Philadelphia-raised lyricist, Mad Squablz, talks about his early childhood and the origin of his name, to winning freestyle contests and collaborating with legendary producer, iLLMind.
Before we even sat down with Squablz, he wanted to display his raw talent with a quick barfest. “I been the illest in rap, since lyricism collapsed” Squablz flares off in his first 2 bars, of an aggressive metaphoric freestyle, boasting the rapper’s abilities. Mad Squablz, named after one of Denzel Washington’s lines in Training Day.
Around the age of 12, the mad lyricist actually started off by singing. By the age of 13, he passed on the vocals, and it wasn’t until 15 when Squablz’ cousin started encouraging him to sculpt his craft. Luckily his cousin’s encouragement worked, which in turn, Squablz put out his first mixtape, titled “Publice to the Game”, at the age of 16. From typical beginnings to,the now 22 year old, accomplishing extraordinary accomplishments like having his freestyle video go viral, and being crowned champion of the 2017 Team Backpacker Mission Underground, out of 650 artists, including Marlon Craft.
Squablz discography has been growing into a reputable collection. His last project, Lamps, was released last year, and the project did a great job of making new listeners become fans immediately. “It’s based off of me coming from a dark place and into a light place… I used to sit in my dorm room with this lamp on and just writing, just every night, I would never used to write during the day,” Squablz recalls as he’s asked about the concept and title of the project. He then added “the whole album is melody driven, real hard kicks and snares, bars of course, and I was doing a lot of singing on that[Lamps]. I had to give them that side of me, that artististry side of me.”
As his project started to catch more buzz, Statik Selektah invited him up to Show of Radio on SHADE45 to freestyle. Not only did this turn even more hip hop fans’ heads, but it also caught the attention of legendary producer iLLMind. “He hit me up on Twitter from that. About 2-3 months later, I did this Mo Bamba freestyle, and he hit me from that and said ‘yo, you killed that shit! You gotta come down, let’s cook up in the stu.’” From there, iLLMind played Squablz some beats, he picked the ones he liked and the next conversation that came up, was about making an album.
One thing the young MC acknowledges, is the importance of visuals. This is not only important for today’s day in age with the internet, but also adds on to Squablz ability to connect both older and younger hip hop fans. Even though Squablz is all for the art of boom bap, he will admit that he does enjoy some of the “mumble rap” as well. Taking the importance of visuals and mixing in the current trend of “mumble rap”, Squablz put out his humorous music video for AOBB2. Aside from his music videos, you can always videos of Mad Squablz freestyles, all over his Instagram page.
So what more can you be wanting from Squablz? Well, you can expect a slew of music videos for both, tracks from his last project Lamps, and more to go along with his next project releasing soon, AOBB2(Art of Boom Bap 2). In the meantime, stream AOBB1 and Lamps, available on all platforms.
Check out his latest “LAMPS” project below (also on Spotify and Apple Music)