Rappers on the Rise: OG Maco

By Peter Slattery

via Complex
via Complex

What exactly makes OG Maco an OG?

He told radio host Ebro in an interview that he calls himself an OG because he “taught all these young boys everything they know.” However, at only 22-years-old and just on the cusp of fame, that reasoning seems a little strange. Another explanation is that OG comes from his crew’s name – OGG, or Originality Gains Greatness. The latter story seems to make a bit more sense because of Maco’s biggest strength: originality.

OG Maco’s biggest break thus far in his career came after his song, “U Guessed It,” a track from his “Give Em Hell” mixtape with fellow Atanta rapper Key!, went viral on Vine. Similar to the way Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot N***a” became popular, Vine users spread Maco’s song by using a clip from the track’s hook (“bitch, you guessed it”) over and over in their seven second videos.

At three minute long, “U Guessed It” is a truly atypical rap song. For one, the beat is spare to an almost silly degree. There’s a snare, a few hi hat sounds, some sub-bass, and a piano melody so simple DJ Mustard would blush. And that’s it. In addition, Maco isn’t even really rapping on the beat, employing a sort of talk/sing/yell hybrid. The song’s low-budget music video, which was directed by Goldrush and has garnered over nine million views on YouTube, is mostly shot in hotel hallways and an elevator.

For whatever reason, the ridiculous mixture just works. In its own strange way, “U Guessed It” has become one of the most original raps songs of the year. Simultaneously recalling and defying genres like crunk, hard rock, and trap rap, “U Guessed It” and the louder songs from “Give Em Hell” and Maco’s most recent mixtape, “Live Life 2,” occupy a similar experimental space as Death Grips or early Waka Flocka Flame. You’re not sure why, but they just go hard.

OG Maco recently signed to buzzing Atlanta label Quality Control, joining an energetic roster of young rap acts like Migos. His music definitely doesn’t all sound “U Guessed It.” If you search around Maco’s SoundCloud, you’ll find more Future-esque jams heavy with auto tune and tracks where Maco is yelling, but still flowing sort of like a trappy Mystikal.

It remains to be seen how much staying power Maco will bring to the table, but needless to say he is an interesting, unique talent.

Key Tracks: “U Guessed It,” “Unleash the Kraken,” “All In 2,” “Love In The City”

Influenced By: Ludacris, Future

See Also: OG Brylan, Migos, Travis Scott

Peter Slattery is a staff writer. Email him at music@nyunews.com.

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