Beginning with Southern University’s establishment in 1880, students have possessed and displayed a variety of talents. While at Southern, many are given a chance to focus more on the thing that they love to do the most. This school year, one of the most notable is Matt Paige. He is a 22-year-old senior from Natchitoches, Louisiana with a degree in marketing.
Known as a rapper, his recent album “Crawfish in a Pot” was released on April 20, 2019. Paige started making music when he was ten years old, freestyling in front of family and friends. At the age of 13 he recorded his first song, wanting to become an artist like his older cousin, Mike Pay$o. Soon after, he joined a group named “Enkore Muzik” with his older brother. From there he fell in love with music, learning about the power of words and how therapeutic music can be.
Having performed in his hometown, as well as Baton Rouge, Paige’s enrollment at Southern makes sense. When asked why he decided to come to Southern, Paige said it was because of the Human Jukebox, that “...I couldn’t see myself at any other school....my high school band director also supported my decision in coming here because he marched in the 70s....becoming a Juke solidified in my mind that I could do anything I put my mind to.”
Although many would find trying to balance their school life and passion full-time as stressful, Paige manages to get through it. For him, school wasn’t challenging and creating his music gave him great inspiration. According to Matt, “It does get tiring, and there are nights I don’t sleep because of it, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
In respect to his talents, musical passion runs in the family. His uncle was in a rock band and his grandmother played the church piano for over 50 years. The inspiration for one of the songs in his album “Used to Be,” where he mentions how Michael Jackson was the first person to impact him as a child.
“Crawfish in a Pot,” is composed of several songs about his life and how he got to where he is today. For instance, his song “When Ur Older” is inspired by an actual event that occured in his life. Matt’s childhood best friend was involved with a murder charge, and the song is meant to put listeners in the shoes of a man with a kid he may never see again.
According to Paige, “...the beginning of the album was inspired by anger and frustration, by the midpoint to the end of the album, the inspiration comes from a more positive place...if you know me personally you may say the album reflects me as a person.” One of his favorite songs on the tracklist is “Used to Be.” In this song, he talks about how speaking things into existence forced him to get up and make a change to the path he is now traveling.
The album cover depicts an image of cartoon Matt with crawfish boiling in a pot, mimicking “crabs in a bucket.”
Paige’s album stands out from most music produced today. Many famous rappers talk about the streets, drugs, violence and sex. In comparison, Matt Paige talks about the consequences of living a street lifestyle. For younger generations, Paige wants them to understand that life isn’t like a video game. Following that type of experience, you don’t get a second chance when things go wrong.
In Paige’s words, “I want to be that voice that reminds them how strong they can truly be.....I want to remind the generation after me that it’s okay to talk about things like love and emotions and not be too hard for themselves.” He follows this up with saying that “everything isn’t a finesse, everybody isn’t out to get you, and hard work really pays off.” Paige himself said that he wants to be more than a rapper. He wants to further his music career as an artist as well as getting into things like real estate, foreign exchange, stocks, investment, etc.
Speaking on other advice, Paige says that the best thing people can do is fail as much as possible. He admitted to being booed off stages and wanting to give up, but he didn’t. The want of being where he is today was much stronger than his defeat.
“Your parents or even your friends may not support you, but as long as you support you, you can make something happen and change your life forever,” Matt closed.
“Crawfish in a Pot” is on every available platform, Apple Music, Soundcloud, Spotify, Tidal, and iTunes.