• Gov't Name: Maco Mattox
  • Twitter: @OGMaco
  • Instagram: @OGxMaco
  • Age: 23
  • Reppin: Atlanta
  • Notable Releases: Singles: “U Guessed It,” “Love In The City,” “How We Planned It,” “FUCKEMx3”; Mixtapes: Live Life, Live Life 2; EPs: Give Em Hell with Key!, OG Maco, Breathe, 15
  • Label: Quality Control/Capitol/Motown
  • Currently Working On: Children of the Rage, his debut album due out fourth quarter
  • Surprised About Who Is Missing: “Probably Father.”
  • Influenced By: “Everybody. The 'Ye's to Black Sabbath, Kid Cudi, Curren$y. Everything, everything. Amazing music moves me, and that's all it is.”
  • As A Freshman In High School: “I was fuckin' with the older bitches. I was getting money. I hated my class; I thought they was super immature and didn't know what the fuck they wanted out of life. I never hung with them, I hung with all the seniors.”

TRUTH: On Being A 2015 XXL Freshman: “I used to always be really interested when the Freshman cover would come out. Especially knowing that so many artists have come from that cover and got a good look and were able to capitalize and get even more looks. I think it'll give me more exposure just to make people even look, and that's all we need, just a look.

You don't have to be impressed by anything here because the music speaks for itself. It's impressive enough. But people aren't as aware that there's more to it as a lot of people are. So shouts to all those fans, but there's a lot of people that don't know, and I think it'll give them a shot [to check it out].

Personally, my outlook [has changed in the past year]. My ability to control anger, deal with situations and diffuse certain situations, you know. ’Cause it made me grow more as a person. As an artist, you continuously grow every day, every second that you're alive, you know, but you don't always have to grow as a person. You can be an amazing artist and a shit person your whole life, and it made me grow as a person.

[The Freshman cover is] legendary. It lasts forever. No matter what, you come back, you come to this year, I'm here. And whatever's written, it's there. It never changes, no matter what. Even if I never become a $100 million artist—which I don't see how I wouldn't—but if by some weird chance I don't, at least I was this. I was the pinnacle of this level, right now. It's affirmation; I don't think it boosts [my confidence], and if it's confirming it you got so low self-esteem. So I think it affirms it.

[I want to] make a trillion dollars and a magazine with my face on it. I'm gonna be on tour already, so I'll already be doing what comes next. [Right now] if it doesn't have anything to do with the album then I don't care. I got songs for the album already on my phone right now, I just got ’em. Can't wait to hear ’em. The EPs and mixtapes are like a glimpse into whatever side of you that you want to bring out. And so the album is all of those me's as one human being, you know, a consistent flow with everything that goes into making that, all these life experiences which taught you what to appreciate and what to not give a fuck about, and now you get to carry it over to the people. And it's something that they know matters to you.

There was [a turning point for me]. I was listening to everybody and I didn't hear nobody who was better than me. Nobody's music made me re-think my music that was out here in the same playing field as me. Nobody had me like, “Ah, shit,” just out here trippin’. Nobody, you know? There's people that I got respect for and that I gained more respect for them, like Vince Staples and Tink. She just went ridiculous in that other room [in the Cypher]. But at the same time, Raury was going ridiculous right there, too, you know what I'm sayin'? I'm happy with the feeling. You know, happy with it. It's a cool feeling. Honor. It's an honor.” —Dan Rys

Behind-The-Scenes: OG Maco