Those familiar with underground and progressive parts of the culture know the name well. Despite his remarkable five year run, he’s still relatively unknown even if his popularity and accolades have grown exponentially with the release of Pray For Haiti. The album, already heralded by critics as a classic, has raised his profile even if he has yet to uncover his face.
Pray For Haiti is more than the name of his heralded album, it is also the name of his movement. A line of merchandise has already sold out on mach-hommy.com where 25% of everything went to the Pray For Haiti Trust Fund. Additionally, 20% of all proceeds from the album masters will also go directly to the Trust Fund in perpetuity. Soon, Mach plans to team up with on-the-ground organizations and create programs that focus on Haitian Creole-based curriculum development, coding and software programming, education initiatives and even literacy. Mach is not just running his mouth, he’s doing it.
He did take time to speak to Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur in part 1 of a riveting conversation that Mach-Hommy discusses his deep love and commitment to Haiti
AllHipHop: I know this is gonna sound crazy, but we’ve never talked to you before, so about yourself just just a little bit for AllHipHop’s audience.
Mach-Hommy: Cool. You know, my name is Mach Hommy. I’ve been doing this for quite some time. This latest iteration, this latest run, has been like, about five years long. You know what I mean? And it’s been pretty, pretty interesting for me, as a creator, and as a producer, and just overall. Like, even as an observer, because there’s so much of you that’s observing this stuff. As much as the public, they feel like something’s happening to them. When you’re doing this, something’s happening to you, too. But people don’t really consider what’s happening to the artists. You know what I mean?
So, I’m getting all this positive feedback, because people don’t understand like, even positive feedback is a challenge. You know, we like to always focus on the negative stuff, but even when you getting a positive response, it’s definitely something to consider. You got to have more responsibility. As far as how you interpret in the love even. The love – it’ll get you killed quicker, you know what I’m saying? (laughs)
So, that’s, you know, I’ve been releasing like tons of, you know, as they say, I’ve been dumping, you know – as “we” say. That’s another one of my little contribution to the cultural glossary, “dump, dumping.” But yeah, like, that’s all been a part of this little five year journey. With this, Mach Hommy, Dump God, Tha God Fahim, YOD, it’s been a definite treat in so many ways. And right now, 15 tapes later, I think I dropped like, 10 in one year… Right, it was something else. It was definitely, it was definitely an exercise in efficiency, I guess. Like, it was a serious workout. It was serious workout. But now we’re at this point, five years later, where I just like, I started starting to step in to these different roles. You know, obviously, with the Pray For Haiti trust fund stuff, so like, that’s kind of where I’m at right now. Like, I’ve built up a pretty strong catalogue. And now I’m stepping into the other aspects of my civic duty, as a member of my community, right?
AllHipHop: Talk to us about the Pray For Haiti Trust Fund, and what made you launch that in this climate. We complain a lot of times about how younger artists are not necessarily engaged in the community, or even reflecting what’s really going on. But this seems to be much different, especially talking about hate. Which, I don’t speak too much on, because, you know, I don’t want to get checked, but just to say that Haiti is a special place. And the, the soil is different. So, I want to be respectful of that, but also, but also be helpful. So what made you start this fund and start to shed this light on Haiti in a way that most folks haven’t?
Mach-Hommy: Okay. Yeah. And I get I get the apprehension. And, it’s order and decency. You know, I’m saying and those are all really good qualities to have, far as the way you approaching the subject. So like, I just want to take time out to thank you for even being that way. Number one, like, I think that that’s another thing, I think we need to have more thorough conversations with one another, specially, a journalist and an artist. Like we’re supposed to be like this (close). We’re not supposed to be at odds with one another. So I want to say that thank you for how your approaching this this way now.
And so, you know, to the other questions, I mean, on to the question itself. What made me go that way: it’s a work in progress. Like where I am with the music is the latest iteration in I mean, for me as as a creator, as artists, this Pray For Haiti is just the latest iteration of me performing my civic function, right? So, before it was like, like I could, you know, we really try to dig into my past, you know, my friends from when I was a teenager would tell you, the things I was organizing in my community, like for us political sh#t, like but on the ground. I’m a local, I’m not gonna filibuster. I’m not gonna give you this long winded monologue about all this Bs and (not do something.
I don’t posture like…I’m really gonna go out there and roll up my sleeves and I’m gonna do it. You not going to hear about it. Like how Cam’ron said, like,”You wasn’t there.” But ths can’t be like that anymore. Like, whether you was there or not, you’re gonna have to be made aware of what’s happening. I think I’m at a different stage. So like I say, this latest iteration of what I’m doing, I’ve had different foundations even going back to being like, you know, like a kid, like…I didn’t think I was a kid then. But I look back now and I’m like, “Man, I was really naive,” and what I thought could be done, and how I thought I could do it. My intentions are still as pure as they was back then. But like, I’m way more way more practical and way more effective, you know, what I’m saying. And whatever connections even in my own mind that I hadn’t had built before I filled them up so like, certain concepts is being able to come full circle.
I’m experiencing like mad fruition, I mean, because I can connect my abstract in tangible s### in my head with the reality and make it make something. So, I can manifest and affect real change. So, that’s that’s kind of like where we are right. The pray for Haiti fund is to full circle of this concept, and what this thing meant to me for so long. Like, how he was mentioning before, like, there’s a certain solemnity that goes along with just even mentioning Haiti, the rich history, the wonderful, beautiful people, to the just everything, the art, the food, the music. And to go a little even a little bit deeper, you know, for me, being being raised in that kind of culture, that kind of society, they begin to, they begin to give a certain level of instruction at such an early age, like you never get a chance to even analyze whether it’s too much pressure or not.
Or if it’s too heavy and night, you just do it. That’s the way they got to go in. So, you know, and it depends on what family you come from, to and like, you know, I ended up being in a very proud family, you know, I’m saying so like, before I could hold my bottle straight. I was being told what what’s expected of me.
So, taking all that stuff in, going through all the things I had to go through on the streets in a Newark district, Vailsburg, Houdaville section, all that stuff, mixing all of my different – the duality of being not only a Zoe – know, you know, not only Haitian but also very American. Like, and that’s what people are not really calculating. That’s a lot of things to figure out and work out and streamline. There’s a lot of s### they’re trying to wrangle, and make make sense, right? Even just a person experiencing, let alone be able to make an album and make people understand what it’s like for me to be these two things.