M-Dot is an Italian-American MC, producer, and engineer that grew up in the Boston area of Massachusetts. He also had aspirations on the basketball court, playing in college for BHCC, MCLA, and Fitchburg State. You can see the two intersect in his mindset on how he plays hard in the paint on the court of Hip Hop with some of the dopest artists and producers to ever grace a track. He honed his craft in the US before taking it on the road to Europe where they still heavily bump Boom Bap unlike the US where Hip Hop's tree is ever growing and expanding.
He has many awards and accolades given to him by a ton of different publications locally and nationally syndicated, like Stuff Magazine; he was voted in the Hot 100. He's had positive reviews written about his projects on publications such as the Boston Globe. He's not just a solo artist, he's also a part of the group Experimental Mind Set (don't sleep on these guys).
He's hit the world with four big albums, Run MPC (2010), egO anD The eneMy (2017), Dining In Dystopia (2022), and egO anD The eneMy 2: A Dissolute Paradise (2023). He's also been on 6 mixtapes and numerous appearances.
You have captured a wide audience probably due to your extensive touring with what I call the "Jimi Hendrix Theory", where you go to Europe to gain popularity and then back to the US to expand even further. How has this worked out all in all? Are you happy with the fruits of your labor? Is there anything you would do differently? What advice can you give to other artists trying to make the come up on building their own fanbases?
I think of groups like GangStarr going to Europe back in the day. As successful as they were they pioneered a lot of that underground audience out there. Especially showcasing a fanbase is possible for artists that weren't on daytime radio everyday. Also Jazz musicians epitomized this in the mid 1900s. Going to Europe and gaining more
Listeners when the USA wells were tapped. I'm grateful to travel and grow the music. It's humbling for sure, each time I realize I have much more work to do. My advice would be stay the course don't change who you are. Be you, that's the secret sauce. Most artists think they need to skip steps or create an image. Being yourself is more fruitful and better in the end.
When did you first grace the mic and what inspired you to do it? How did it make you feel and what was it that made you keep coming back? Was it the feeling after creating some music or was it an outlet where all the stars aligned and you could just let loose and be you?
Sophomore year of high school is when I recorded my first music. Was tracking to a cassette. Was addicted from the first moment of making music. It's an escape.
Your song arrangements are top notch whether you have someone sing the chorus, or have some scratching of a sample, or throw it all together yourself. Your intros always do justice to the project and set it up perfectly. Everything just flows seamlessly like it all fits together. How do you come up with the arrangements of all your tracks and choose the order? What helped you reach an understanding of this level to make such cohesive projects?
Those are really nice words. Thanks. Yea I take pride in aiming to make the music flow together. An album can flow like a book or a movie if done right. There is a build-up, climax, and a conclusion.
Your lyrical is dope mixed with intricate rhyme schemes, who do you credit with influencing your style? Boston, Massachusetts spawned a GOAT in Guru and you have many features and appearances with Gang Starr Foundation, where do you feel you stack up with artists out of the state of Massachusetts? How has growing up a seed in the state of Massachusetts shaped you as an artist and person?
Love being from Boston. I Rep Mass everywhere I go around the world. Big Pun was/is a huge influence. Guru for me still is the greatest from Boston, his voice and message are unmatched.
Far as where I rank....I feel I'm left off a lot of lists but that's not a bad thing. It's motivation. Despite all the major things we have done over the years and things I feel put us in the top of the class...there is always much more to do.
My favorite song from you is "Chrissy", that guitar sample and the beat just connects. The dark storytelling mixes well with the darkness of the beat. What brought you and Buckwild together? Where did the subject matter of this song come from? What are some of your favorite songs you have made and why?
"Chrissy" connects with a lot of people. I get messages about it often. The subject matter of the girl getting swallowed up hits home I'm sure for many (drug abuse etc.). Buck is really a down to earth good guy and a legend. Benefit of EMS got me that beat and connected us. Buckwild and I have another song we did for the EMS album too. Gotta release that already haha.
One of my favorite songs I've done is "Decadence" with Kool G Rap & Rev of EMS. Mastered by the best Eddie Sancho & produced by my good friend the MIGHTY VIC (original Beatnuts). Cuts by DJ Jean Maron. The concept and flow of it all together shine to me. LL Cool J & Rock the Bells spun the single for 4 months straight on Sirius XM.
You've had some fire features, Method Man, Krumbsnatcha, Camp Lo, Big Shug, Masta Ace, Akrobatik, Craig G, Edo G, Kool G Rap, Conway the Machine, Chino XL, and Willie The Kid...to name a few; you must be proud of your list. What is it like being on track with the likes of these MCs? Or maybe it is just like every day, just going to work? I don't know what is more impressive, your feature list or your production list of all those nice beats. Whose your favorite beat maker?
Each time it's exciting. Each time it's like damn I gotta have the best verse of my life next to Method Man etc. It's fuel. It's inspiring. As a lot of the artists are people I look up to (that doesn't change). My favorite producer is probably Dr. Dre. DJ Premier of course is up there. Also love Alchemist's evolving Discog continues to amaze. Dre never misses. Every song sounds SO BIG.
Your first EP out the gate was fire, "Run MPC" in 2010. It had a lot of Hip Hop royalty on that project with DJ Jean Maron. Did you guys link up on one of your European tours? What was so important about that project to your music discography? What doors did this project open up for you? How did you and DJ Jean Maron plan the project out and develop it?
We met through Rev of EMS who did a song for Jean. And then we toured France together in 2010. He came to the table with a lot of the concepts and ideas and beats. I was young and had only done mixtapes up until that point. I brought a few of the Boston artists on board. And that was that. After that album (with ego and the enemy) my goal was to have less features. To carry a project on my own more. As "Run MPC" was more of a collab album.
I know you also started your music off in the form of mixtapes and it was these that you first used to perform overseas, am I right? How did you create these mixtapes and what kind of equipment did you use? How were these experiences and what did you learn from them? What were the overall reactions to these mixtapes and how did it further you along in your creative process and what do they mean to your overall catalog? Is there any place that we can find these mixtapes?
We did a lot of the mixtapes in our college dorm. Rev and I. Mayhem of EMS too. We built a booth in the closet and recorded on "cool edit". We did it all ourselves. To this day that's always made us be more self sufficient.
The positive reactions helped us create more and more projects.
Is there anyone in the underground currently that is an up and coming artist? If so what impresses you about them? Would you ever do a single with them?
There are countless artists coming up. Can't even keep track. And definitely plenty I would work with.
What is it about doing tours that you like the most? I know there is plenty of challenges about going through with one, like being away from your daughter and your comfort zone. What do you tend to do to pass the time on tour? How often do you engage with fans outside the show as well as the artists you are performing with? What was your favorite tour you were apart of and what was it that made it so enjoyable? Was it an experience or just the overall vibe?
I enjoy touring. Performing is the best part of this whole music thing. Love seeing the world. Living is experiencing other cultures. That's really what life should be, experience things outside your comfort zone.
I miss my family immensely when I go it's usually quick and concentrated trips. Every moment I'm working while there, be it studio, writing, videos, radios, shows. I set it up to make every moment count, each country I have so many friends over the years. Very grateful for all the people in my life. Getting older the tours are now a war of attrition.
Thanks very much to M-Dot for taking the time out to do this interview. I hope you all learned something about him today and perhaps start to support his music because he is a dope artist that goes all in on his music. Peace!