In many ways, Mach-Hommy is the embodiment of hip-hop before the existence of the internet as he has absolutely no online presence. Mach might be the most elusive artist in the genre with a level of mystique perhaps even greater than the late MF Doom. This is a wild claim, but hear me out. There is virtually no information on his upbringing and personal life other than his place of birth (Port-au-Prince, Haiti), and the place he was raised (Newark, New Jersey.) Mach’s birth name and date of birth are not even available publicly. Interviews with him are quite limited. Lyrics for all of his songs cannot be found online. He has never toured, headlined a show, or performed at any festivals. Lastly, Mach has never made any public appearances without a Haitian flag tied on his face which has become a staple in his aesthetic (as the metal mask was for Doom) while also bringing his heritage to the forefront. With the amount of mystery surrounding him, there is an immense amount of curiosity and buzz surrounding Mach-Hommy amongst hip-hop fans, and also within the inner circles of the industry. Mach has co-signs from Jay-Z, Black Thought, Drake, Yasiin Bey (Formerly Mos Def), DJ Muggs, The Alchemist, MF DOOM, Mick Jenkins, Earl Sweatshirt, Common, and Action Bronson. It is safe to say that Mach-Hommy is probably your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper.
With that being said, Mach even supposedly had a verse on Jay Electronica’s long-awaited debut album, A Written Testimony. The verse was later scrapped despite an interview with TheFader saying that Mach’s verse was so good that it “apparently blew Hov’s mind to the point his hat fell off his head (Thompson, TheFader.com).” Later in the same studio session, The Alchemist apparently also lost his mind after Mach’s verse, and “ran out of the studio like a madman.” Hov then called up Beyoncé so she could hear Mach’s verse. Let’s take a moment to acknowledge the amount of star power in one room: Jay-Z, Jay Electronica, The Alchemist, Beyoncé, and Mach. With the way the legends of the genre vouch for Mach-Hommy, one can’t help but be intrigued. Before I say anything more I must give you some background on the man himself.
As I mentioned before, Mach was primarily raised in Newark, New Jersey, and you definitely hear it in his sound. The first project ever released under the pseudonym Mach-Hommy was released in 2004, and was titled Goon Grizzle. However, after releasing this tape, Mach seemingly vanished without a trace until 2011 after the release of an EP titled Back II The Future under the moniker ‘Slim Doe La,’ and the rest was history. From that point on, Mach has gone on one of the most prolific runs in the history of Hip-Hop delivering 22 albums, 19 EPs, 26 singles, 117 features, and counting (rateyourmusic.com).
Mach’s career really began to take off after teaming up with the co-founders of Griselda Records, Westside Gunn, and Conway the Machine. At around the same time he released his debut album FYI. The craziest part about all of this is the fact that Mach had linked up with Griselda as a cameraman. It wasn’t until later on that the Griselda crew realized that Mach-Hommy was a gifted emcee.
Mach’s first run with Griselda was short-lived as there was a feud between Westside Gunn and a former member, Tha God Fahim. Mach would take Fahim’s side in the feud, and they would go on to form the ‘Dump Gawds.’
The duo released their first album together in 2017 titled Dollar Menu and this would be the first of three Dollar Menu albums released that year. From this point, Mach and Fahim have been very frequent collaborators. Along with the utilization of Mach as a feature, Fahim has selected him to be the executive producer of multiple albums including Wide Berth (2018), Dump Yod: Krutoy Edition (2020), and The Yod Fahim (2021). Two of the three albums which I have mentioned are also collab albums with Your Old Droog, a rapper who’s also a long time collaborator with Mach-Hommy. In addition to Fahim, Mach was the executive producer for Droog’s 2019 album Jewelry. Mach, Fahim, and Droog operate almost as an unofficial trio and have done their part well in maintaining the legacy of 90’s New York Rap.
As I had mentioned, 2017 was the year Mach had begun to collaborate with Fahim, and began to build his own image separate from Griselda. Mach’s run in 2017 is one of the greatest single-year runs in the history of hip-hop. In 2017, Mach-Hommy released five albums and four EPs. Mach also released some of his most revered works that year: The G.A.T., Dump Gawd Hommy Edition, and Dumpmeister. Some of these projects released in 2017 are among his most expensive. Many Mach Hommy releases are available only by purchase on his website and for steep asking prices. His cassettes will typically go for $70.00, CDs for $100.00, and vinyl going no lower than $115.00, and as high as $5000.00. With this model of business, Mach does not have to worry about streaming revenue, as these services tend to distribute a very low amount of profit for every stream (typically a small fraction of a penny). Mach treats his music as if it’s fine art, and does business similarly to an esteemed painter, or a designer label. Having chosen to distribute his music in this fashion, if only 500 people were to purchase one of his albums that’s listed at $1,000.00, he would be able to make at least 500k off of a single release. These numbers are well within reason given the fact that he has a decently large fan base that is extremely dedicated. The success of this business model is quite evident since the overwhelming majority of releases on his website are sold out. Mach’s success has been quite consistent, but perhaps his greatest moment of success was the release of Pray For Haiti in 2021.
Pray For Haiti was Mach’s way of stepping into the limelight, and served as an introduction to his work for many people, including myself. To this day, this is his best-known release, and this also served to acknowledge the re-establishment of Mach’s Griselda affiliation. In retrospect, the release of Pray For Haiti marked a turning in the career and legacy of Mach-Hommy. Since then he has released another four albums and four EPs. I firmly believe that no matter what proceeds for Mach, he has marked himself as a legend in the game, and no one can ever take that away from him.