2001 Client Roster: Mazta I

Published in The Pulse of The Twin Cities
By Kandis Knight 
On an extremely cold night, I decided to jump in my car and venture deep into St. Paul, MN to have drinks with a spit-fire, thug, intellectual from Chicago named Mazta I, whom I have had my eye on for awhile. Rumor had it that he would be releasing a full-length album come spring and I wanted to get a sneak preview.

The production on the twelve tracks I heard was nothing short of dope. I was floored when I was told that Mazta produced his album on a $700.00 E-MU synthesizer and Protools. “The E-MU has like little keys, they have different sounds and octaves so you can change the range, they sound like little samples,” said Mazta.

Whatever he used, it worked like a charm. I’m sure it didn’t hurt that he also had a lot of constructive guidance from local Hip-Hop veterans Carnage and Eyedea. Carnage has kinda took Mazta I under his wings. “I think Mazta I is like a multi-talented goldmine waiting for exposure,” explains Carnage.

“He has the ability to write good songs (exceptional rhymes), sing, produce beats, and totally arrange his music in the way he sees as most appealing to himself. I think he’s an amazing freestyler and songwriter and works best under his own influence and finds comfort in musical surroundings he can manipulate to fit his own needs. He can elevate to any occasion and find his own moments to ‘shine’ even in the presence of those musicians he considers greater than himself. He’s both grimy/raw and intellectual. He’s extremely versatile and he has a burning desire to succeed as an artist. He just needs to formulate a plan of how he will achieve his goals.”

According to Mazta I, his solo debut album Thank the Lord and the Sword took a couple weeks to write and a couple months to lay all the tracks. “Artistically this is my signature project so I want to show people my potential. I want to show people I can do shit other than just freestyle. I express myself at the same time, you know, get some shit off my chest. Relay certain
messages here and there, you know what I mean, so people can interpret in their own minds. Basically messages of positive elevation and perseverance out of bullshit.”

The title of the album also has a significant meaning to Mazta I who has gone through his share of bullshit. “At the end of the day you have to thank the Creator even for the pain we feel because you don’t know what happiness is unless you have pain. I thank the Sword at the same time. You got to thank The Sword because it is your weapon to cut down the negativity, whether it is within yourself or outside. The Sword can stand for any type of weapon. The Sword is your mind, your word, your actions that you manifest. The Sword is whatever it takes to defend oneself or fight for a cause that is positive.”Mazta I has been busy locally doing music and networking and focusing on the positive, but he does have one request.

“I want muthafuckas to focus in on me because I got something to say. Radio music is bullshit. That shit fucks with my head. You know what I mean? Some of these rappers will get millions of dollars to promote some bullshit, cars and jewelry, even the degrading of your women, your brothers and people in general. Once mainstream made that shit cool, and it became uncool to be artistic—I had it.”

Another local emcee who has had it out a long time ago with mainstream music is I Self Devine. I Self dug Mazta I enough to have him appear on two of his tracks for his new album to be released in the spring also. “Mazta I is a brother who has the gift and the curse of having too much talent and tools at his disposal,” claims I Self. “I feel his future is as bright as his actions. He will go as far as he wants to go. His life and upbringing provides his music with enough topics to last him several albums. Work ethic plus talent equals unstoppable.”

In the future, you can catch Mazta I on the Plain Ole’ Bill mix CD. “I’m looking for collaborations. Right now I really want to work with Prizm and Vitamin D,” said Mazta.Keep your ears out for Mazta I’s album Thank The Lord and The Sword coming this spring. After listening to all 12 tracks, I’m comfortable saying this album is well on its way! Mazta I is definitely someone to watch.