Indy rapper and producer Mathaius Young is at it again, getting ready to drop his third album. PATTERN chatted with the artist to get the inside scoop on his upcoming release.
Photography by Edrece Stansberry.
Darren Hartley: I heard you’re about to drop your third album. How’s it progressing?
Mathaius Young: Is it the third? laughs I dropped a project about 2 years ago called the Mathaius Young EP. It was my original songs. I originally went by my real name Christian Taylor…changed it. Then I dropped a project earlier this year called “Pilot.” So I just got signed by this label (Nomad Music Group) and they were like ‘drop this album’ and I was like ‘ahhight cool.’ Just a little eight-track album. It was like you know…the Pilot. A pilot for that label you know.
But this is my first album, like on iTunes ready-type music, you know what I’m sayin’. So it’s gonna be called “Take The Night Awa,” which I’ve been working on since I dropped “Pilot” since April. This is my third project but my first album.
DH: You said if the vibe on your project Pilot could be a color, it would be blue because it was melancholy but also is happy and warm. If you could put a color to your new project, what would it be?
MY: It started off black. It started off real black. Man like, “A Raisin In the Sun” black. And then over the last couple of months it’s starting to warm up a little bit. The weather’s been getting cold, but my emotions went from black to going into some blues. Throw some orange in there you know. It’s right in the middle right now of all the color palates.
DH: One of the most impressive things about your music, lyrically, is your imagery. Just from a lyrical standpoint, who are your top three emcees?
MY: Ok so you sayin’ just lyrically? Jay-Z. ‘Cause Jay just goes on and on…just his rap structure. He might not even do 16 bars. He might go 19 and then have the hook come in. Kendrick would have to be number two or three for me. But you know, right now nobody else is currently going there for me as far as for imagery, you know.
I don’t really even listen to the radio… I couldn’t tell you the last time I listened to the radio. I mean if I do, it may have to be like 106.7 for the late night drive, you know. But yeah man I don’t know what’s goin’ on with the radio. It’s basically like whatever’s gonna pop…whatever’s gonna play in the club. But you know who needs the radio when it’s 2016.
But I’m tryin’. I’m a fan of all music. I’m only 20 so I’m tryin’. What I like and what I’ve grown up on. It’s taking me time to appreciate people who actually say stuff in their music instead of just what sounds good. With my music, as I’m growing and experiencing stuff, I’m able to say things in a way that matters versus me just talkin’ about whatever. When I was 17 and 18, I was going through nothing, you know. I ain’t have no problems. I wasn’t paying no bills. Now that I’m older, I got some things to talk about.
DH: I understand that your mother and father were a rapper and a producer, respectively. How do you think that impacted you as an artist?
MY: Man it was crazy. My mom… she was cool. I used to want to go to the studio with her. She wouldn’t let me go. She wanted to have her own female rap career inspired by Eve, MC Lyte, like the women that was killin’ it back in the day. I remember I would just be sitting there writing and being like ‘Moms, look at this!’ I was always trying to go with her, and she wouldn’t let me go except this one time. It was the weirdest thing ever. She was signed to a label and – now that I think about it was like a P. Diddy, Biggie, Lil Kim type of deal. My mom was like the Lil Kim of the group. They all had the chains, the label logo. Man it was just crazy. This was back in Cleveland.
But my dad, I didn’t find out he used to produce until I turned 17 or 18. We really weren’t really cool like that. So I didn’t know much about him until we started getting close as I got older. He was just putting me on game about certain stuff. He said he remembers producing before I was born. I was like, ‘What?!?’ ‘Cause he didn’t know I did music until after he told me that.
So I was like ‘Oh, OK let me show you this.’ So ever since then he been tryin’ to set up his studio again at his house. He said, ‘Yo I need you to help me when you get in town so you can help me set up my studio when you come.’ He’ll hit me up and be like ‘Yo I just checked out your video man like Go… what’s it called Go? Yeah… yeah!’ Laughs.
DH: That’s funny you would bring the video up. That was actually my next question. It was refreshing to see Indianapolis as the featured backdrop of that video. Why was that important to keep that local?
MY: Nobody knows me. I just think it would’ve felt like it would have been fake of me if I would have went somewhere else. Even though I’m not originally from here, I moved here from Cleveland in 2010. It kind of was one of those things where I wanted to show off Indianapolis because this is where I’m living and where I’m from. Also we were, even if I wanted to, we weren’t trying to use a lot of money to go out of state and shoot some crazy video. They was just like ‘What can you do with $500?’ I said ‘ahhight I’ll show you what I can do with $500.’ So that’s what we did. The editing was a whole month or two or three, and it was a difficult process.
I’m very proud of it because I never did nothing like that before. I have interests and stuff like that but I’ve never been hands on. But it was cool with the video. I was nervous so you might see a little bit of that, but it was fun. We rented out this boxing place for an hour or two. And yeah the dude featured in the video, Drayco – I put him in a boxing ring.
DH: Yeah, Drayco was like, ‘Mama Said Knock You Out 2016.’ He had me nervous!
MY: Yeah we put him in some gloves, got him looking like he was fighting somebody. Threw a little water on ‘em. Laughs. We kinda working on a video right now. It’s gonna be crazy. Something fresh off the album.
DH: So you seem like a perfectionist and keep things kind of close to your vest. Where’s that from?
MY: That’s gonna be your first impression, so I just gotta make sure its right…like it’s right right. I just know I want to give it my best. So no matter if it’s a preview or something somebody hear, you can hear even five seconds, I’m gonna be like ‘hold on.’ I’m very much a perfectionist. If you’re gonna do something, do it. But there’s no rush necessarily. I wanna get the music out, but at the same time it’s like yo… when I get it out, I can’t undo it. A lot of people gonna hear it. I’ve been doing music for about fice years now. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be coming as hard as I can.
DH: So you’re not really focused on cranking out album after album right now.
MY: Right right. I’m not doing music and expressing myself in my music to be here for a year and be gone. I’m not trying to put out no one hit. I’m not trying to be a one hit wonder. I’m trying to be here for a while. I wanna be up there with the greatest. The reason why they are great is because they put in all that work. Jay didn’t drop “Reasonable Doubt” until he was 26 or something like that. But he had been writing. That’s why “Reasonable Doubt” is a classic. That’s the same thing I’m doing. There ain’t nothin’ subliminal. I just want to perfect it. When people want to know when my next album is coming out I know they have a little bit of excitement and are anticipating it, so I’m not trippin’.
DH: Do you think it will be out sometime this year?
MY: Yeah I mean I was trying to drop it before the snow hit. The album is made for the fall. It’s not made to just be out with the sun shinin’. It’s made for you to really listen to it… in the car… at night… driving back home.
DH: Sounds like your track on Soundcloud, ‘City.’ Man, I can’t get that one out of my head.
MY: Yeah man. If you feel that way about that song, you gonna feel that way about the whole album. But you sayin’ that – it’s what I want everybody to say when it drops. That’s why I’m working on it so hard. I want everybody to be like ‘Man I can’t stop listenin’ to it.’ When you listen to it, you gonna be like ‘yeah he spent some time on it. Yeah he cares about his fans and how they perceive his music and how they interact with it.’ That’s how I am when I interact with stuff. I got certain stuff that I can play and be like ‘yeah you just made that for whatever.’ But then you get certain projects and you done waited a year to two…three years for from an artist and you’re like ‘man I’m so glad he took three years to make that.’
DH: So we know the album is coming up soon. Do you have any tours, shows, or videos coming up?
MY: Videos definitely. I’m dropping a single next week. The song’s done. So we just trying to figure some things out and wait for the OK. But I’ve been telling people on Twitter. Videos… we’re working on the treatment, we haven’t done any shooting for it but it’s gonna be good. I just want it to be great. The treatment’s OK, but I wanna sit with it for a little bit and do some things with it.
As for shows, we gonna see what happens when the album drops. I want people to sit with the album and just have time to soak it in before I try and say I’m doing a show somewhere. I’m kinda just chillin’ man, I’m feeling like this is my first. For some reason it feels like my first project I ever made, so that’s how I wanna treat it before I jump the gun on anything. I just care about the music. That’s most important. I’m an artist first, but all the other stuff is gonna come. I just wanna make sure the album is right right RIGHT. Because if the album isn’t right right RIGHT I’m just wastin’ my time worrying about other little stuff,. The music must be first, and that’s how all the other stuff gonna trickle after it.
Yeah but the release party for it, though. It’s gonna be like an RSVP type thing. I’m gonna make sure we get you on there for that. Laughs. But nah it’s gonna be cool man. But the day before the album come out, that’s when I’m gonna have the release party.
DH: Do you think it’s important to inspire people through your music?
MY: The reason why I do it is because other people are like, ‘yeah man you got me wantin’ to do things. Because we used to all used to do that for each other. How you do journalism and Edrece does shoots photos and I got other friends who do graphic design. We’re all trying to inspire each other and maybe pop outside of it and do something else. So I make music to inspire people to either receive what I’m saying and apply it to their lives or just take the music and get inspiration out of it.
DH: I know in your earlier projects you did all of the production on one then later on you enjoyed working with different people producing. How is it this album?
MY: Man it’s both. I started it by myself. As I got in the process, I’ve been working with a lot of people here. It’s not just anybody. I wasn’t out here like ‘whoever wants to help me with this, let’s go.’ I know who I want on the project and I know who I’m gonna work with on the beats because I know certain people bring out certain sounds. But for some reason if somebody gives me a beat, I can’t rap on it. If I haven’t touched it, it’s my brain won’t let me write to it. It’s just something about me making my own production and writing to it versus somebody sending me a beat. Because when I’m listening to the beat I’m all just gonna be like ‘Man, they could have done this.’
DH: You got your producer hat on.
MY: Yeah exactly! So my brain won’t let me write to it. I’m just thinkin’ about how the beat need something or how something needs to come out. But yeah I started every track by myself. It’s been an experience because I didn’t used to be like ‘how do we do this?’ I’ve always been like ‘Nah I got this I’ll record myself, I’ll produce all the beats I don’t need no help.’ But then you realize you’re limiting opportunities, relationships, and creativeness. You’re limiting creativity when you on your own cloud. But I’m learning that working with people is good because not only can y’all make something tight but you might not know when you may need that person again or they may need you. You just never know. They might throw you some crazy opportunity, you never know.