Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Hip hop's next big superstar could be Jamaican

Published:Wednesday | April 25, 2018 | 12:00 AMAnthony Turner/Gleaner Writer
Chris Matic
Chris Matic
Chris Matic
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Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Jimmy Cliff are icons whose music is loved and adored by fans worldwide. Jamaica has also produced several successful DJs who have garnered international prominence including Sean Paul, Shaggy, Mavado, Buju Banton, Shabba, Popcaan, Spice and Lady Saw, and a host of others.

But very few Jamaicans have excelled in hip hop. Kingston-born DJ Kool Herc is credited with creating the genre in the Bronx in the '70s, while Heavy D, who was born in Mandeville, Manchester, had a successful career on MCA Records before he passed away in 2011. There is also a handful of US-born, first- generation Jamaicans like Biggy Smalls, Busta Rhymes, Chubb Rock and Safaree, who have made their name in the genre. Yet, despite striking similarities between dancehall and hip hop, no other Jamaican-born rapper have had mainstream success for the past three decades.

But Jamaican-born, New Jersey/LA-based rapper Chris Matic, maybe about to change that, as he is currently creating a buzz, seemingly on the cusp of breaking internationally and may be the first Jamaican to buck the trend.

Born Christopher Orlando McClymont in Kingston, the 24 year old dancehall DJ turned rapper, has already bulldozed his way to command the attention of hip hop's top brass Jay-Z, Puff Daddy and Nicki Minaj. He recently inked a record deal with Damion "DRoc" Butler, a hiphop veteran of over 20 years. "DRoc" is credited with nurturing the career of the Notorious B. I. G, and has close connections with Diddy, Jay-Z, Nas and Fabulous.

 

Destiny

 

"I feel like I'm watching my dreams be fulfilled by destiny" Chris Matic told The Gleaner. He continued, "It's truly an honour to represent not just myself, but also Jamaica, and our culture within the culture of Hip Hop on such a powerful platform as Invisible Bully Music. The Invisible Bully heritage is an undeniable cornerstone of Hip Hop history."

Matic has always had a passion for music. In high school he was given the name 'Matic,' for his rapid-fire delivery and melodic dancehall flow. He migrated to Toms River, New Jersey in 2008, and his passion for music soon took him to hip hop's thriving music scene in Brooklyn where he honed his skills recording demos. His ability to create lyrics on the fly, was evident on his first freestyle release 'Bad Mon Forever', recorded on Rick Ross' "BMF" riddim. He got major props in the industry when World Star Hip Hop featured him as International Artist of the Week. He garnered more visibility with singles 'Rather Be With You' and 'High High', a collaboration with Junior 'One Blood' Reid and Young J.R.

Matic's first release for DRoc's I.B. Music, is a freestyle track called Calories, done to Cam'ron and the late-great Prodigy of Mobb Deep's classic Losing Weight.

Since the song and video dropped, he has been interviewed by Jay-Z's Tidal streaming network, and Sean 'Diddy' Combs' Revolt TV. He snagged a feature in XXL Magazine, and is one of 10 contenders vying for the 2018 XXL Freshman cover issue, which has been the launching pad for hip hop's rising stars and future talents to watch. His new video is prominently featured on Rap Radar.

He will release a "Free 3-Pack" a three pack of "Freestyle" paying homage to 90s New York hip hop and is recording new music for an upcoming EP as well.