Charleston, South Carolina offers more than horse-drawn carriages, cobblestone streets and Spanish moss trees. There’s a burgeoning art scene within the city limits -- one that has had rapper Matt Monday in a stronghold since his days as a choir boy. Outside of soul and funk at the homes of select relatives, the Charleston native wasn’t exposed to much secular music at all. “I didn’t even start listening to rap until I was about 12,” he reveals. “The first album I ever had was one of Juvenile’s... Soulja Rags. And Soulja Slim’s Soulja 4 Life.” He saw the parallels between life in Nawlins as told by the two N.O. pioneers and his own day-to-day observations in Charleston and that was it -- Matt Monday was almost instantly committed to finding his space in the music. On Sundays, he found his light outside of his grandmother’s neighborhood church. “There was time between Sunday school and the actual service so I would leave and run down to the basketball court while people would congregate and have cyphers there,” Matt recalls with a chuckle. “So I would run down, get my raps off and run back to church. I would run down in a suit. That’s how I got my first rap name Righchus.”
Sometimes, when passion is involved, life introduces you to the most ideal opportunities and people -- even if things don’t necessarily happen as planned. About two years after Matt discovered rap for himself, he applied to a performing arts school. He auditioned for the
institution’s music program but wound up being accepted as a drama major instead. Still, the young artist was in the ideal place to add learned skill to his raw talent for music. The school offered a Music Technology course and Matt studied how to engineer, mix and
master projects. He learned how to produce tracks and started to create mixtapes. “90% of my homeboys were dope boys and street dudes,” Matt shares. “I was never really into that because I was at school most of the time working on production until 7, 8 o’clock at
Word spread amongst the eight high schools in the Charleston area. “People from other schools were starting to recognize me as being an actual artist.” This momentum continued on to USC Upstate where Matt was enrolled. Music was still at the forefront and after recording one song with a friend and randomly performing at parties around the campus, his buzz grew even more and Matt garnered the support of another person who would offer yet another huge look-- Benton Montgomery. Montgomery was well-respected in the Charleston area for his connection within the music industry and this relationship led to a stint on Wiz Khalifa’s 2010 Deal or No Deal Tour. It also connected Matt to Blue Roc’s Mackenzie Eddy, who would have some influence on the next stage of his life. “I’ve always wanted to be more of the executive than the artist,” he offers, naming Sylvia Rhone and Lenny Santiago as a couple of key influencers. “So I can help other artists not go through the same things I did.” Matt was brought onto the Blue Roc roster with the intentions of dropping his debut studio LP through the imprint but Eddy ended up leaving the label and Matt had to figure it out on his own. He stayed in New York City for a few years, learning everything he could from one of rap’s most shrewd business minds, Dame Dash. “Even though things didn’t go as planned with Blue Roc, I was there for three years and did nothing but learn the business. I asked questions and kept several notepads full of notes.”
This “bump in the road” to rap and riches -- if you can even call it that -- would prove fruitful, giving Matt the necessary tools for the launch of his label, Southern Wealth In Music in 2014, allowing him to fully take the reins of his own career. His next project Candy
Paint Playgrounds [inspired by the work of visual artist Fletcher Williams] is
slated for release in Spring/Summer 2019.