New York City is the famed birthplace of hip-hop. Over the years, many illustrious rappers like Rakim, Nas, Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., Wu-Tang Clan, Immortal Technique, and Action Bronson have emerged from its bustling streets. Another artist yearning to join their ranks is up-and-coming rapper Danny Matos. Born and raised in the NYC, the budding MC has dreamed of succeeding in the hip-hop game since his teenage days. Now, he is one step closer to achieving his dream with the recent release of his debut album The Tarmac.
Danny Matos began his career as a musical artist in 2012. His debut EP Hangar, released late last year, was well-received by critics and his growing fan base. In addition to being a rapper, Matos is also a poet and writer. He has conducted numerous writing workshops, participated in several poetry competitions, and was even a two-time finalist in the Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam Competition. Such creative expertise and careful observation provide the fuel for Matos’ latest project, released this past August.
Danny Matos Bears It All On His Debut LP
The opening track “Fought The Devil” serves as the first example of his unique style of conscious hip-hop. Clacking drumbeats and booming breakbeats create a steady, pacing rhythm. Decked on top of them are trilling synth loops and driving guitar loops. Against this minimalist soundscape, Matos dishes out blunt, honest rhymes about his battles with depression. For instance, lines like “Inside this faulty head of mine that I just no longer hear / I get obsessed with time, how I wasted so many years” highlight how Matos’ issues have previously hampered his ambitions. The “devil” he’s fighting is the inner turmoil inside his own head. Meanwhile, vocals from singer Joie Giordano add lush harmonies that sharpen the message of this sobering track.
In “Too Soon,” Matos chronicles his experiences with heartbreak. Lyrics shared between him and guest vocalist Taylor like “I don’t want to be scared / To get to know you deep” reflect on the anxiety and fear of commitment that can dismantle a couple’s relationship. Throughout the song, he examines such swirling emotions in an attempt to gain clarity. Then, in “Dice,” Matos does some old-school swaggering. Striding guitar loops, a resonant bass line, and pounding drums and cymbals make up the instrumentation of this track. All the while, rhymes such as “Doing this until I’m 86 / And I’m appalled by half of y’all greatest hits” display his determination.
With the track “Red Carpet Globe (Animus),” Matos criticizes society’s view of women. For example, the lines “I feel bad, everything you do now / Is scrutinized before the truth’s out” shows how people always find a way to condemn women. In the following track “Stay Together (Anima),” he flips the script and looks at society’s view of men. In particular, Matos notes how men struggle to fulfill the stereotypical gender roles assigned to them. Both tracks possess a ruminative tone and showcase his lyrical finesse at analyzing heavy, complex subjects.
Thus, The Tarmac demonstrates that Danny Matos certainly possesses the skill and resolve to make it as a successful rapper. The only lingering question is when his next project is due to come out.