HipHopWired: Test can you take some time to introduce the world to who you are and where your origins came from for those that don’t know.
Maff Test: Maff Test, also known as Young Harvey, out of Southside Chicago.
Maff came from the old school of clocking math and test came from my view on life and that it is a test. So it’s pass or failure depending on your work ethic. That’s the whole concept of where that came from. I’m a rapper/songwriter for Hip-Hop /R&B, but I am primarily a rapper; an actual lyricist.
HipHopWired: The term “lyricist” has been used loosely as of late so what establishes a rapper as a lyricist?
Maff Test: I feel a lyricist is an artist that has actual substance to their music as opposed to just trying to make a hit record for people to dance to. They’re actually putting their heart into their work and a majority of the time it’s real life experiences and it’s cleverly put together as far as their rhyme scheme, word combinations, etc.
HipHopWired: What do you think separates you from the rest of the pack in the world of Hip-Hop?
Maff Test: I bring a sense of security. I think, not even in music but the people that we influence which is our youth because a lack of security is being uncomfortable with yourself because they are too built on being what people expect them to be. I am comfortable with being myself and bringing that forth with my music as far as actuality and just giving people real stories to hang on to. I think that they hold on to you longer when you’re giving them yourself because it’s not going to change.
HipHopWired: You have the mixtape Big Business. What else are you currently working on?
Maff Test: I got a single that was just released to the streets and the radio as well. I got a single and a street anthem that we are pushing pretty heavy right now. The single is entitled, “Come Like That” and the street anthem is called “The Definition.”
“Come Like That” is basically something that you took and made into something. It didn’t necessarily come like that whether it’s a car you bought and turned it into something custom that you wanted or a chick that could have been from the hood and you turned her onto the good life and she didn’t necessarily come like that as it is something that you did. So it’s really just putting forth effort to do something.
“The Definition” takes a loosely used profane word and gives it some definition to enlighten people a little bit on it being offensive. It defines the word “motherfu**er” and how we use it as it can be used plenty of different ways. In the record it was used in a way to show love to people that supported me through my upbringing.
HipHopWired: Have you ever reached out to media outlets such as “106 & Park” in order to generate buzz for yourself?
Maff Test: I have always kind of been the opposite of that. I’ve been offered plenty of situations to get up there and compete with other people to get my name out there or do a reality show, but that’s not what I’m into and not what I’m in it for. I’m not here to compete as far as a battle rapper because that’s not even what I concentrate on. I concentrate on expressing myself and producing good music for the people.
HipHopWired: What’s going on with your independent label, Lockout Records?
Maff Test: Lockout Records originated in 2003 and when I was thinking of a label, I wanted it to be something that had substance behind it. Lockout came from the whole concept of Chicago and as far as I could see, there’s always been friction with getting into the industry until recently and in a sense it’s been locked out. We’re the lock out state scenario and we’re trying to make the grand entrance with the label.
HipHopWired: What type of message do you try to bring with your music?
Maff Test: I’m real diverse when I come out with something. I may talk about the flashy things or the jewels because that’s what I have and I like finer things. As far as being underground for so long it’s like I’ve put every dollar that I had into music and I wasn’t getting any money back. I just put it out there. If I entered a competition where you had to pay to get in, I did it just because I like doing it. I try to put a message into my music that shows people that they are not alone in certain things that they are going through along with my own hardships along with the pros and cons in life. I try and share those where somebody can relate and show them that they can turn it into something. I am kinda well-rounded with the lyrics as far as what I have to put out there and that’s why I feel as though I have a lot more to offer than the average artist.
HipHopWired: With Jay-Z’s “D.O.A” stemming back to Nas’ Hip Hop Is Dead, how do you plan to help in creating the change that these two are trying to usher in?
Maff Test: As an artist, as far as helping to change it, I feel that to change something you have to show people better than you can tell them. I can come out with a million records and say that Hip-Hop is dead or stop doing this and that, but I feel like showing would do better.
For more information on Maff Test and to listen to more music:
For booking or media interviews: Contact Dennis Byron Management at 404-577-8800