“That’s why they don’t be buying people music
See, we keeps it real, and we always gon’ keep it real
You can’t knock what’s real, you know what I’m saying?
We telling the truth, man”
– Ason “Unique” Jones A.K.A. Old Dirty Bastard
Hate it or love it, the ability to access more information than ever before presents both the risk and opportunity for exposure. Oddly enough, from the standpoint of a music artist, the greatest risk is not taking advantage of this opportunity. One man that took no such risk is Mach-Hommy. Probably known best for his album Haitian Body Odor (HBO), Young Mach, has used his catalogue and the power of “the internet” as a launch pad to a very unique position.
As a Newark, New Jersey native of Haitian descent, he plays seemingly close to his roots, constantly uttering lines of what seems to be Haitian Creole throughout his music. If you are thinking, “that sounds weird”, you are right. Saying the first time you hear Mach is, “awkward” would be an understatement, but there is something seemingly viral about his flow. Borderline monotone, his words fester and his sound courses. All the while he never deviates from his style. Yet and still, his music is anything but one dimensional. Perhaps that’s the allure. From inception it is crystal clear that he is one of a kind. Sure, sure, in the most general sense his subject matter is aligned with that of classical slang rap, but he is actually reminiscent of nothing we’ve ever heard. There is only one Mach. You cannot recreate his sound, nor should you try to (as I would have to imagine one would be destined to fail). For starters, statistics alone makes it very unlikely you speak Creole, but more importantly, why would you want to sound like another artist?
To some it may seem Hommy appeared out of thin air, but with so much media and so many different outlets such is the nature of content consumption these days. The truth is, he was a Griselda Records affiliate, and has been featured on quite a few different projects with Westside Gunn and Conway. On the track Tunnel Vision he almost mockingly says, “try it, try it – go head try it – Griselda on the bag man, buy it”, and that’s how quickly it happens. In many respects you don’t see him coming, and then with one listen you are hooked. You have no choice, you can’t find anything else like it. That is the type of product he supplies, and with the amount of music he has banked there is plenty more of the same quality to go around. Which is the real point here.
Like a Haitian Sinatra he’s doing it his way. He has always kept it real, and while the mainstream riches may never be attainable going this route, his authenticity has undoubtedly earned him the most valuable commodity – the loyalty of his fans. In concrete business terms, this dude legitimately found an underserved market and delivered a differentiated product to meet those demands. Truth be told he very well may have created his own market (or lane as a spoken word affiliate Keshia Plum says). Whatever the case may be, if for nothing else, this poet that raps shows that when it comes to music there is no such thing as a lane, just great quality.
New Jerusalem’s own, Lauryn Hill once said, “Two MCs can’t occupy the same space at the same time”, and thanks to the internet they don’t have to. Today, artist independence is both encouraged and appreciated. What separates the winners from the losers is pretty much what separates the real from the fake. That is why Miss. Hill’s point still applies. There has never been a better time to be original, and Mach-Hommy is an ode to this.
Mach-Hommy’s Haitian Body Odor album.
Interview w/ Tyron Perryman of Casa de Lowrey Tea & Converse : Mach Hommy