THE MATT OX & MAMA OX INTERVIEW
If you follow hip-hop culture, you've heard of fourteen year old rapper Matt Ox. If you're from Philly, chances are you've seen him around at local shows, stunting on artists twice his age. In 2017, at just twelve years old, Matt Ox dropped 'Overwhelming' produced by Oogie Mane of Working on Dying, which quickly rose him to fame after the video quickly gained millions of views. Ox has tracks with rappers like XXXTentacion, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, and more big names in the game. In this exclusive interview, Matt shares details about upcoming music, shows, his experience being born and raised in Philly and more!
What rappers/artists influenced you the most? Did any one artist inspire you to start rapping yourself?
When I was younger, I listened to a bunch of different music and genres, but my favorite was always rap. As a young kid I was always rapping, just messing around. I think I was just inspired by music itself.
Do you feel growing up in Philadelphia impacted you and your career?
Yes because Philly has a lot of slang that I use in my raps. “Overwhelming” was done at a corner store, which is a part of Philly’s culture and that helped my career.
What does Philly's art community mean to you?
I like collaborating with other artists from Philly. I like seeing how much music and Philly artists are impacting the hip hop game right now. Since I started my “OX” brand, I been getting more into the Philly clothing stores. I recently did a pop up with Philly brand “Torture,” and I’m doing a pop up shop this weekend with Philly’s brand “Art History 101.”
One of your biggest interviews to date was on the No Jumper podcast with Adam22. What was that experience like for you? Do you hope to do more podcasts and video interviews in the future?
That was pretty much my first interview. It was last year after Overwhelming came out and I went to LA to do a show, so we stopped there. It was cool. I don’t do that many interviews, I like to just focus on being in the studio and making good music.
Is there anything in the works that can be shared with us?
Jet Lag Music Video coming soon.
New music before summer
Performing at Rolling Loud Miami
OX clothing line just dropped a couple months ago
Spread in Dazed Magazine Spring 2019 edition
Hopefully this year I tour and model more...
I might got a surprise Philly show in the works...
Are there any other local artists/rappers in Philly that you feel deserve more recognition?
Philly artists are really killin it right now. But I think Zeus OX, OX Flacko and Quadie Diesel are next up.
How did you get connected with Working on Dying?
A philly hip hop blogger tweeted one of my first sound cloud songs. Forza, one of the producers from working on dying, saw it and showed Filthy. Flithy reached out to me, sent me some beats and we started working together.
Have you found it challenging to raise Matt in the spotlight?
Raising a teenager is challenging, so adding a teenager who is also a rapper in the spotlight- double the challenge. However, many of our arguments are normal mom/teen arguments like “clean up your room” and “you need to come home early.” But then there are other times where we need to have adult conversation and make adult decisions. That part has been difficult, but I’m very impressed with how maturely Matt has handled it all.
Have you had any trouble maintaining privacy since Matt's career has taken off?
When we go places, people recognize who he is. At first I felt uncomfortable, but now I am used to it and realize it’s a part of this industry. Plus, the attention is almost always positive. Grown men come up to him to tell him he’s killing it. Having hometown love is huge, especially in the city of Philadelphia, so I don’t ever want to complain about it.
I’ve lived in Philadelphia my whole life. My parents were born and raised here, and we’ve continued the tradition in our family. For ten years I was a recreation leader for Philadelphia parks and rec. After that, I began working as a teacher for Philadelphia school district. Philadelphia local community means a lot to me, especially the kids and their families. I dedicated many years serving the community and really enjoyed it. Matt and I are planning a community OX event this summer at a rec center. I’m excited to use the skills I’ve acquired in my careers and collaborate with Matt and his brand to give back to the community.
What has your experience been like working with Capitol Records?
Matt is signed to Motown through Capitol Records. Working with them has been a positive experience. I feel they recognize Matt is young, talented and has potential to do something really big. But at the same time, they never push him or overwork him. They give him the time and space to grow and learn as an artist and a young man.