MIC/LINE is HYPEBEAST Radio’s music-centric show that looks to deliver in-depth conversations with your favorite artists, digging into their origin stories and asking the questions you want answered. For this week’s episode, we sit down with iLoveMakonnen.
The Atlanta rapper began making music by posting songs online and offering free EPs with music videos of his well-known mannequin trademarks. Soon after he caught the attention of super producers such as Mike WiLL Made-It, Metro Boomin, Sonny Digital and 808 Mafia. His hit songs like “I Dont Sell Molly No More” gained him momentum, but it was after his song “Tuesday” where the artist sky-rocketed into stardom.
The infectious rapper, born Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael, has been one of the industry’s most interesting artists having navigated the past decade with his amalgam of genres. Numerous EP’s, a Grammy nomination and label transitions later, the 30-year-old rapper is a different artist than he was back then. He most recently dropped M3, a banging EP with pop-adjacent, innovative songs that showcase his versatility. In an age where music accessibility is seamless and clout-chasing on social media is of priority, Makonnen feels that “content matter is drifting away.”
“It’s not about the theatrics and other bullshit around it. What did the song mean to you when you heard it? Now it’s like everything but the song. People are no longer interested in just the music. They do everything else. Then it’s, ‘You do music?’”
Having come out two years ago, Makonnen hasn’t held back anything. He stresses that beyond hip-hop’s tepid acceptance of the LGBTQ community is the need for hip-hop to accept itself.
His recent move to the Pacific Northwest has been crucial to his growth, having left the party scene of New York City that he had become assimilated to when he first began. While he’s still signed to Warner Records and making indelible hits, he’s also taken up cooking, invested in cannabis businesses and grown to like the course of nature. Later on he discusses his collaboration with the late Lil Peep, the current state of music and much more.
9/16 Portland, OR – Paris Theater
9/17 Los Angeles, CA – The Echo
9/19 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
9/21 Atlanta, GA – Vinyl
9/28 Austin, TX – Empire
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