Why I Created OG Mattress.
I love writing about music. I wrote about music for almost 4 years straight, consistently. A normal day for me consisted of digging profusely through any number of resources including emails, blog posts, and just about anywhere that hosted music online. Occasionally I would run across a gem, something nobody was talking about that I liked. What I also did on occasion was something many people don’t do, actually read the write-up or review about the music before touching that heralded play button. There is nothing quite like finding that one post that describes Future as “sub-aquatic” that really makes your afternoon. Yet those phenomenons come a dime a dozen so really it was just glancing at the writing and hitting play regardless. Certain outlets I respect for their selections so they could literally be writing in a foreign language I would still check it out because of the music selections. I think they call that brand loyalty, i don’t know though. Regardless, the point is I was bored.
There were few publications that were doing really great things for music discovery. One place that I really fuck with is Yourstru.ly . I’ve always admired the level of craftsmanship that Will and his team put into the site and the surrounding work. Although for everything they did I wanted to do something more. I wanted to bring a new level of writing to music that nobody was doing.
The same day I sat down with my son after he got his homework done and he had on cartoons and was reading a giant comic book. It hit me. As a child my entire life was cartoons and comics, literally I the levels of fandom that I went was pretty obnoxious in retrospect. My parents never really supported this comic book love but when I had my own money I went for it. Somewhere between college and girlfriends I found other things to occupy my time but it was always there. Sitting down with my now 11-year-old son he reminded me of how much I loved free falling into a completely different world. Whether it was finding out a new weapon was being made by some super secret evil empire that was going to destroy all mankind or it was watching the Hulk go from 0–100 real quick. My mind was made up. I was going to merge the two worlds together but in my own way. Close friend of my DJ Dub Floyd and famed mixtape art creator Miami Kaos already had a celebration of Marvel and Hip-Hop together in their fabulous Hip Hop Marvels brand. So how was I going to do this? I needed something else. I finally realized. I’m going to create a brand and then shift it into what I want to do. If people were going to sleep on me I would make a mattress company. Then later this mattress company would morph into what I really wanted to do.
OG Mattress was born. I started by giving created just a normal blog and using my sleep moniker as a thing. Yet while it was satisfying my urge to write I needed more. I wanted to create something that was a complete risk, something completely left field that you either loved or hated. Something that my son could look at and love. I decided to open the doors once closed by the real world and the real problems it brought and go back into comic books and cartoons. Enter The OG Story of OG Mattress. I had to create a whole world. My whole world was songs, albums, EPs, LPs, music videos, documentaries, soundtracks, whatever. However music was being packaged that is my world. During the time when there was a Boogie to Mick and mixtapes were shifting into these complete packages, I watched as he would create these alternate worlds through music. I wanted to bring back that feeling of “more”. I met several people along the way that eventually would make me really think about how music was being packaged. Codie Global, who also wrote for the first iterations of the site, was a huge presence in just finding what direction I wanted to go into. My current partner at OG Mattress, Irvin Whitlow, showed and continues to show me the business side of music. Irv’s consistent belief that what we’re doing is really a huge help to my day-t0-day sanity. I started with characters. Now the Hallway character was born he was a cloud being from the Cloud Zone furthest from the wealthiest.
Hallway was someone who provided solutions to problems. When his people were deprived of good sleep he created his Rotation machine. I knew of a few folks I wanted to draw the first look of my character and the shortlist had one guy that did it in 24 hours. Abel Gray drew me something that I thought was pretty cool. Simple but through some research with my friend and clothing designer Christion Lennon I got some clear direction on what I wanted Hallway to look like. Now that I had my character I need a purpose. The one thing that everyone has the ability to have is good sleep and this same thing is frowned upon completely. Yet whenever I’m at my peak and whenever I make the best decisions its when I’m well rested. The bad guy was going to abolish sleep in order to make his/her view of a super-productive empire and we were going to manufacture ways to provide short bursts of rest. The basis of what I was going to do was built. My guy was going to go on adventures and songs were now sound wave plants or “waves”. Along the way he would find wave merchants, wave creators, wave producers, wave scientist. The idea fermented in my mind like a grape and by time it made its way out of my fingertips and into a wordprocessor it felt like wine.
The packaging will evolve, the look as well, but the core of this is making sure every song is presented with the equal mystique and attention that the creator intended for it. Whether it is Frank Leone spending 3 years crafting a sonically beautiful wave harvest or OG Maco belting outbursts of energy in a booth seconds before publishing “Bitch U Guessed It” to the web, the amount of energy put out is the what I will alway reciprocate back. So you can go dig through hordes of random posts about how great the bass is in a song or you can come with us. OG Mattress is exactly what it looks like, adventures. You should come around for the next one.