Western student is a rap phenomenon

'Arskwared' discusses new album and music industr

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Matt 'Arskwared' Rynen

WHO ARE THE 5 GREATEST RAPPERS OF ALL TIME? DYLAN... DYLAN... DYLAN, DYLAN, DYLAN — BECAUSE I SPIT HOT FIRE. Matt "Arskwared" Rynen is one of London's up-and-coming hip-hop artists.

Western student Matt Rynen, better known as “Arskwared” (pronounced R-squared), is not a math major. In fact, he’s not even in school right now, and with good cause.

Rynen is currently taking a semester off to dedicate his time to music. Now, “Rhymin’” Rynen is the hottest addition to London’s underground hip-hop scene and is enjoying every minute of it.

“The only way I can describe my music is hip-hop " pure and simple. I can’t really put it into another category. It’s progressive, but its roots are definitely in hip-hop,” Rynen remarks.

In terms of lyrics, Rynen’s content is more intelligent than what’s out there; he weaves his way around politics and the state of the music industry.

“Rap sales are down 60 per cent. The industry is going down. I don’t like to use the clichéd line that I’m bringing back the old school. Any rap fan wants to see the old school come back, but we need something fresh and new,” says Rynen.

Even tough Rynen’s music is the fresh sound everyone has been looking for, he remains humble.

“I’m just trying to make good music, plain and simple. I hear a good beat, put some cultured words to it and make it sound great.”

Rynen has been involved in music his entire life. His interest began in elementary school, when his brother introduced him to new albums and artists every week.

By Grade 8, Rynen was rapping over processed beats and creating his own music. After receiving a tremendous amount of positive feedback from his friends and family, he decided to take his music to another level.

Rynen’s success did not come overnight.

In Grade 10, Rynen cut a handful of tracks and put them on his SoundClick webpage. Three years later he was randomly contacted by a record company and, after one interview was offered a contract. Soon after, Rynen began producing and writing his first album, Verse-Atility.

Rynen recently collaborated with Sony producer, Flipshu.

“We have a great relationship,” Rynen says. “We’ve been good friends since we met two years ago. He’s always showing me new beats and saying ‘rap to this’ or ‘rap to that.’ He’s integral to my success.”

In the wake of success, Rynen is thankful for all the support from family and friends " from emotional support to the promotion of his music.

“Word of mouth is huge,” Rynen adds. “It helps to know people around London who are willing to refer you and help you out. I basically have an army working for me, all I have to do is make the music and everything else is taken care of.

When it comes down to it, Rynen confesses that it’s really all about the fans and their support.

“That’s the thing about London. It’s a good town to get started [in] because the musical community is so close knit. I know every underground DJ here and they all know me.”

Rynen is fresh off his CD release party at RumRunners. To check out his music, visit www.soundclick.com, keyword: arskwared.

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