The next music warrior on the rise out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is 22-year-old Hip Hop/Experimental artist Matt Ford. Also going by the moniker “Young Fidel,” Ford is ready to lead an auditory revelation that will alter the state of the culture.
Ford has been grinding on the underground scene in his hometown for several years, but he recently offered his first official strike with his debut EP Dwelling. The 11-track manifesto abandons the typical model of modern rap projects. The arrangement, production, and subject matter on Dwelling are representative of Fidel’s aim of unraveling the current system.
Matt Ford connected with DZI: The Voice to chat about Dwelling, his artistic influences, the power moves he would make, and more.
Yohance Kyles: When did you discover your voice as an artist?
MF: I would say around 15. Decided I wanted to be a righteous outlaw. Been chasing that idea ever since.
YK: What was it about Hip Hop that attracted you to the culture?
MF: I feel like as a black man, it’s the only thing that always told my story. Me being born in a generation of wild motherfuckers, rap/Hip Hop is like rock to me . I fell in love with the idea.
YK: Why did you take on the nickname “Young Fidel”?
MF: Fidel Castro is such a misunderstood man. He is this rebel who stands for his people. I’m all about that shit. I don’t want the world to cut me off or go and think I’m a communist or some shit. I’m just a nigga who loves the people, cause they are the only ones who can help me win these art wars.
YK: You often hear artists say their first full project took their entire life up until that point to create. Do you feel that way with Dwelling?
MF: Hell no. Dwelling was a new me. It took some time, but not my whole life. Dwelling was a draft of one of my masterpieces… a mere draft.
YK: Songs on Dwelling don’t follow the traditional 16 bar-hook-16 bar structure. Why did you decide to be so free-flowing when it came to how your songs were structured?
MF: To discovery yourself as an artist you got to destroy all structures. A great artist can capture minds by being unorthodox. A free spirit with little or no bounds. I plan on being that nigga till a check. Be on the wave or make your own type shit.
YK: On the song “Shade” you talk about the lost of a friend. Can you speak on the situation that inspired that song?
MF: It’s more like lost of a brother. He was murdered. Tyshon was a warrior – went out like one, stabbed in the heart by some weak nigga. I was gonna call him that night too. Haven’t met a realer homie yet.
YK: You have a song called “Power” where you say “I want the power.” If you had the power to change any three things in the world what would you change?
MF: I would change my situation, so I could have no limits with music. I would fund Africa, building it more powerful than the Western world. And I would sway the black community to stop murdering each other, cause it’s so much power there niggas don’t even peep.
YK: Who are some of the artists that have influenced you musically?
MF: My father, Marvin Gaye, Nas, Biggie, Tupac, Earth Wind & Fire, Funkadelics, Dizzy Gillespie, Salvador Dalí, Bansky, Akira Toriyama, Nigo, Pharrell. Some of these mothefuckers don’t make music, but they inspire a nigga.
YK: What are you favorite five albums by Philadelphia Hip Hop acts?
MF: Reed Dollaz’s A.A.P., Meek Mill’s The Real Me, The Roots’ How I Got Over, Jill Scott’s Who Is Jill Scott?, Musiq Soulchild’s first jawn [Aijuswanaseing].
Thursdays change my life
— Fidel Castro. (@OgMattFord) May 2, 2014
YK: I saw you tweeted, “Thursdays change my life.” What is it about that day of the week that stands out for you?
MF: I see the Culture every Thursday. Come fuck wit me, and I’ll show you what shit is hittin’ for.
YK: What was the last book you read from cover-to-cover?
MF: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison – wavy ass book.
YK: Do you express yourself through any other artistic mediums besides music?
MF: Yeah, I draw a bit. I’m a writer though, so I’m deep in that pussy, writing treatments and stories ect.
YK: What’s next for Matt Ford?
MF: Growth as both an artist and a man. Look for videos and more music this summer. Know I’m coming to fuck the world, and I’m coming for universal domination.
For more info about Matt Ford click it
To connect with Matt follow him on Twitter @OgMattFord
Stream Matt Ford’s Dwelling EP: