The History of Mach Five [Interview]
Saturday, March 9, 2013 by Team Greedmont | 1 Comment; | Category: Art, Culture, Daily Inspiration, Interview, Music, Politics, Rap, Skateboarding
A house full of laughter harmonized with great music, the smell of paint mixed with the urban dictionary definition of loud, small dogs with big barks not to mention the countless goddesses entering and exiting. The walls bleed creativity whilst positive vibrations illuminate every room. There’s inspiration everywhere your eyes can see–pure artistic chaos. This is a home fit for an artist–this is the prestigious Greedmont Mansion, and the setting for my interview with Corey Davis and A.ware better known as Hip-Hop duo Mach Five.
They’ve been knighted by Complex Magazine as one of the more worthy acts in the city of Atlanta that your attention should be undividedly engrossed in. Mach Five’s latest album Art Rap has been posted all across the interweb and drawing new fans toward their biggest project yet. Our interview starts at the beginning–chapter one before the creation of Mach Five; on a high school bus in Atlanta where marijuana and Midwestern rap roots act as the bridge that brings the two visionaries together. By the end of the interview, I had 2 hours’ worth of classic stories, revelations, and insight. Condensing it into an article short enough for a generation plagued by ADD and accustomed to only reading 140 characters wasn’t an easy task, but believe that Corey and A.ware have a story worth telling, worth reading, and music worth turning all the way up.
Corey (hailing from Columbus, OH) and A.ware (hailing from Chicago, IL) weren’t always on some “ratchet shit”– during their glorious high-school years, the two were actually in a political rap group called Thailand, their sound could be considered a descendent of rap group dead prez. With friend and producer Judah, along with another un-named partner, thus began their hip-hop ambitions. Using lunch money to fuel their studio funding–it’s safe to assume they were hungry both in the figurative and literal sense. A jazz musician turned engineer was giving them a crisp professional sound for $20 an hour, but when money was low the MacBook microphone was always a quick substitute. The group was short lived, one day Corey nonchalantly admitted that “music was just a hobby” (a sentiment he still stands by to this day), a taboo comment that was taken out of context and the un-named partner booted him from the group.
Now the year is 2008–Corey Davis’ impressive T-Shirt empire Plush .357 comes to a sad end, and he’s reunited with former partner and crime A.ware. Their mindset is different from before, the political rap mentality has been thrown into the recycle bin.
“I rather make people smile. Politicians don’t make people smile and have fun” said A.ware. Corey had a similar sentiment.
“Personally I think music should be fun. Music should make you feel good”.
This became the blueprint for the making of Mach Five. Mach Five began to rise through the ranks of Atlanta’s underground by utilizing Myspace, live performances, and distributing physical CD’s. They were deaf to the “crank dat” virus that was infecting Atlanta at the time. Instead, Mach Five was doing dubstep records and working with overseas producers. They’ve always preferred the role of tastemakers.
“Once it becomes popular we lose interest”, said Corey about their constant change in sound.
The two continue to be forward thinkers; not living in the past, nor present but the uncertain future. Their buzz hit new heights during the Ratchet Shit trilogy –music they consider a concept but it doesn’t define the group. When asked how they would define their group A.ware confessed, “One day we might want to do some pop shit. Some indie rock shit. That’s how we feel at the moment. Educate niggas. In our own secret way. The beat still going to be banging.”
Corey added, “You can’t really define it. Look at the dichotomy of us as MC’s. Every song, every album going to have certain content. That’s why the first song on Art Rap is called is ‘The Juxtaposition’. Art Rap is about life. Every song you’ll get my perspective on a subject and then his perspective. I might even use a girl’s perspective to get our point across”.
Their Yin & Yang chemistry is perfect on the album, swirling the outside world into their realm of thought without forcing any logic or ideology on the listeners. Stress levels can reach new heights when new artist begin to taste a growing interest from the public, but as they get bigger in the eye of the masses, Mach Five seems to uphold a very carefree attitude. Fun for them is just hanging with friends, performing, and inspiring. A.ware can zone out for hours, writing as if time doesn’t exist, while Corey has avatared the art world by mastering various different artistic mediums ranging from tattooing to photography, painting to graphic design. Corey is more of the definition of a renaissance man, but he’d probably prefer “visual artist”.
“If it isn’t profitable it’s a hobby,” reiterates Corey –the same comment that got him removed from Thailand. They’re artists, but also business minded and understands the value of a dollar and how to utilize their talents in various ways allowing them to rely on other avenues outside of their passion. Like the birth of the Greedmont regime.
Greedmont started with the creation of the blog GreedmontPark.com – a random idea that wasn’t intended to be big. From the their humble beginnings – Greedmont Park started with 10 writers, and have yet to stray from the essential idea of showcasing what they like. The growth was rapid, within the first year of running, Corey started shooting photography and videography which open doors for the Greedmont TV aspect, their YouTube channel. Soon the site that wasn’t intended to be big was huge, writers desired to contribute, and in 2009 they released the first issue of Greedmont Magazine, one month after moving to New York. In a world that whispers print is dying, Corey and A.ware have no intention of stopping the releases of their free, printed mags.
“We don’t care what other people are doing. We care that they have a physical copy that they can hold, touch, and hopefully link the next generation into our time frame”.
The unwavering belief in what they’re producing and representing is the epicenter of the company. The franchise continues to grow as Greedy Vintage is the latest branch that has sprouted from the Greedmont tree. Thrifting has reemerged, and Greedy Vintage will satisfy this growing fascination with fashion of times long forgotten.
“We got to be the best.” I’ve heard many rappers say these very words but when A.ware and Corey said it, I could hear the unwavering conviction in their voices – that told me that it wasn’t a cliché answer, but a dedicated and genuine promise. Independent and ambitious, their first tour last year was self-financed, 6 shows in 6 cities. They rented a van, contacted friends from all over the world, and accomplished what most aren’t able until they sign a contract with a major or any kind of management.
You can wait around for handouts or ball that hand into a fist and fight for what’s yours. Mach Five has been fighting since the days of rapping in the highschool hallways, and continue to fight as independent artists who want to conquer the biggest stages, have their music reach billion of ears, and stand before the world as the best who has ever done it. Then the world can decide who is better between the two. One of the realest quotes from my time with them comes from A.ware, “If you can’t put your last on the line for it, then you don’t want it that bad. Niggas have been at ground zero many times. That’s the best time for us to focus more. Push forward more. You don’t have anything else but this.”
If you take nothing else from this interview I want you to instill that little bit of wisdom into whatever your pursuing. This is long winded enough; so I shall leave you guys with some fun facts and great quotes from the interview. Hopefully you’ve learned a little bit about Mach Five, who Corey Davis and A.ware are as people and artist. Most importantly I hope you see that their time is coming, and that this is only the beginning.
Mach Five Fun Facts:
Before everyone was popping Mollies and sweating, Mach 5 recorded “Molly on my Tongue” with Danny Brown. Obviously feeling that the record was going to be a giant, Mach Five sent a proposal to Meka from 2dopeboyz about premiering the record, and instead of a reply the duo was surprised after searching their name on twitter that Meka misconstrued the proposal as a submission and mistakenly posted the song. After Danny Brown’s RT the fans had the records and the rest is history.
Mach Five’s “Rachet Shit” trilogy is heavily influenced by Three 6 Mafia’s earlier mixtapes when their music was driven by ratchet tales, chants and repetitive hooks (not much has changed). They’ve previously worked with Juciy J and Gangsta Boo, and plan on working with the rest of the members.
In ‘06 Atlanta had a movement that fell under the moniker “Otherground Atlanta” shedding light on talented prospects like Grip Plyaz, Proton, Janelle Monae, B.O.B and Yelawolf. Familiar names, I guess you could consider that the older brother of New Atlanta. Through performances and MySpace Mach 5 entered into the ranks of youngins to keep an eye on.
One of atlanta’s most sought after producers, DJ Burn one played over 100 beats for Mach Five during the Art of Rap production selection. 20 beats was selected and he gave the duo 3 of them. One being “Just Kickin”
Surprisingly, Corey’s Mom listens to his music. She can’t tell A.ware and Corey apart at times, and hated Rachet Shit but liked a majority of Art Rap. Corey later told us he wanted to make Rachet Shit because after performing at one of his mom parties he felt like their music could be less parent friendly. He didn’t want to be on no B2K/Drake shit.
Billy Clint is the lifestyle brand that Corey Davis is creating that will cater to Stoners and Skaters. Expect that this year.
Greedmont Park is also over the Atlanta Indiefest. One of the biggest independent hip-hop festivals in Atlanta, Georgia. They’ve showcased some of the biggest rising talents in the industry before they were household names like B.O.B, Big Sean, Amanda Diva, Mickey Factz & FKi
Mach Five sets Intangible goals for themselves. They’ve recently accomplished all the goals set in 2012 except for getting a post on Pitchfork.
Q: One thing you regret you didn’t do if the world ended in 2012:
Corey: I’d be cool. I could die right now. I’m not morbid or anything, but I’d be cool. I’ve lived my life to the fullest.
Q: Whar’s your favorite song off Art Rap?
A.ware: ”Gone on the Dayz” Feel like some 90’s shit. As a kid it’s something I would listen to. Over and over. When shit was good.
Corey: ”Blowing my mind” Fun and personal.
DOWNLOAD: Mach Five – Art Rap
[Words by Yoh Phillips]