Baltimore’s Mack Scott released a summer sounding album in “Summer Was Crazy” and while it may not fit the seasonal tone now, I guaranteed this project will brighten up your day. After his release we had a chance to sit down with the Baltimore hero, to talk about creating the album, being yourself and the importance of Baltimore in hip-hop.
Dead End Hip Hop: For those who don’t know still, who is Mack Scott?
Mack Scott: I think what’s important to know about me outside of my biography is that I really love music yo. Music has done so much for me in improving the quality of my life. I always joke with people and say hip hop lowkey raised me like a parent; it might come off weird but if you think about how much knowledge and values we’ve extracted from our art over time you start to realize how much this shit is engrained in us.
To actually answer the question though, Baltimore born and raised, creator of some really groovy shit. Simple as that.
DEHH: Tell me a bit about growing up in Baltimore and how you got into hip hop?
MS: Even though Baltimore doesn’t have a famous hip hop culture yet; it was a major part of my growing up. Me specifically, I come from a hip hop family. Both of my parents and my brother were and still are avid hip hop heads. Sh*t, I even remember my grandmother beating the 92q line down trying to win Hard Knock Life tour tickets. All my friends were the same way. We all know growing up in Baltimore has its challenges, hip hop was one of those few things that brought us a sense of community.
When I was young my dad had to go away on a bid, so the one thing of his things that I got left with to hold on to was his CD collection. I was like 11 or 12 with at least 500 CDs in my room and the majority of it was rap. Thumbing through those is what really made me fall in love with hip hop, especially G-Funk, it was a lot of West Coast shit in there.
DEHH: How did you go from a fan of hiphop to a creator?
MS: Creating for me started at a very young age. When I was young my neighbor had a keyboard in the crib because she baby sat kids, the first thing song I ever played on that keyboard was Ruff Ryders’ Anthem, me and my man’s sat there for hours figuring out them chords. From there I joined the band, toyed around with a couple different instruments for some years and by the time I got to the 7th grade I was writing raps. The first track I ever recorded was a “Suck it or Not” freestyle, yes it was terrible, but making it was mad fun. Since then I’ve just been working on the craft, I dropped my first mixtape in 2011 under the name Phenom. People send me songs from that shit all the time and its crazy how fast time moved and how far I’ve come since then. A few of my family members were heavy into the scene too, so the inspiration was always there for me to get into it for myself.
DEHH: You recently dropped your album “Summer Was Crazy” what was the inspiration behind?
MS: My entire inspiration behind Summer Was Crazy is that 2000’s Neptunes sound. I listened to a whole hell of a lot of Pharrell collabs with Jay and Snoop getting in the mind frame to make this joint. Pharrell is my favorite producer ever, so this was my first attempt at capturing that vibe. I’d like to think I paid proper homage to him but that’s not up to me to decide lol. I was also able to pull a lot from real life experiences, with a lot of these songs I wanted to create moments and paint pictures for the person listening, it’s a lot easier to do that when you’ve actually lived the moments you’re rapping about.
DEHH: You did an incredible job of capturing and keeping the summer vibes consistent throughout the whole project. How long did it take you make this and how were able to be this consistent?
MS: Summer Was Crazy took me about 3 months to finish from writing to having the final product. It was actually the shortest amount of time it’s ever taken me to start and finish a project and it’s really because I was finally able to stop overthinking shit. As an artist it’s so easy to fall into that trap of chasing perfection and I was finally able to let it go, trust in what I was making and have genuine fun doing it.
As far as being consistent the producers I worked with made it really easy for me. With the exception of 1st and 15th, the rest of the producers on this project are really my bros so it was very easy to execute ideas. I’ll always value working with my people over big names for that reason, chemistry is so valuable man.
DEHH: How crazy was your summer?
MS: This past summer was a very washed summer for me I’m not even gonna front lol. I spent the majority of it working on the craft. I’m okay with that though, you put in the work now to relax later.
DEHH: I feel there’s so much pressure to capture a certain sound or follow a certain trend. Can you talk about the importance of paving your own way and being yourself in this space?
MS: Being yourself isn’t something that’s just important to me but it’s something I take a whole hell of a lot of pride in. I touched on it a little bit in the first question but this music thing is not about a check for me. Having this outlet to be able to express myself creatively and openly has literally gotten me out of the lowest of lows and I will forever appreciate that and it wouldn’t be possible if I wasn’t using this space to be myself. I tell everybody I communicate with that does this that the music business is grimy man, following a gimmick might get you a quick check, but when that dries up you end up right back where you started and all dudes have to show for it is a chain. You shouldn’t want to prescribe to that. Success is a lot more enjoyable and failure is a lot less painful when you go at things your own way, forreal.
DEHH: When people are done listening to “Summer Was Crazy” what do you want them to walk away with?
MS: I want people to walk away feeling good. Seasonal depression is a real thing; I hope this project can help somebody fight that. People don’t get a lot of music like this during this season. It’s upbeat, it’s fun, and its genuine happy music. I also want people to walk away knowing they have to come back to what I do next because this is honestly just the beginning of where I want to take my sound.
DEHH: I’ve heard a number of stories from Baltimore in terms of the hiphop culture can you talk to me about you the city fits into the grand scheme of hiphop. Because I feel Baltimore is a hotbed for talent.
MS : In my opinion Baltimore fits perfectly into all that is a part of hip hop culture. Whether it’s the actual creation of music, hooping, skating, fashion, there’s talent and genius all over the place. What’s holding us back is having that major outlet that genuinely cares to see us win, and artists having that same energy towards each other. The crabs in the bucket thing isn’t unique to our city but it’s really prevalent here. I think that we’re starting to see more and more artists have some success, which is great, it just means that things are finally starting to shine through.
DEHH: 2019 is right around the corner will we be hearing from you next year? What do you have in store?
MS: Expect a lot of music from me in 2019. My goal for myself as an artist is to work on being more consistent and just continue to let things fly. For those that don’t know, I’m a part of a group called NWO (New Wave Order) with my brothers Verze and Shwaze Collins; we’re definitely way overdue for our project as a unit so I would definitely say to expect that Q1. Aside from just music, my Brunch Gods (@thebrunchgods on IG) brothers and I are really looking forward to having a strong 2019 for our brand. 2019 is about more. More knowledge, more content, more growth as an entrepreneur. I’m really looking forward to it.