We connected with Orlando based conscious rapper Clane Matthew for an exclusive interview to discuss his DOPE, yet controversial new song “I’m Not A Rapper”. We picked Clane’s brain about his inspiration behind the song, his Jamaican heritage, as well as his “On the Real” EP, which became a viral success, and much more.
After reading our Q&A with Clane, be sure to connect with him on his website and social media, stream his “On the Real” and “Melancholic Therapy” EPs, and check out some more of his music on Spotify.
You're originally from Jamaica; when did you move to Orlando and would you say that your Jamaican heritage/culture is reflected in your music?
I moved to Orlando in January of 2008, so I’ve been here for 11 years now. I would say that my Jamaican heritage has a good impact on my music today because reggae is all about truth, realism and freedom of the mind. Growing up on music like that, my thought process and personality has evolved into something that seeks authenticity and realism, so that is why I am so big on bringing awareness, knowledge, peace, love and unity to the ones who listen. With each and every song I make, I can help to shape the world into a better one.
Your new single "I'm Not A Rapper" is dope but may come off controversial to some. What inspired you to write the song?
What inspired me to write the song was actually the children of this upcoming generation. I walk around and see kids as young as 11 and 12 rocking to songs about killing dudes, selling and taking drugs, and talking about sex.
Music plays a big role in our society and to have children with developing minds listening to that type of garbage, will eat their brains and send them down the wrong path. There is already a correlation between music and one’s behavior, so my main goal through this song is to call out those artists who make those songs and capitalize off of it, knowing that what their spitting on the mic is having a negative effect on the developing minds of our youth.
With music like that, we’re sending them right to prison because they start to think that a life like that is amazing; and when that happens, law enforcement usually steps in and everything goes downhill from there.
In regards to the song being controversial, is it your hope that the song may spark conversation among artists about the content (or lack there of) that a majority of mainstream rap is composed of?
Yes. It is controversial, and that was my goal. I want every artist who listens to this to sit down and think if what they’re doing is actually benefiting someone other than themselves.
Back in the day, hip-hop was all about bringing truth and wisdom through rap. I’m trying to bring that sense of style and uniqueness back, while using modern beats and flows to complement it so more of the youth can gravitate towards it and get the message.
If you could pick any artist to appear on a remix to "I'm Not A Rapper", who would you select?
Easy. Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick Lamar is my favorite artist. I’ve been listening to him since I was a kid in 7th grade growing up. The man is talented and I for one think he’s the greatest rapper of our generation. With him on a remix of “I’m Not A Rapper”, I think it’ll be nothing but straight heat! Hopefully one day I’ll be able to meet him and work with him.
Tell us about your “On the Real” EP; are you surprised by its viral success? And what are planning to follow it up with?
My “On the Real” EP was my debut album. It was my first album and it received praise from many critics. The album was set to be an introduction to the voice and agenda of Clane Matthew, and who he is. It was set to be the foundation of my values in which I believe, and also a representation of what I plan on writing music about in the future.
The two most popular songs on the album are “The Unspoken Word”, which went viral worldwide, and “Platforms”, which talks about the crippling effects of social media on the public. It was described as being “a fresh and renewing voice of hip hop” by Buzz Music L.A.
I was honestly surprised by it’s viral success. Because it wasn’t my first album I didn’t expect it to go far, but it exceeded my expectations. I’ve already followed up with another EP after that called “Melancholic Therapy”. This EP dove into the topic of depression and it’s effects by using my personal struggles as a catalyst of empathy. It was also a way for me to personally cope with my problems by using music as therapy in hopes that it could help and inspire someone who is in the same boat as me; thus why the album carries the name “Melancholic Therapy”.