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New Jersey-based rapper and producer Mach-Hommy became a cult figure through his tireless work ethic and the sheer quality of his work, as well as his elusiveness. His dense, tightly wound lyrics, loaded with deadpan one-liners, are heavily related to the social and political history of his Haitian heritage -- he often raps in Kreyol and a Haitian flag folded into a bandana obscures his face nearly every time he is photographed. He is highly protective of his art, forbidding lyric sites to post transcriptions of the words to his songs, and he charges hundreds and even thousands of dollars for his releases, most of which aren't available on streaming services. Nevertheless, he earned a dedicated following, as under-the-radar releases like 2016's H.B.O. (Haitian Body Odor) and 2017's The Gat... emerged as cult favorites, and collaborations with the likes of Earl Sweatshirt, DJ Muggs, and the Alchemist expanded his profile. 2021's masterful Pray for Haiti became Hommy's most widely heard and acclaimed album to date, and the shorter but similarly focused Balens Cho (Hot Candles) followed later in the year. Mach-Hommy hails from Newark, though he has also lived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital city. His little-heard first mixtape, Goon Grizzle, originally appeared in 2004, and numerous releases surfaced during the early 2010s, including the 2013 full-length F.Y.I. Mach-Hommy appeared on Don't Get Scared Now, a 2016 EP by Westside Gunn and Conway of Buffalo's Griselda collective, and his full-length H.B.O. (Haitian Body Odor) was released by Griselda that year. Copies were initially only available by directly messaging the artist, before the album eventually became available on streaming services. After falling out with Griselda, Hommy began working extensively with Tha God Fahim, an even more prolific rapper and producer based in Atlanta. Hommy executive produced Fahim's 2016 album TGIF, and the two began working together under the name Dump Gawd, which became a loose collective also featuring collaborators like Your Old Droog and Al Divino. Hommy released nearly a dozen projects in 2017, including three Dollar Menu releases with Fahim, Dump Gawd: Hommy Edition, Dumpmeister, The G.A.T..., and EPs with Knxwledge and Earl Sweatshirt. 2018 brought Bulletproof Luh, on British label Bad Taste Records, as well as several additional releases with Fahim. Two collaborations with DJ Muggs, Tuez-les Tous and Kill Em All, appeared on the Cypress Hill member's Soul Assassins Records in 2019. Hommy's EP Wap Kon Jòj! was released by Nature Sounds, with appearances from Quelle Chris, the Alchemist, and Navy Blue. Full-length Mach's Hard Lemonade appeared in 2020, featuring many of the same contributors. Hommy reconciled with Griselda and released Pray for Haiti, executive produced by Westside Gunn, in 2021. Focusing on Haiti's cultural and political history more than Hommy's past releases, the album was among the year's most acclaimed, and brought the rapper's music to a wider audience. Later in the year, he collaborated with Kaytranada on the song "$payforhaiti," then released another well-received album, Balens Cho (Hot Candles).
© Paul Simpson /TiVo
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