A Conversation With OG Maco On ‘Blvk Phil Collins’ EP, Inspiring The Colored-Hair Trend & Reactions To His Deep Songs
Yohance Kyles (@HUEYmixwitRILEY)
(AllHipHop Features) OG Maco is a creative chameleon, and it’s not because the Atlanta-bred spitter is known to alter the hues of his hair. His motley brand of music and his vibrant public persona represents a constant artistic evolution.
That vision has allowed the 24-year-old rapper to foster a base of followers made up of fans of various genres. Whether it’s the haunting viral hit “U Guessed It,” Trap offerings such as “2000,” or Maco’s preferred rock star records, crowds from ATL to Dublin show up to see the Quality Control signee turn up.
The man born Maco Mattox delved deeply into his Rock-And-Roll leanings for the Blvk Phil Collins EP. Named after multiple Grammy winner Phil Collins, Maco’s 7-track collection presents the dark side of a young artist navigating through difficult relationships and a callous industry.
Like Hulk Hogan’s famous heel turn at WCW’s “Bash At The Beach” in 1996, OG Maco steps into the role of the bad guy. Not for himself, but for the advancement of a culture he views as being misguided. Hollywood movies and presidential elections have taught the American public that the villain always sparks the most conversation. And Maco has a lot to say.
Discover more of OG Maco’s views about Blvk Phil Collins, setting current trends, and the appeal of his different musical styles in part 1 of my conversation with the OGG representative.
[ALSO READ: #ATLRiseUp: With His Debut Album, OG Maco Is Ready To Change His Name & Possibly Change The Game]
How are you doing health-wise?
Let’s get into Blvk Phil Collins. Why did you decide to go with that for the title?
If you go back to my earliest interviews, when nobody gave a f-ck about who I was, I told people I had a project then called Blvk Phil Collins. I felt like the music was super next level. For that project to come out now, you hear how everybody’s sh-t sounds. I guess I was right. It was nothing like what I was making, but at the same time, it was exactly what music ended up being like. That project was a long time in the making. It was like three years in the making.
So you just felt like now was the right time to release it?
I felt like, “Why not release it now?” If I waited any longer, everybody’s going to forget again that people stole a lot of sh-t from me. That’s the one thing you have to worry about. When you innovate a lot of sh-t, people often forget where it comes from.
One song I found interesting is “No Love.” You say you’re from the darkest part. Then later you mention about being a “black heel.” When I heard that, it made me think of the “bad guy” in wrestling. Was that your intent? Are you embracing a villain persona?
I didn’t want to be the villain. They made me the villain. I was always the one trying to save this sh-t, trying to save the music, trying to make it easier for people. I guess I did that, but everybody turned on me. So hell, now I am the villain.
Does that bother you? Because the last time we talked we had a real long conversation, and I got a better understanding of who you are. Then when I listened to your interview with Ali Shaheed Muhammad, I got an even better understanding of who you are as a person, not just as an artist. I don’t know if the public really sees that side of you. Do you feel like there’s been this misrepresentation of who OG Maco is?
Yeah, it has been. It does bother me. That’s the only thing that does bother me. If I was waiting on people to tell me the music was good… I know the music is better than 99% of the music that’s out. So I’m not worried about that. But the fact that people make me into this person and I’m the exact opposite person... I help everybody around me. I do nothing but encourage people.
So the fact all of those qualities and the actual person I am gets lost in click-bait headlines, it is quite annoying. Especially when I see all this fake sh-t going on and people who have nobody’s interest but their own being in the headlines for different sh-t is really wild. When all I’ve tried to do from the beginning is make the game more successful, more friendly, and more easy.
Do you feel like you’ve done that?
Have you turned on the radio lately?
I don’t really listen to the radio.
Right now it sounds like anybody can be a rapper. That’s why everybody’s trying to rap because now the game is so accessible and so easy. It seems like anybody could do it. I remember there was a time when people said, “If OG Maco can make it, I can make it.” And I’m pretty sure almost all those people can’t make music like I can. They can’t make a “No Love.” Maybe they can make a “U Guessed It.” But can they make a “No Love”? I highly doubt it.
I saw a tweet that you sent out where you were saying how you caught heat for coloring your hair, but now there are all these rappers out now that are dyeing their hair and it seems to be acceptable.
Preferred even. People have the shortest memories. I remember people saying, “Who is this f-cking clown? He’s a joke. He got that Jell-O hair. Who does he think he is?” People said all that sh-t. I was supposed to be some f-cking weirdo guy. All of a sudden… Now, find me a rapper whose hair isn’t blonde or green or red or purple or blue or something. Find me one.
But I was the only one and nobody wanted to speak up for me. Everybody just wanted to call it weird. You just seen people’s hair slowly change. I damn near got Odell Beckham on the sh-t because now everybody looks like him. And he looks like me. People always want to say I don’t know who the f-ck I am, and they live exactly like me. So maybe I know who I am and they don’t know who the f-ck they are.
You release a lot of music. You’ve been working on your debut studio album [Children Of Rage]...
I haven’t been working on it. It’s done.
So it’s finished?
It’s been done for two years.
When we spoke last year, you said you were really proud of the album and you felt it would be a shock to the system. So is it the same version you had then?
Nah, it’s the same version with a few extras. And I made two more albums. Three, if you count Blvk Phil Collins.
How do you decide which tracks you’re going to use for an EP, which tracks you’re going to use for your album, or which tracks you’re going to put out as loosies?
They pick themselves. Even with me and Kino [Beats], when we decided to do OG Maco 2, we just wanted to do it. I remember having a conversation with some kids. I was like, “Y’all don’t understand. It’s a systematic thing. If I wanted to bring in 600,000, 700,000 plays at any time, I could. It would take nothing for me to do it.”
That’s what I did. I made the music that the people obviously want me to make. What do they do? They flow to it like a moth to a flame. They were right on it - 100,000 plays in one day. So people ask how do I put this on that. I don’t. I just know what I want to make and what I want to put it together as. And I know what people want to hear because people are really simple, as much as they don’t want to hear that.
If they wanted it to be expansive and deep, then those tracks I put out like “Prayer Line” - where you actually have to think about what I’m talking about - would be the tracks they gravitate toward. But instead, they gravitate toward “Who Got The Clout,” “Talkin That Sh-t,” and “Im A D-ck.” That’s what’s easy for them to f-ck with. That’s easier to do than having to accept what I’m talking about on a deeper track.