The story of A$ton Matthews nearly ended before it truly began. At a young age, the Cali native was surrounding in the street life. What started as a scuffle at a friends party turned into a life threatening escapade, as the people Matthews fought came back shooting. A$ton was struck by a bullet, with one hitting him in the heart. After his recovery, he had a different outlook on life. “After I got shot, I started to really take on music. I never was a rapper or had dreams of being a rapper until after that,” says the 24-year-old. “The shooting opened my eyes up to a whole lot of shit. I realized life is so much bigger than this one little section of land. I got smarter after the fact, and saw there was a plan for my life. Now I try to fulfill my destiny. I wasn’t a rapper before the incident, but I am now. Makes me think this is what I am here for.”
Having found his purpose, the Matthews hit the booth with a vengeance. His debut tape NOFVCKSGIVEN embodied the high octane lifestyle the MC lives. With collaborations from Vince Staples, Skeme and ScHoolboy Q, the hip-hop upstart had grabbed the attention of the left coast. Showing no signs of a sophomore slump, A$ton relinquished Versace Ragz, which garnered praises across the blogosphere for highlighting his experiences with a vivid delivery.
Despite the success from Versace Ragz, Matthews went on a quick hiatus to craft another masterpiece. The end result was A$ton 3:16. The lifetime wrestling fan decided to pay homage to Stone Cold Steve Austin via the title, but also wanted to project to embody the spirit of the Texas rattlesnake. “I wanted the tape to have a lot of energy, come with an in your face aggressive flow. Let people know I’m here to fuck shit up,” he explains. The mixtape hosts an all-star cast of artists which include 2013 XXL Freshmen Ab-Soul and Action Bronson, as well as Harlemite A$AP Ferg, Brooklyn’s Flatbush Zombies and more.
Shortly after, the project landed in the hands of A$AP Worldwide co-owner A$AP Yams. “The homie Da$h introduced me to the music and Mini Van Dan. I flew out to Long Beach to link with him, and A$ton is a real dude,” Yams says. “The movement on that coast is so strong right now. I believe that Cutthroat can be the G-Unit for this next generation and the West Coast. A$ton represents that new progressive sound of gangster rap. He can fill that void in the game.”
Matthews’ fanbase is growing at a rapid pace. Since going on the road with A$AP Mob for the Turnt x Burnt Tour and the success of A$ton 3:16, he plans on taking a different approach when it comes to making music. He wants to work alongside his partners Joey Fatts and Vince Staples to push the Cutthroat Boyz movement to another level. “We are looking to make it a household name, like TDE or A$AP,” says Matthews. “We want to provide change.”
A$ton also mentions that there will be a higher activity rate on his end in between projects this time around. “I will have videos for around half of the tape. I will be apart of whatever the A$AP Mob has cooking on their next tape, I plan on doing a lot more features now. I am usually the type of artist who likes to go away for a little bit and then come back strong out of nowhere. This time I plan on staying in the forefront for a long time.”—Christian Mordi