cares about reviews?

With anything I do, I always attempt to make it at the highest level possible. My goal with each record and the most vital ingredients are originality, getting across my message in full clarity for a listener to digest, not necessarily dumbing it down and not trying to go extra space ship moons dialogue over their head. (laughs) And lastly, staying true to my lifestyle and surroundings. If I accomplish that, than I am more than satisfied. Everything else, like reviews, is an extra. Never expected, yet constantly appreciated.

But you don’t have lack of the critics?

Major sites, newspapers, mags who have and continue to give amazing reviews are a blessing, and I really appreciate it. I know though, I still can find improvement in anything I do. Never being complacent is the key. The reviews, in my opinion, done by highly musically seasoned and educated writers, are a great way just to know you could be on the right path.

The average visitor’s rating of the review on Hiphopdx.com is 4.62/5 though...

I am very lucky to have some loyal listeners. Since I have been doing music for so long, and toured a ton, I have built a real great group of followers on the internet. And they often give the top ratings I am sure. I am thankful for them thinking that highly.

‘Run MPC’ has 27 guests...why so many? Weren’t you afraid of disappearing in the crowd, especially with all those great names?

I agree completely. And again something that truly made me proud was that many reviews had said they wanted to hear more of me. That it was a ‘tease’. Only getting one or 2 verses each track on my behalf was not enough. That’s humbling. The CD was more my brother DJ Jean Maron’s, than mine. I was just the main MC on it, along with EMS crew mate Revalation. At heart, even though I have done thousands of features for other album placements, and worked with so many legends and newcomers, as well as having a crew (EMS, ed.), I am a solo artist. I enjoy making conceptual records front to back and seeing a vision coming to fruition. With my solo album finally getting close to complete -late 2012 would be ideal- and it not having many features -if any at all- I look forward to release that vision to the public. And it’s truly my dream of production on the tracklist, something I have worked so hard over the years to earn with respect, in sending me the beats. ‘Run MPC’ was such a great experience, having the vinyl be a top seller, touring Europe again, performing it and being signed to Soulspazm records. I appreciate DJ Jean Maron for the whole process. Shout outs to my homie Torae as well

Yet while writing for ‘Run MPC’, did you scrap and rewrote your lyrics more than ever, due to the ‘pressure’ of being surrounded by many MC’s?

Nah. I rarely throw out lyrics. I don't write unless I am in the mood. Can't force it. So if I am writing..... I am most likely using it, because it means that I caught a rhythm.

The project has been in the making for two years...due to the distance, a low internet connection or matching agenda's?

‘Schedules’ is the easiest answer. I had 2 mixtapes in that time and I was touring. So it was difficult to be on the same page was all that held it up. Especially going through e-mail. That made it even more tough, because you’re not in the studio together. I was with many of the Boston artists who appeared on the record, of course, I have been collaborating for a long time with them.

Where did the idea come from to make a remix version of the album?

From DJ Jean Maron. Genius on that. We have this thing in EMS, where we always try and maximize everything. More than just how it sounds. Literally milk every cow. I learnt it at an early age with my mother taking me to yard sales every week, or picking chairs and couches out the trash. (laughs) Stretch anything into something greater. Some really dope producers on the remix cd too. As well as many who sent in remixes.

What remix of which classic hip-hop song(s) and by which producer would you like to be featured on?

Dope question. (laughs) Man, too many to name. Would love to be on ‘24 hours to live’ with DMX, Lox & Mase. That song had such a great concept. And I could think of some cool things I'd like to do for sure.

A remix project’s also a good idea to discover and network with producers from all over the world right?

‘Yup, yup’. I said it before, and I will say it again....So many of these producers just need some shine and they will pop. Many are starting too. No longer is your NY neighbour the only amazing producer. These guys, from all around the world, are hungry in front of their MIDI-keyboards, tracking out new beats.

Every MC has his reasons to work with an European producer. What's yours?

I tour there a lot, so it was only a matter of time. They often just seem more excited -can't speak for everybody- about ‘hip-hop’. And that’s important to me, just making ‘music’, and being hyped during the process, rather than just doing it to find one fad hit. That will come if you work hard enough. But it can't be the goal when you sit down in front of the notebook and MPC. People can hear honesty in your sound and vocals.

How did you connect with Belgian DJ Grazzhoppa?

