M.A.V, one of the “DaCloth” crew’s generals
ThrowUp Magazine had the pleasure to interview M.A.V (a.k.a Maverick Montana), one of the founders of the “DaCloth” crew: The Rochester (N.Y) based hardcore-street rap squadron, in these last years, has established itself as one of the hardest and underestimated collective in the American Hip Hop scene. M.A.V revealed to us the mind-set and motivations that push him and the DaCloth movement to represent the darkness of the streets and he teased some of the crew’s upcoming projects.
Hi M.A.V! Thanks a lot for this interview. We are thrilled for the opportunity, as we really love your grind and the dope music you released this year. We hope you’re feeling good despite this pandemic time.
Anyway, on the artistic side, along this year you seem to be in excellent shape and really inspired… Indeed, you already released some fire projects: “Angelz And Demonz 2”, “The Dark Side of The Nature” with Rob Gates and produced by Big Ghost and this last one, “Hoodlum” with the british producer Giallo Point. Where did you get the motivation and inspiration lately ? On the other hand, what about your musical journey over the years? How did it evolve? What M.A.V stands for?
My motivation simply came from knowing I have the ability to do this on a consistently high level and do it any time I want to do it. The rule book has been thrown out so there’s no said amount that is enough as long as it’s all of good quality. Kind of like money!
As for the journey I’d say it’s been a steady rise for me, it’s all about familiarizing the audience with yourself as an artist. They’ll either like you or they won’t but they’ll know you. In my case I’ve continued to build a steady fan base and that’s helped along the way. I’ve made it my business to do music with the producers I’ve met from other countries more, so than the ones I’ve in my own backyard for the simple fact that I can reach a broader audience by doing so in my opinion.
Sort of a way to bridge gaps between fan bases through the music.
M.A.V. Is an acronym for Money and Violence. Those are two things that are well respected anyplace you set foot on.
You, the rest of the Da Cloth crew and several other dope MCs, as 38.Spesh or Eto, all come from Rochester (N.Y), and y’all are pushing forward this “renaissance” of the hardcore grimey street rap, that the game has been missing for a long time…So what’s flowing in Rochester’s waters? (Lol)
Jokes aside, how is the life in Rochester from your personal experience? Indeed, from your vivid rap we perceive the darkness, coldness and roughness of the Rochester streets. Is Rochester really a dark place like that? In your opinion, why this strong and angry rap movement has emerged from this small N.Y. Upstate town?
Life in Rochester is truly what you make it or you make of it. Don’t think for one minute the sun doesn’t shine here, you have to consider the circumstances some of us rose from.
Everyone can’t tell the stories we tell from an artist’s standpoint. Rochester is a small place so if it’s dark where you from then you’ve seen or been involved in some things that the average person has seen on television or heard about on the news. But I currently live in a prominent suburban neighborhood about 30 minutes outside of where I was raised. The people in my neighborhood are nothing like what I grew up seeing; they have different issues that are hidden well.
The darkness in our music comes from being involved and being able to tell real tales that listeners and practitioners in our city and other cities around the world can feel, due to them being very real and descriptive. Only the ones who’ve been there can tell them the way we tell them.
As kids we don’t know shit or we know too damn much and that’s a gift and a curse. You can live comfortably even in the grittiest areas depending on your level of comfort. Or you can partake and make it uncomfortable as we did in most cases. We did wrong to get comfortable and that made life uncomfortable for some.
You are a member of the DaCloth crew, alongside Rigz, Mooch, Rob Gates, Symph and Tekk9, correct? We think that the DaCloth is one of the most promising, talented and underestimated rap crews nowadays… What’s the meaning and the story behind the DaCloth “brand”? Can you tell us something more about it?
I’m one of the founding members of DaCloth, You forgot to mention Illanoise and TimesChange! Tekk:9 isn’t a member of DaCloth, he’s definitely cut from it though. His history musically runs parallel to some of your other favorites from the town.
DaCloth’s meaning is centered around family and durability! The estimated lifespan of a 100 dollar bill is 22.9 years, it’s handled disproportionately less than the smaller denominations, although it’s value is significantly more. The lifespan of the smaller bills is significantly less as well, so when you take something like DaCloth with great value it’ll be around for a long time.
Feel me? Basically we were already doing work with each other and decided to team up moving forward. The strength in numbers mentality has worked for us as a whole and as individuals we’ve all benefited from working from under the same umbrella.
You have recently collaborated with some big names among the underground producers as Big Ghost, and he was really pumped about your project with Rob Gates “Dark Side Of The Nature”. How did you link up? And how it came about?
If I’m not mistaken he showed interest during the recording of “Only Way Out” with Rigz and Mooch. I let Gates know and of course we were honored to be in the position we were in to have him wanting to do a project with the two of us. The me and Gates situation was one, a lot of eyes had been on for quite some time prior to us giving the audience that offering.
You are on fire and also really prolific lately but your lyrics are always deeply thought…How is it your approach into the Studio? While writing or spitting your lyrics, what did you get inspired by?
