Raleigh emcee Madoa Sankara talks about his upcoming mixtape "Witt", the Drop Squad and more

Madoa Sankara is a Raleigh based rap artist, originally from Newport News, VA and one-half of the duo The Drop Squad. Madoa recently dropped a very DOPE single entitled 'My Tahoe', produced by Adotthegod and is preparing to release a new mixtape "Witt" real soon. We connected with this focused emcee to find out how he The Drop Squad with his partner Botti, what we all can expect from "Witt", and much more. 

Carlton Boyd

Tell us about your group The Drop Squad? How did you and partner Botti connect to form the group?

The Drop Squad was formed around 2006. The name Drop Squad was inspired by the Spike Lee movie with the same name. Botti and I served timed in the U.S. Army together and formed a friendship based on our shared love for Hip-Hop. We release one project titled “The Drop” that was well received by the hip-hop community. 

What can we expect from your upcoming mixtape "Witt"? And what does the title mean?

The title “Witt” is inspired by a character from the movie The Thin Red Line. The Thin Red Line is a movie about U.S. soldiers fighting the Japanese in the Pacific. It is a great movie that I would recommend to everyone. The music and the cinematography are just amazing. The inner struggles that the character Witt experienced resonated with me so much that I decided to name my mixtape after him. The movie is realistic and conveys a sense of hopelessness in the human experience. There is no idealism or sense of the greater good only the realities of war. However, within the movie you do find moments of beauty and innocence. The movie captured how I felt at the time and how I still feel sometimes. “Witt” is simply a banger. I’ve been working on this mixtape for a few years now and made over 100 songs. I finally got around 19 that I think is good enough. “Witt” encompasses everything in my life, my struggle, joy and creativity. They say you have your whole life to make your first album and I believe I spent my whole life making “Witt.”

How did you end up in Raleigh after being raised in Newport News, VA and how do you compare the music scenes in both cities, specifically for Hip-Hop?

I was raised in Newport News but after completing high school, I joined the U.S. Army and got stationed in Fort Bragg. I lived in Fayetteville for around 11 years. During that time, I served in the Army and after completing my time in service I attended Fayetteville Tech and Fayetteville State University. After graduating with my Associates and Bachelor degrees, I applied and got accepted to graduate school at NC State University. NC State is located in Raleigh so I decide to relocate there. I didn’t really experience the hip-hop scene in Newport News because I left immediately after high school. However, I was actively involved in the hip-hop scene in Fayetteville and to a lesser extent in Raleigh. The difference between the two is that Fayetteville is more southern and street oriented hip-hop while Raleigh has a more backpack scene. 

Why should the person reading this interview go listen to your music after they are finished?

My music is a reflection of me. It embodies my experiences as well as my creativity. The music that I make is multifaceted; it covers all aspects of life, including love, anger, social issues and just simple braggadocio. I try to make great songs that have messages as well as music you can just enjoy. I believe my music is great and if you like great music then you should listen to mines. 

We are really feeling 'My Tahoe'; your delivery and flow over that instrumental are great. Who produced the beat and what was your creative process when you were making the song?

The beat was produced by Adotthegod. I loved the dark feel of the beat and was hooked instantly when I heard it. When I hear an instrumental I like, I let the beat guide my creative process. The tone of the beat determines my subject matter as well as my delivery. I never use pre-written material for a beat; my lyrics are always inspired by the instrumental. I believe the lyrics on ‘My Tahoe’ compliments the darkness present in the instrumental. 

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