That’s my dog! Real talk. For many years. Actually I feel awful I missed his project recently. I was supposed to be on it. I was asked to do the intro. Just never sent him the record. I just had the power out in my crib that week and couldn't record. I am on his new tape though. First song I think we were on together was many years ago with me, Reef The Lost Cauze and Bekay. It’s called ‘Brain Tumors’ of Bekay's remix CD. That’s when we connected. Since then we’ve been on too many to count. Recently a new song from Hell Rell (Dipset) I was featured on, and Grazz did the cuts. Love Belgium. Shout outs to my man Kenshin.

Still you're from Boston, an area with a strong scene. But you often seem to work with MC’s…

Man, I work with plenty of amazing beat makers too out here. First and foremost my blood brother Explizit One, who’s in EMS. He was on our homie Edo G's recent album, as well as Special Teamz & Jaysauns LP's, etc. He has a ton of placements. He did the single ‘No Surrendering’ that featured me and the big homie Big Pooh. Boston has a great crop of producers. Too many to shout out. Family: 7L, Confidence, Kore (EMS) and Norman Cratez definitely wanna show love to them though. Please excuse all the other dope friends and producers I missed, sending me heat constantly.

You listened to Snoop and 2Pac in your younger days, did you listen to Boston acts such as TDS Mob, RSO, Top Choice Clique...

Top Choice Clique’s MC Jawn P was my college basketball coach my sophomore year! (laughs)

2010 was a good year for you...you've won several awards...what were the effects of that for you as an artist?

Nothing. Need to do much more. This is just the first couple pages of the book!

Your latest mixtape is called 'Makin Doubters Over Think'...did you ever have doubts about your emcee career?

The title is more directed towards those who kept thinking I'd just fade away. But I am still here. Making them ‘over think’ things, kinda like people who ‘over think’ Tebow currently. Just an example of someone that they can't understand why he is getting attention, but keeps winning. I don't even have to be an advocate or fan of dude, just using him as an analogy. When people see you everywhere, yet you weren't the one that has all the backing and ‘supposed to be in the BIG SHOES’, they have a hard time inhaling it. Making ‘em over think. People really don't grasp all the obstacles that you confront in hip-hop. When going the road less travelled, the right path, of truth, virtue, without the dirtiness of fake tracks and bought images/co-signs and all achieved with no significant help.

Name three more ambitions you have as a rapper...

Many of my dreams have happened. Touring the world many times, working with icons, performing in front of over 35 000 people, so this is just a list of a few things I'd love currently:

1. Being on MTV -I’ve been on MTV2-, I would love to someday have a video placed on MTV's main station. If they play vids still. (laughs) Not for me so much, as for friends who believe in me. Simply so they can defend to their families/co-workers/foes why they have represented me for so long. (laughs) A redemption of sorts for them.

2. Do a crazy comical song with Redman. I got such respect for the Funk Doctor. That’ll be a dream come true if ever given the chance.

3. I'd like to be able to eventually ghost write for bigger artists someday. I need the money. With 2 kids it’s not easy right now. So that’d be a great privilege for sure. Writing has been something -got a Bachelor’s degree in English- that I consider a stronger point, even more than rapping.

What were some of your fav albums of 2011? Who was the 'emcee of the year' for you (besides you)?

Black Milk and Danny Brown’s ‘Black & Brown’ was definitely one of the best I got to hear. Dug that fully. Far as artists, there a bunch of dope MC's who could easily get the honor of ‘emcee of the year’. My homie Tech N9ne gotta be in the discussion, new kid Hopsin goes in, I think Machine Gun Kelly is nice. I don't listen enough to give a complete answer. I prefer old records of funk and blues. But a few do stand out. I am a syllable fanatic, so Elzhi is dope too.

How’s life without having a car?

(laughs) I manage. My girl and I share a whip. My EMS family helps me out regardless. Shout out to all of them for coming thru for my late ass. (laughs) Desco, Strick 9 & DJ TyQuoddy are there more often than not.

What more can we expect from you in 2012?

Mixtape. New CD with DJ Jean Maron. Solo album! A lot of collab CD's. Who knows if those will get done though, can only depend on myself. Europe tour. Solo with 'All Systems Go' and another with my brothers Akrobatik and Chaundon.

Shout-outs?

My kids John Michael and Kadence Ann. My girl Anitra. My crew EMS!! My brother Kris with a K. My family. Mayhem. And everyone who supports. Regardless, know I love you, because good and bad you drive me to work harder.

 

POSTED 01|25|2012
conducted by cpf

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