Mach-Hommy Bursts Out of the Underground While Retaining His Mystery on 'Pray for Haiti'

BY Antoine-Samuel Mauffette AlavoPublished Jun 1, 2021

Previously shrouded in mystery and only known to underground hip-hop fans, rapper Mach-Hommy has enjoyed a coming-out party with the release of Pray for Haiti. Notorious for hiding his identity behind his native Haitian flag, arriving late to a meeting with Jay-Z and a collaboration with late masked colleague MF Doom, Hommy has squashed his beef with his label Griselda and produced a substantive project. From the artwork, to the skits and trilingual content, the album stands out aesthetically and reaffirms Mach's cultural and artistic identity.

Even if Mach-Hommy's personality is the driving force behind the album, executive producer Westside Gunn also makes his imprint on the project. Following a grimy set of songs, we get a taste of the creative collage this project represents on "Folie à Deux," which includes Gunn's percussive presence, Keisha Plum's abstract poetry and Conductor's ethereal production. The song is held together by the directness of Mach's lyrical approach, and it is his unique set of verses that add cohesiveness to this album divergent beat selection. "Marie" provides a 2pac-inspired hook, which highlights a number of late-'90s rap references as Hommy hops from Haitian Creole to French and English. Standout track "Kriminel" sees Quebec producer Nicholas Craven provide a soulful backdrop for Hommy to drop his rapid fire flow. Craven is no stranger to the Griselda camp, having previously collaborated on Hommy's fan favorites "Mozambique Drill" and "Squeaky Hinges," which made Hova's 2020 year end Tidal playlist.

Tha God Fahim, another Craven collaborator and prolific underground spitter, joins Hommy on "Magnum," which embodies the melting-pot nature of the album and is punctuated by Westside Gunn's signature ad libs. The disparity between dark songs like "Murder Czn" and the uplifting "Blockchain" represent the breadth of Hommy's scope on this well-crafted piece of art.

Curated by Flygod's Midas touch, this album is already opening up Mach to a broader audience of fans. On Pray for Haiti, he has successfully stayed true to his roots while offering unique yet less obtuse content. It's perfect strategy for a rapper who is benefiting from his concealed identity while shining bright for the underground and bringing a Creole flavour back to the game.

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