DFW Music News

Mo3's Brutally Honest Brand of Hip-Hop Has Brought Him A New Life

Mo3 is a different man now than he was at the beginning of the year.  “I started living off rap this year and I love it. I’m shining,” the Dallas rapper says. “I look different — you got a different vibe when you’re struggling and trying to figure out where you’re gonna lay your head.”

Everything changed for the 23-year-old when he released his album Shottaz Reloaded at the end of 2015. The album is available online and has sold well but it’s the old school face-to-face sales that have accounted for the album’s popularity, especially in his North Dallas neighborhood.

Mo3’s manager Rain pushes the album all over the neighborhood as well as nightclubs, events and parties from here to Houston. Word has gotten out about Mo3 and not a day goes by without at least a dozen fans sending him tweets telling him he’s their favorite rapper in the city, which Mo3 is more than happy to retweet.

His music video for “Hold Ya Tongue” recently reached one million views on YouTube, his song “All The Way Down” recently debuted on 97.9 The Beat and according to an article by Complex’s Pigeons & Planes blog Mo3 is the most listened to Dallas rapper in Dallas on Spotify right now. 

Everything is going in the right direction for Mo3 and he says he knows exactly why.  “I tell the truth in my music,” Mo3 says. “I’m not talking about standing in the trap and whippin’ foreign cars or having designer this, designer that. No, I’m talking about how my mom couldn’t pay her bills and when we didn’t have anywhere to sleep and stayed eating noodles every day.”

That relatable theme is present throughout the album but it’s most potent on the track “All The Way Down.” There is plain-to-hear stress in his voice as he raps and sings. Yes, sings. That versatility helps separate Mo3 from other rappers. The sonics on the album are also wide ranging and keeps the listener’s interest peaked. It’s a unique presentation.

“All The Way Down” skips over specifics of what he’s done in his past and Mo3 prefers it that way even when asked directly but Mo3 opened up about the lyric, “You ain’t write my song so leave me alone/I held it down on my own.

“You didn’t sleep outside on concrete on the patio so we can get some air when my mama’s lights was off and you didn’t have to go to the corner store to charge up your phone and get candles cause the lights out,” Mo3 says about that lyric. “That’s what I mean when I say, you didn’t write my song. We came a long way for real. It’s a blessing.”
It might not be in his lyrics, but Mo3 is happy to brag about his new lifestyle. He’ll proudly tell you that he wears $25,000 worth of rap money around his neck in several chains, and he posts photos of his new Mercedes Benz and Porsche on Instagram. 

Shottaz Reloaded has made Mo3 one of the most popular rappers in Dallas and has earned cosigns from some of the city’s other top rappers in Dorrough and Lil Ronny as well as influential K104 radio personally DJ Hollywood Bay Bay. He says those matter to him but the most important cosign came from his favorite rapper of all time, Boosie. In a video posted to his Instagram account, Mo3 stands with Boosie, one of the most popular rappers in the South, who says he had to book Mo3 to open his Dallas concert because he heard he has “shit on lock” here and may even consider signing him to his label if it’s all true.

“He blessed my game by cosigning me. It’s a dream come true,” Mo3 says. “I literally grew up off Boosie. Like I was raised by him CD for CD.”

During the production of Shottaz Reloaded, Mo3 called back on his struggles and days of poverty for his material. Now that those days are behind him he’s not too concerned about new source material. His next project titled 4 Indictments is nearly ready for release and will touch on more political issues. The song “Black Message” on Shottaz Reloaded provides a sample of his plan to be more motivational and build up the community through music.

And his ambitions extend beyond music. “It’s bigger than rap now," he says. "If you ever see me doing something else, just know it was off rap.”
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Mikel Galicia is a trap scholar, the softest writer on the scene and his photo game is jumping out the gym. His work has been published in Sports Illustrated, ESPN and every major Dallas publication.