Get To Know Boston Artist M-Dot
2017 is here and we couldn’t be happier to have M-Dot stop by to chat with us about where he is from, his inspirations and more, plus we find out what’s next for the Boston artist.
Who is M-Dot and where are you from?
I’m originally from Revere, Massachusetts (5 min. drive from Boston), currently live in Beverly, Mass. I’m a father first (of 3, including my newly born daughter who entered the world this week!!), a full-blooded Italian (my mothers a citizen there), a hot sauce connoisseur, a gregarious by nature advocate of appreciating life, and yea I also spit some rhymes.
For those who do not know what does, M-Dot stand for?
It’s my initials. My name is Michael. Been using as an alias since I was younger and it stuck with me for music.
Who influenced you musically growing up and who influences you today?
I’ll never be able to name all of the influences, as a kid I listened to so much music and a vast amount of genres. Nevertheless, a few that come to mind… definitely Michael Jackson, James Brown, Journey, CCR, Frank Sinatra, Tears for Fears, Curtis Mayfield… For rap: Big Pun, 2Pac, Guru, Redman, Onyx……
What’s you take on the current state of hip hop & rap?
Like anything…there is always room for improvement. Hahaha. I also see an over-saturation with “rappers”.There is, however, good music still out there…just gotta sift thru the shit to find.
“123 Flow” is one of the first EVER interactive 360° music videos how did that process or concept come to be?
My buddy Victor & I had been talking about doing that video for a long time. He had shot photos 360° so it was just a matter of figuring out a way to apply that method to videos. DJ Workshard was instrumental too as he provided some of the equipment needed.
You’ve done 2 versions of “123 Flow” will there be a third and when can we expect it?
The single “Give it to me” (which is out now) was our third interpretation of that experimental way of shooting. We shot it in Northern California, it was produced by Jon Glass and it will appear on ‘egO anD The eneMy’. Anything we do we wanna never fall into a trap of complacency while also avoiding repeating something once it’s “been done”. The 3rd version is a whole new perspective, location & experience.
Any plans to do a VR version of one of your tracks for those (virtuality reality headsets)?
The original version of “123 Flow” can be used on a headset. It’s pretty trippy Hahaha. I don’t have anything planned for VR on the current album but we have some other tricks up our sleeve for visuals coming…..
What album or song this year is currently on repeat in your music collection?
I need to listen to more new music. I really do. I’m obsessed with the 80’s and find myself listening to a lot of older stuff. I love the 80’s and the experimentation for the first time of computers with live instrumentation.
For new music…..I got the recent De La Soul project and I look Fwd to bumping that.
Is there an artist that you want to work with that you haven’t?
I don’t like having too many features on my albums, prefer less rappers in general. There aren’t that many MC’s that inspire me nowadays. That being said, I’m still a mega fan of Redman, Elzhi, Pharoahe Monch. Haven’t worked with any of them and would love to.
Is there a producer that you want to work with that you haven’t?
Black Milk!! Ayatollah. Erick Sermon.
Other than yourself who is an artist we to know about?
Kore of EMS is a super talented long-time friend and is part of the crew. He is very low key with his music output. Produces, sings, raps, mixes, does graphic work…..
You’ve been quoted saying “an MC needs to adjust to his environment” and it’s something you do very well, can you explain to the young guns coming into the game why this is relevant.
Be more than just a “rapper”, be able to adjust to any track and still maintain your sound. Everybody raps, stand out by being yourself. No matter a hood-poet or a backpacker I try and blend into the song without compromising what I do.
RIP to Praverb, how did you your friendship begin and what’s something that you will never forget about him?
We met in the early 2000’s thru Rev of EMS. This was before blogs were big or frequented as much and Praverb was constantly popping up in forums. P was already giving advice on how to be better as an MC, a promoter and as a person. He was selfless. That’s something I will never forget. SELFLESS. You don’t see people who genuinely care for others like he did. That’s what I remember. I think of him every day.
You have a top notch promotional team ( EMS ) can you share with our viewers how that unity and success have come to be?
They are my best friends. Simple as that. There is no fighting for shine or who should be in the light. I have a great group around me. EMS is basically comprised of homies that have been my friends for as long as I can remember. Rev and I went to college together and met Mayhem. I transferred to another college for basketball (had a scholarship) and met Kore. Other members kept being added. And this is where we are at…..
What was involved in bringing the “Give It To Me” ( Little Planet 360 ) video to life and how long did it take?
Had some radio gigs and a show in San Jose. Brought DJ Workshard & Vic Keys (director) for the trip. Shot about a full dedicated day and some change plus B-Roll footage over the next 5 days. Took a ton of dedication, especially walking in the streets of Oakland strapped with 6 cameras haha. Shot some footage at the homie G Koop’s (prod. For Jay-Z, Rhianna, Atmosphere, Scarface etc.) studio. Fun shoot overall.
More then 140 Characters: You tweeted “Everything is chess for us” can you add some more insight to this line.
Plan your moves and don’t bust your wad in one release. Have an arsenal ready to go. The only way to stay in people’s ears is to keep hitting them correctly with a high-quality product and meticulously thought out designed chess moves…. It’s not easy to sit on tracks with Method Man for years or hold off on releasing videos for years… But it’s better to have long lasting success opposed to a moment of hype.
What’s next for M-Dot?
‘egO anD The eneMy’ drops 1/27.
I’m so proud of this album. ‘egO’ is a completely conceptual themed effort with a legendary production lineup on the boards.
Part 2 won’t be long after…..
Also an EMS project and a Rev EP!
Boston bred blue collar, MC M-Dot. Winner of the 2 most prestigious Massachusetts awards (previously won by Guru, Edo G, Mr. Lif). Has toured the world (Europe 6 times) sharing the stage with Wu Tang, Boot Camp Clik, Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifia, Slaughterhouse. Has records alongside AOTP, Gangstarr Foundation, M.O.P., Red Cafe & more.