By Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist. www.mikeocull.com
MC/producer Massive, a.k.a. Mass Dog, has been making highly-individualized rap music in Los Angeles since the West Coast takeover of the 1990s. He was mentored by Compton’s Most Wanted’s DJ Slip and DJ Unknown back then and was quickly recognized as an important artist and creator in the L.A. scene. He has given his life to the game, has a discography that goes back to ‘92, and has evolved many times since then. These days, Massive puts down what he calls Adult Contemporary Hip-Hop or Grown Folks Rap, a sound that puts him squarely in his own creative zone and gives him a strong identity as a performer.
Massive has released many tracks in his career but his recent work, displayed on his SoundCloud page https://soundcloud.com/massdogmusic, shows him to be a fully-realized artist, lyricist, and producer at this point in his life. He knows exactly what he’s doing and is creating songs that could only come from him. He can do the hit single thing with a track like “What’s Your Fantasy,” which is a smooth-but-banging party cut, but also has a deeper, harder, and more artistic side. This sound comes out on songs like “You Really Want,” a tough modern cut featuring big synths, trap hi-hats, and a hard-nosed attitude. “Let’s Go SM” continues in that same vein. The track is aggressive and dissonant and will appeal to the everyday fan on the street.
Massive has big ears and draws inspiration from performers and sounds that range from Scarface, NWA, Public Enemy, Neo-Soul, and R&B to Hall & Oates, Duran Duran, Nirvana, and Billy Idol. It’s this depth of influence that lets him be his own man as an artist, one with a vision and style that could only emerge from such a radical blend. Mass Dog goes all in on every track he does to make sure listeners always get more than they expected. Hip-hop fans looking for music that goes beyond the latest flavor-of-the-month artists need to align with Massive and level up.