The ‘Year of the OX’ bleeds into ‘23, as the 18-year-old Philadelphia phenom stays in motion with another independent rager tape.
Months removed from completing a double album run in 2022, Matt Ox continues to captivate listeners with his brash and in-your-face sonic style.
At 12 years old, the Philly-bred rapper took the world by storm as the “fidget spinner kid,” reaching internet fame and timeless virality with his hit track “Overwhelming.” Since then, Ox has evolved into one of the founding, core members of the new wave’s rager aesthetic — earning co-signs from XXXTENTACION, among other SoundCloud era pioneers, in his six years of acitivity.
From fidget spinning to pulling up in G-Wagons in NYC, the rapper has come a long way. Ceaselessly feeding his dedicated fanbase with blistering rage beats and light-hearted, hypnotic flows, he continues to carry the same playful energy throughout his projects, persistently crafting his spellbinding, screaming vocals that mature with each effort. His latest, OXygen (April 20), is perhaps his most calculated and mature of all — partnering with super producer collective SURF GANG for an 8-track barrage of head-bangers.
Simply put, Ox is gripping the game at full power — allowing his peers no room to breathe. Deviating from the familiar trance-embodied melodies, Ox shows off his ability to bend through a whole new sound, courtesy of SURF GANG’s backing. The revered production collective has gained momentum over the past two years, with their signature “SURF GANG B*TCH!” producer tag becoming more recognizable to the avid music listener.
With a talented team of producers — Eera, Harrison, Goner, and Evilgiane — New York’s underground sound and sample drill influence takes the reigns in production. It only make sense this pairing is a pure East Coasg connection, as Ox’s playful, hypnotic energy bounces off SURF GANG’s downtempo, subliminal instrumentals to introduce a sound off-the-wall. Not only is this a win for Ox and Surg Gang, but proved to be a much-needed collaboration for the underground.
OX steps outside with Pasto Flocco on “WTW,” produced by Evilgiane, matching flows on their bustling lifestyle over an aerie, bell-chiming instrumental. The HARRISON visual features Matt and Pasto exploring downtown NYC streets, with the sun shining on their backs while hanging out under the Brooklyn Bridge matching their style in black puffer jackets.
“Fast” continues Matt’s fast lifestyle over the uptempo, clapping high-hats of a Harrison and Eera production. The SURFGANG visual features the 18-year-old doing donuts in a G-Wagon of a vacant lot, with a smiling inflatable Tubman of the album’s cover making a feature.
“Pack it Up” introduces a bubbly, jersey-club style beat that brings in the summer vibes as Matt opens up on his past struggles but continues to “add it up.” The following track, “Duff,” continues the same energy, introducing a RealYungPhil feature that matches OX’s focused mindset and aloof attitude. The 8-track album closes with “Still Up,” a vibey, subliminal instrumental that introduces a slightly vulnerable side of Matt, sharing the hard-working mentality that got him to where he is now.
Prior to OXygen, his 2018 album OX was led by the all-powerful Working on Dying producer collective — uniting the hazy, atmospheric 808s of the Philly production crew with the rapper’s flagrant flows. From showing off his glossing diamonds with Chief Keef on “Jetlag” and pulling up to Louis Vuitton with Valee on “Walk Out,” it’s apparent that Matt Ox has always been ahead of his time.
The rapper further showcased a taste of his sonically driven, imperial presence on his first offering of 2023, AI.OX. With five uptempo tracks, the EP largely revives his Soundcloud era with “Boom!” and “Icantstopit” leading OX’s snapping lyricism over transcendental, synth-induced instrumentals. Prior to that, he dropped off TEENRAVE in late December 2022, totaling three projects in under five months.
As his second under-10-track pack continues to breathe, OXygen is a breath of fresh air — expanding Matt’s raging vocals to melody-led, soulful lyricism. Whether if it’s with Working On Dying or SURF GANG, know that Matt Ox’s star will never be outshined.
Listen to OXygen below!