Maryland, United States
East Coast Rap / HipHop / Rap
MASH INFANTRY's style is definitely their own. The purity of their music simply speaks for itself. Barreling out of your speakers is a sound unattached from what's going on in the current rap world. Reminiscent of one of the most famous Hip Hop groups, The Wu-Tang Clan, in a sense that each and every song is a fresh breath of air and stays that way from the time it's played until it fades out. From the beats to the lyrics, you'd be hard pressed to compare them to anyone in the history of music. In an industry full of carbon copies of previous artists, today this is rarely heard of…In fact, totally unexpected. They're different in a good way. The "Did you peep what money said? Rewind that!"- kind of way. With lyrics so mature and personal, you'd never believe they were such young individuals. Cousins both born the same year (1983), these two young men who go by the names of Poppala and Showtime, are not just talented, but also gifted.
It's visibly evident that Poppala & Showtime share the enthusiasm to create when you sit and talk with them or see them perform on stage. Seeming like more than cousins, they connect in a way twin brothers would. The perfect match, together they formed the group MASH INFANTRY, and from 2001-2007, unsigned, they've recorded 12 albums, performed and put out 10 mixtapes; group and solo. The latest Mixtape being "Hood Chronicles" is straight hood and intellectual. In a mere 6 years, they've accomplished, by themselves, what would take 11 to 12 years for an artist on a major label. They have performed in numerous spots. Their first ever was a local competition at The Latin Palace (nightclub) in March of 2002. Today, they frequent "open mic night spots" like, the formerly known as "The Funk Box", now known as "The Eight by Ten Club" (a small intimate bar and lounge usually draped with a mixed crowd). They've rocked various talent shows such as those held at: Arundel Community College (2003) and Mondawmin Mall (2004) as well as various others. Generating a buzz, they were demanded to perform at the Rock the Vote Concert for MTV in 2004. Other performances include: The Fittin2BeNext Seminar (Nov. 2005) and Anthony Jeters "In the Spotlight 2006" (01/07/2006). Recently they shut the house down at New York's Remote Lounge in Manhattan (2006), Parties at the Poconos (2006), a concert in Virginia, and even Tainted Ink Modeling Group’s Fashion 101 Show (2007). Check them out in the “Return of Jay-Z” Issue of Streets Magazine (2007). These guys are everywhere. Dedicated, they can still be found performing any and everywhere with Mixtapes flooding the streets as well as the internet (mash-infantry.com; myspace.com/mashinfantry and any file sharing networks; Videos on youtube.com). They see hip hop moving in another direction. The direction in which they're going, headed towards returning to the essence of MC’ing and the art of story telling and basically, just being original. Take a brief moment to get to know them both individually.
Poppala, whose name is a play on the word “popular” (pronounced poppa-luh) is the sole producer. He started producing his own tracks early spring of 1999. He's been rapping a lot longer. "I wrote my first rap at the age of 11- 1994...Then later on, I got into creating my own tracks out of necessity." Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland is where he built a huge library of rhymes and beats. "When I rhyme, anything goes. There's always something to talk about." Knowledgeable and skilled in his trade, he knows what works and what doesn't work. "Watching other artists and learning from their mistakes as well as their success is how I plan to generate big business." He amazingly never makes the same song twice, all the while, finding humor in the most unlikely places. By the time he created 5 albums worth of music, in 2001 his cousin Showtime started rapping over his tracks. The work on Showtime’s solo project began. Inevitably, they joined forces soon after for group projects. "I'm a workaholic. I'm selling beats too." (For his company Poppmusic Productions)
The first time Showtime ever performed in front of an audience was at church when he was around 14 years old. "I knew from that day on I wanted to write, rap, produce, or perform. Anything that had to do with acting, performing, and rapping, I wanted to be involved. I just love to create." Also a native of Baltimore City, he's quick to jump in a cypher or battle. "I 'm hungry. I'm bringing fresh new music to the table and making hits." Being a versatile rapper with an open mind, he raps fast or slow about any topic on the earth's surface. Known for his lack of tongue biting, his voice and delivery are both live and clear, demanding your attention.
Musically, MASH INFANTRY's content contains so much versatility, that to define their creations or place these fellas in a box wouldn't do them any justice, if it is at all possible to do so. Incidentally, they could be marketed in a huge variety of genres at the same time. They just do it all. And they do it all themselves. Including their own album covers. Not just hard workers on the music, their minds are as focused on and in tune with the often neglected, yet most important part of a musician’s career - the business. Running what is essentially an independent record company (Akashic Records), once again you'll ask, are these guys really only 23 years old? The answer is a resounding yes. All the talent, combined with their business savvy work ethic, this INFANTRY will surely do what they set out to do. Which, is MASH the competition.