Within the Northern California West Coast scene, Mac J is a young and upcoming rapper from Sacramento, who has been making music since 2015. Mac J has consistently been dropping bangers for years, bringing the grimey and darker tone’s of Sacramento’s rap scene to the spotlight. Mac J has collaborated with popular artists in the scene such as EBK Young Joc, CML, and even Oakland’s Philthy Rich (who is considered an OG in the West Coast). The rapper is also known for his extremely close relationship with his cousin “Bris”, another Sacramento rapper who was gaining even bigger traction, but unfortunately passed away in 2020, at the prime of his career, at the age of 24. It is fair to say Mac J started to establish a name for himself in the past three years, alongside with his cousin Bris, as they have many tracks together, as well as a similar rapping style they went hand-in-hand within their verses. However, the loss of his cousin has only caused Mac J to put the pedal on the gas, as he released two major projects in 2021 and 2022, under his independent label “TRUE STORY”, in which during this time, his streams on Youtube hit over millions on music videos. Despite him having an extremely solid fanbase and being independent, I do think Mac J deserves a lot more recognition for his talent, as in general, I also believe that the Norcal street rap scene is immensely overlooked on a general basis.
While there are many rappers in the scene, something about Mac J has always stuck out to me the minute I heard him on a song. His voice is distinctive and unique, it isn’t overly aggressive, and while his lyrics are related to the street theme of struggles of living in the streets and trying to make it out, his music and tone often delivers a sense of humor and comedic value to every song. For example, in most of his songs such as “GameTyme” or “Onaset”, you can tell he’s genuinely just having fun with each track in the studio and rides the beat perfectly making you want to bob your head. I would go as far to even compare his style to Bay Area legend Mac Dre, in the sense that they both don’t take themselves too seriously and want to make you laugh at their lines, but they are still completely raw at their craft with real stories. An example of this is when Mac J says, “ He a cat in a cat, he need green eggs and ham”, a reference to Dr. Suess’s children’s book, Green Eggs and Ham, or even when he says “ You got nine lives, you be cattin’ off “. There is one line that’s, “ I ain’t talking bout no band, but I keep a drummy”, which is super clever as he is using a lighthearted reference “ a musical band”, to mention a gun, a “drummy”. Every time I hear a track I am always anticipating what metaphors or punchlines will come next, making his music very entertaining and special compared to other counterparts in the scene. I honestly feel like his music is fun to listen to. The songs are often the perfect mix of the gritty and hardcore street vibe of Sacramento, with funk and comedic influence.
Overall Mac J’s discography is worth the listen, especially if you are a fan of street rap and someone that packs the punch with their lyrics. He is unique and puts a lot of effort into what he does, and I am hoping to see him make it on a larger, and maybe even mainstream level, or at major festivals such as Rolling Loud or Day N Vegas.
Written by Julian Velez