Friendships can stem out of the most unusual and unexpected circumstances. Joey Fatts and A$ton Matthews, two parts of the SoCal-based clique, Cutthroat Records, were brought together by coincidence and, well, a MacBook.
“Cutthroat was something that I was doing myself. I met (A$ton) at a burger king, cause I sold him my laptop. I heard his stuff, and I liked the way he was writing. So I was like, let’s just rock,” Joey Fatts told me in an exclusive interview right after their Sunset Strip Music Festival performance. “We were brothers first. Then I moved into his garage and we started this music thing.”
One with Blood affiliations, and the other claiming Crips, the rappers explained that the set you claim doesn’t matter as much as it used to. According to the LBC natives, the younger kids coming out of their neighborhood are stepping back, putting things into perspective, and gravitating towards similar mindsets–regardless of race or gang affiliation.
Joey: “It’s never even been an issue. Even when I first met (A$ton), he didn’t even bang on me. Times is changing, man!”
A$ton Matthews: “It’s evolving. Especially when the bigger picture is in front of your face.”
Joey: “Man, we both was struggling. Man, it’s deeper than that. We got families to feed. We’re not worried about colors right now.”
Sitting comfy in an ultra padded and worn down booth at the legendary Viper Room in West Hollywood, the three of us discussed everything from their presence on social media to the success of fellow cutthroat boy, Vince Staples.
However, first order of business was getting the inside scoop on the name.
Joey: “The homies back in the day, they used to call us cutthroat. Then it just died away. They would probably come to right now and say, man, we’ve been out there doing our thing, we’ve been repping Cutthroat! But you already know how big brothers are. But it just kinda stuck.”
Not present was cutthroat boy and Stolen Youth rapper, Vince Staples, recently named one of Hot New Hip Hop’s “21 Dope Rappers 21 and Under.” When I shared the good news with Joey and A$ton, they only had words of encouragement to share.
A$ton: “If he wasn’t number one on there, he’s about to be. I guarantee that. He doesn’t get enough credit.”
No doubt, the whole squad is putting in work, and somewhere along the way, their hustle caught the attention of the A$AP Mob. However, working with A$AP as often as they do has definitely got people questioning the SoCal trio’s exact affiliation with the crew. In other words, is Cutthroat officially signed with A$AP? Joey says no.
Joey: “We are Cutthroat Records. We started our own venture like two years ago. Then we just somehow met them down the line, and they liked what we were doing. Then we started working with them. Those are like our brothers right there! But we are signed to ourselves.”
Oh, and don’t worry, I made sure to ask about when we can expect to hear a Cutthroat joint project. I know you’ve been wondering when it was finna happen, too! Here’s what Joey had to say:
Joey: “If we are doing a Cutthroat project, I want there to be a budget behind it, I want there to be a label behind it. I’m not really trying to do that independently cause I think that could go platinum. No disrespect to everything that’s out. So I’m not really pushing that right now. He’s got a lot to work on, I’ve got a lot to work on, Vince has a lot to work on. We just have to establish ourselves as individuals first!”
See below for the rest of the exclusive interview:
Joey, let’s start off by talking about your most recent project. Tell me about the ‘Keep it G Pt. 2’ video. You directed it, right?
Joey: Yea. It was the fucking worst video shoot I’ve ever been at in my life, just honestly. We were shooting until five in the morning each time. It was horrible. I’m glad it came out good though!
Well it looked like you were having fun during the shoot!
Joey: Oh yea! The bathtub scene was fun! You see I got all up in the bubbles having fun. Haha! But the car scene, I just wasn’t really feeling how the shot came out. That’s what happens when you have people behind the camera who think they know what they are talking about, but don’t. But believe me, I liked it!
Well, you also had your mixtape just drop–Chip Jones Vol. 3.
Joey: August 3rd is when it dropped, right on my birthday!
That must have been quite a celebration.
Joey: Yea, definitely! I also shot the video with A$AP Rocky on my birthday. It was a long birthday! But the tape is being received well right now. I’ve got A$AP Rocky, Waka Flocka, A$ton Matthews and Vince Staples on there.
So, I gave the mixtape a listen, and it seems like what’s really important to you is to tell a story…your story, specifically.
Joey: Like, when I first started rapping, like when I was in (A$ton Matthew’s) garage–for Chipper Jones Vol. 1–I used to rap about stuff that other rappers rap about. Like, bricks and shit. Like, I really used to see shit like that. Don’t get it fucked up. But I wasn’t pushing back then, you know what I mean. But I was just like, this shit is wack! But yea, the soundscape just totally changed from Chipper Jones Vol. 1. I just stopped talking about what normal rappers do, and learned how to channel the way I feel about things. Like if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll notice that I tweet my feelings sometimes. But then I stopped tweeting, and now just put it in my notes and use it as raps. So what I’ve been doing lately are journal entries. And that’s how Chipper Jones Vol. 3 came out.
Well, you stole my next question. You are so active on social media, and it is hilarious. It is comedy! Where do you get all your material?
Joey: I be high! Like when I was homeless, and I was living in his garage, I used to be wildin’ out on him all day! And he used to be like, “Yo, Fatts, you trippin! Calm down, Bro!” Like I used to be talking about all types of weird shit and I would just be joking all day. But we don’t live together no more. So the only thing I got is the phone and twitter!
It’s a great outlet.
Joey: Yea, it’s not good though! Cause once I did shrooms and fried myself live on Twitter.
A$ton: Yea, I got the pics!
Aye, I gotta see those! But I heard from a little birdie that you might be working on a project with 9th Wonder.
You got a date or title?
Joey: No date. No title. But, man, you gotta think about it. His schedule is crazy! We got probably like four songs done right now. But how I like to work is like process of elimination. We do like 20 songs then keep a few.
Alright, we switching gears to you, A$ton. I recently read in an interview you did that after your next mixtape, that you’re going to start charging. Why?
A$ton: Just cause I feel like we put a lot of work into our shit, you know what i mean. I value my work. Maybe not right now, cause I want to put out this EP. Give ‘em this EP real quick, then for sure after that, iTunes releasing singles.
You kinda came into the game after a near death experience. Where was your mind at after that?
A$ton: Rebuilding. Looking at my life and seeing where I was making mistakes and trying to correct them so I don’t make them again. It was just trying to make everything better. I mean, seeing your mom go through shit like that…cause she took it harder than me! She took it hard! So did my family. So now it’s just about rebuilding and trying not to make the same mistakes twice.
Looking into the future, what’s the next project we can expect?
A$ton: CHOPOVELLI. That’s my EP! And if it’s free; it might be the last free joint.