“Mo3’s Brutally Honest Brand of Hip-Hop Has Brought Him A New Life” – Dallas Observer
“Rap saved my life,” says 27-year-old Dallas Texas rapper Mo3. “I got a second chance because of music.” Since he was a child, the artist from the city’s notorious Northside battled with the law. “I’ve basically been in every correctional facility around,” he admits. “I was kicked out of all my schools.” Mo3 is thoughtful and polite, nothing like his rap sheet may suggest. “I’ve never been a bully; I’m just not a pushover,” he asserts. “Y’all never see the people that throw rocks at me, ‘cause they hide their hands. You just see me beat their ass.” Now he simply beats the competition, with well over 120 million video views. As 2019 comes to a close, the Lil Boosie-backed artist drops his most significant release to date with Osama.
Raised by a mother who sang in church and a father who previously rapped, Mo3 applies both talents in his music-making. Growing up, his mom worked two jobs to support the family. Things like games and cool clothes were not necessities. “We had to do extra things to get what we wanted; we had to hustle,” he recalls. Mo3—which combines two nicknames “Mo” and “3”—also joined a Blood set. He says, “Out here, you’re either gonna be in a gang, you’re gonna be neutral, or you’re just gonna be bait. You don’t want to be a free agent in a ‘hood like this; you’d better get down with somebody.” For someone who does not drink or use drugs, music became his high. After a prison stay, Mo3’s father encouraged his son to tell his story on the mic. In 2014, he made “Hold Ya Tongue,” a fresh update of Mr. Lucci, Mr. Pookie, and Big Chief’s regional hit. Including the O.G.’s in his video, Mo3 bridged generations and grabbed attention across Texas. The video reached more than 8 million plays. Labels quickly scouted the talent.
On tour, 3 (as he is also known) treated the road like a campaign. “Every city I touch down in, I’m in its hood,” he boasts of arriving at cookouts, parties, and popping up on blocks. “I wanted people to understand that I’m just like them; I was broke too.” He also aimed to unify. “I’ll go to Crip neighborhoods just to let ‘em know, ‘Fam, it’s all love.’ And they felt it. Every time I left, they knew I was real.” Today, he has nearly 500,000 Instagram followers. The rapper is charitable in his community too. “Instead of making my money rain in the strip club, I prefer to give it to the homeless shelter.” He donates shoes to kids and regularly helps the less fortunate. It adds to an image that he feels has been misconstrued in the media at the behest of Rap rivals.
3’s favorite artist, Lil Boosie, took notice. After conversations and sharing stages, a deal was made. They collaborated on MO3’s DJ Drama-hosted “911” Gangsta Grillz mixtape. Boosie also hopped on the “Errybody (Remix),” taking a visual with nearly 20 million plays and nearly tripling that with a new version. The hit addresses the betrayal that Mo3 has experienced within his circle. “Slowly but surely, every time I climb the ladder, different people around me fade away.”
Signing with EMPIRE in mid-2019, Osama gives his booming DIY movement even more muscle. It features Boosie and Jazze Pha. Video single “Ride For Me” is a gut check in Mo3’s circle, demanding loyalty. The album’s controversial title mirrors a man pushed to the brink after being smeared. “You gotta show ‘em you hard when they think you’re soft.” For a man who turned his life around with lyrics, Mo3 refuses to compromise his live-saving transformation.
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