A conversation with Meddafore for the release of “All Out Together” ft. Pad Thai Soundsystem)

Our artist of the day, Meddafore, blessed our ears thanks to his delivery “All Out Together” in collaboration with Pad Thai Soundsystem.

The Philly-based legend who has been more than productive since the last few years, a real musical phenomenon, deserves a well-deserved place among the most creative.

“All Out Together” offers a breath of air between hip-hop, hard-hitting beats and vanguard hooks. A great team effort with Pad Thai Soundsystem.

Listen to it right now and Rendez-vous below to read our conversation with Meddafore.

Welcome! Tell us who you are and how you started to make music?

Thanks so much for this, hope you, everyone and everything in Paris and Berlin are safe, healthy and doing well. I also love that hip-hop has taken it this far. I’m Meddafore, which it feels like now, that I’ve been called Meddafore or Med forever. When I started college, it was weird to get called by my actual name more often. Came up with the name young from when we had to read The Poetics by Aristotle and he wrote “The greatest thing by far is to have a command of metaphor. This alone cannot be imparted by another; it is the mark of genius, for to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblance.” Sounded like a super power of words to me, originally it was AM/PM, which besides wanting to rhyme all of the time, stood for the Absent Minded Professor of Metaphors (pretty sure I came up with at least 10 other things it could stand for). I think everyone I was around at that time had long rap names or AKAs. Haha, I dunno. In high school though, and after having to explain it on radio appearances (shout to DJ Ran/Power 99), I shortened it to a phonetic type spelling and have been Meddafore ever since. I grew up in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, went to The University of Miami and I’ve been in the same spot in NYC (Lower East Side/Chinatown/Two Bridges) for the past nine years. I started rhyming/writing when I was extremely young, maybe around 8 or so, then I remember freestyling at lunchtime in middle school (haha, word to Bancroft), with either someone beatboxing or banging on the tables. I’ve always been an emcee, first and foremost, battles, cyphers, rapping in the basement with my friends for hours upon hours upon hours, etc. I’ve also been a dj, award-winning mixtape dj (same management as Em & D12,) plus – part of some of the top dj crews and worked with and dj’d for countless artists, big name and independent), writer for well-known magazines and websites, I’ve done promotions work, I’ve done A&R work, I’ve done management work, and so much more, I’m sure that I’m forgetting right now, there are not too many things in the music industry that I’m not well-versed in.

What inspires you to write and create?

Confidence and life, usually. I grew up as and am still a fan of emcees who can be aggressively clever like Craig G., Redman, Jay Z, Royce da 5’9”, Black Thought – actually, most of the Philly fam I have inspired me in one way or another. I’m an overthinker, so, I’m not just going to say something just to say something. I always want to attack like words are weapons and I’m ready for war. I value those who have worked on their craft to the point where you are excited to go back and replay again and again to catch things you might have missed the first few times, like a real ill movie would. I respect passion and intelligence. This year has knocked me off my square though and it’s a daily question to myself of “who am I anymore?” or “what does future me look like?” I had COVID, then pneumonia from COVID, a lot out of outside stress that weighed me down and other health issues. I’ve been on an angry and sad boy vibe, while it’s been therapeutic to write it out, that’s not the type of stuff I want to release, repeat and relive. I’ve always thought Obie Trice, Joe Budden and Royce were good at opening up, without it being whiney or depressive. I’m not there yet, with these emotions, but, there is a lot in me to get out in a lot of different directions, so, the well is far from dry.

What is your creative process?

Lines will randomly pop in my head, so, I usually just save them in drafts, go over and edit a lot, then piece them in where they make sense and build around it. I would rather just write out a verse and place it where it fits or have a topic and go hard at it. I’m not a huge fan of… here’s the beat, write to it. That beat might pull out a different vibe from me, then the song is supposed to be about. Anytime Pete Rock, Evidence, Alchemist, Level 13 and neck-breaking producers drop instrumental albums, I can just walk around, listening and it will make things click in my brain for other projects. If there is ever writer’s block, that’s my go-to. Plus. Shanti has infinite years of beats in his catalog. 

Can you tell us more about your latest release?

The single that’s out now on all platforms, “All Out Together” featuring Pad Thai Soundsystem (produced by the1shanti aka Brooklyn Shanti) on Someplace Called Brooklyn / Soulspazm. Its reach and the love it receives continues to expand and it still catches me off guard. I recorded my verse in my living room, hanging out with Shanti and Geechi Suede (Camp Lo), on a laptop. It was just one of my favorite verses, I feel like I’ve been spitting forever, Shanti dropped his beat and we just locked it in. It was just a dope beat, dope verse and we all went out and had a dope night. It wasn’t until like maybe 7-8 months later, COVID was impacting everywhere, shutdowns worldwide, people were dying, anti-Asian hate was rising, police were still killing Black people, the world was in such a dark place, not shining right now either (COVID still here, people still dying daily, police still taking lives and the world’s not where a majority of us want it to be at) – but, that night, I was on a Zoom call with Shanti and we wanted to add some type of hope and positive energy to the world. Wrote up and recorded the hook, then it just made perfect sense to have Pad Thai Soundsystem (Bangkok, Thailand) on it. It felt so natural to connect and do our small, tiny part to combat the negativity around us all. When good people with good hearts and good intentions get together… it can lead to great things. I would never say I’m a happy, cheery rapper, but, that night – I needed some type of light in my life, that’s where it really became a song and not just a verse. Shanti did his wizard work and we created some magic.

What do you plan for the future?

I’ve missed out on three opportunities that really mattered to me this year, because of health or whatever. I plan on making up for lost time and it’s just way overdue for me to do more. I would like to have, at least, two more songs out, before this year ends. I look forward to working with Shanti and, hopefully, many of my talented friends, for the official debut EP or album, hopefully, with an early/mid 2022 release, on Someplace Called Brooklyn/Soulspazm. I have always, found collabs exciting, even a fan – so, ideally, I want to connect a lot more globally, after that. There is an abundance of talent that I listen to and talk to, from around the world, from Hong Kong to the UK to I could keep I naming places on and on. I want to bridge those gaps. I really want to do my part to end where people hear you and say “oh, you’re a lyricist,” in a weird, like all you can do is boom-bap material, way. I can excel at that, but, also, anything you throw at me, I am going to smash and devour. I will still do it with wit and bars. Forever Fam’s in here.