Life itself is the inspiration to everything I write. Art imitates life, they say!
So my approach is always an honest one I write the shit you wouldn’t normally talk about. The shit that you’d be ashamed to speak about. In doing so, I know I can reach others who have gone through the same situations and that’s a connection between me and that particular listener that’s deeper than the entertainment value of the music.
I’m no studio rat so I come prepared, I usually knock out 3 to 5 joints on average but I may only go to the studio twice a month. Occasionally I cook on the spot but I like to write during the witching hours like 3 am. That may be the reason for some of that darkness
From your point of view, Which is one of the project that represents you the most or that you recognised as your best one? Why? So far, we think “Angelz And Demonz 2” is still one of the best projects of this year…
That would be the G.O.D. Project! I mention it because it’s been done for over a year with videos shot for it and all! I say it best represents me due to the fact that I give you more of me on it and it covers a lot of bases. The streets, family, triumphs and failures and that pain whether it’s endured or self-inflicted! And I mean that in a sense of pain that my moves and actions may have caused me more so that some suicidal shit. I didn’t want that taken out of context, trust me life is good.
May give it to you before the year’s end but A&D3 (Angelz & Demonz 3) is scheduled to drop in December to cap the year off.
While you and your associates are pushing the real aspects of the street life , like its real dark sides, consequences and burdens, nowadays, on the opposite side, it seems that the majority of the listeners of this genre are tricked by a lot of fake stories and miserable behaviours pushed by the social and mainstream media…How do you feel about this situation? What keeps you motivated to stick to your music and plans ? In your opinion, how and why the industry reached this point where snitches are being idolized and followed?
You have to consider the source that’s giving you the information.
Most media outlets are reporting it but from the outside looking in, not from being there from start to finish. It’s always someone saying something, but I look at it like this, if you had your family up for days on end worrying because you were playing those streets! You don’t need to be validated by some artist someplace. Plus with there being so much distance between the listeners and the artists in most cases, artists have been able to reinvent themselves and tell the stories and play the characters that they want to play in front of the audience.
Artists throw subs but there’s never a direct confrontation about who’s fronting and who’s not. My take on it is, if you’re a rapper from my town who’s hit me up cause you needed muscle or cried on my shoulder you don’t get a say! And the streets have a way of weeding the ones who were never in them out. If you’re still not outside it may take a little longer but it’ll happen when it’s supposed to happen. I know where the bodies are buried so I don’t worry about those types of things. I stick to the music I make because if I rapped about me purchasing stock options while Gates was recording verses for “Dark Side of Nature” that wouldn’t be that entertaining although very real.
I make the type of music I like to listen to and I occasionally sprinkle some personal shit in there that I normally wouldn’t share just so you know life isn’t all bad over here.
As for the whole snitching thing the streets are the blame for that. The streets haven’t dealt with snitches the way they used to and it’s as if snitches have continued to get a pass once they’ve touched the soil.
With that being said the industry is a vehicle and the vehicle sends messages that are widely received. Those who stand on something will honor the original unwritten
codes but the weaker ones will adjust and accept things once looked down upon. Money makes people forget things and if a snitch gets to the money people will forget the prior transgressions due to that financial lifeline.
Plus occasionally you get a snitch who got a few confirmed kills and a body will change a nigga mind quicker than a few dollars.
Except from your clan, would you love to collaborate with any other rapper for a full album? And What’s your biggest ambition in this rap game so far?
I like Smoovth, Hu$ Kingpin, Eddie Kaine, Roc Marci and Bubrock, them nixxas be talking slick. Outside of that it would be my guy Jai Black from Eto’s camp. He’s by far my favorite artist from the town and I’ve already said that.
As far as ambitions I just go with the flow and I stir up the waters in my favor from time to time because I understand that I don’t have to go with the flow. I can push the issue at any given moment but I’d like to leave a dope musical legacy more so than anything. What’s for me is for me!
Aside from the rap thing, how do you spend your days off? For example, we saw that Rigz is really focused on training…what about you?
Most of my days are off days when it comes to music lol. I have a wife and kids so their constant elevation is major for me. I rarely give a glimpse into my personal life outside of music. You’ll even notice when the cameras are on I do the least talking.
I’m a traveler and I’ve been way out of my element by being stationary the last few months due to the current pandemic. I had to get several trips abroad refunded so that would be my guilty pleasure right there
Do you have any further projects for the rest of this year ending it up strongest as it began? Furthermore, shall we expect anything else from the rest of the crew? Does it ever show up a full Da Cloth tape?
Being very picky with what I personally release. As I stated earlier I may drop G.O.D. (Glory or Death), but as of right now it’s looking like “Angelz and Demonz 3” is gonna finish the year off which is my final installment of that series.
Mooch dropping August 14th, Rigz hasn’t dropped yet either so expect that as well.
DaCloth tape is currently being mixed and mastered so it may drop at any minute. Highly anticipated so we wanted to do it right for y’all.