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October 30, 1989|
Los Angeles, California, United States
Matthew Lopez (born October 30, 1989), known professionally as Aston Matthews (styled as A$ton Matthews), is a Guatemalan-American rapper from Los Angeles, California. In 2014, he began to gain recognition following the release of his second mixtape, A$ton 3:16. Matthews is also a part of the Los Angeles hip-hop trio Cutthroat Boyz alongside fellow Californian rappers Vince Staples and Joey Fatts.
Matthew Lopez was born October 30, 1989 in the city of Los Angeles, California. Born of Guatemalan immigrants, Lopez spent much of his formative years between Los Angeles, Hawaiian Gardens, Gardena, and Carson, California. Lopez, a self described multi-sport athlete, played varsity football throughout the duration of his high school career. It is during this time where he also became a member of the West Side Pirus, a faction of the Bloods based in Carson, California. On May 31, 2008, Lopez was involved in an altercation at a house party where he was shot in his heart by a .40 caliber bullet, breaking his ribs, and tearing his stomach in the process. After making a full recovery, Lopez began to write and record songs about his life.
Following his recovery Lopez would practice writing, rapping, and recording one song a day for two years before releasing his first solo project. On November 4, 2011, Lopez would release "NOFVCKSGIVEN." Lopez described his approach to the project in an interview with VICE as, "I'm just gonna go in on a bunch of beats, make some random crazy shit and see what the fuck happens."NOFVCKSGIVEN largely narrated the events leading up to Lopez's shooting, as well as describing it from his own point of view on the song "May 31st" which also featured then rising rap artist ScHoolboy Q. When he began to rap himself, Lopez primarily studied the flow and musical patterns of Eminem, he's also cited Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, G-Unit, and The Diplomats as direct influences to his style, combining all with his personality to create his own.
Prior to recording NOFVCKSGIVEN, Lopez would be introduced to Vince Staples through a mutual friend. Staples and Lopez would go on to collaborate on numerous occasions, ultimately appearing on his first project. After the release of NOFVCKSGIVEN, Staples would introduce Lopez to A$AP Yams who admired Lopez's unique rap style and wanted to further develop him as an artist.
After forming Cutthroat Boyz with rising west coast rap artist Vince Staples and Joey Fatts, Yams would go on to manage Lopez and oversee his next project entitled "Versace Ragz." The project's title served as an ode to New Orleans rap legend Juvenile's sophomore release Solja Rags. The project would furthermore pay tribute as the album artwork featured a hand drawn Lopez in the style of early 1990s New Orleans rap album covers made popular by Cash Money Records.
On August 4, 2012, Lopez would release Versace Ragz. The mixtape featured rising New York artists Da$h, RetcH, and Bodega Bamz, as well as Vince Staples. Three weeks later on August 24, 2012, Lopez would premiere his debut music video 'Triple HHH' the video featured cameos by Staples and Fatts marking their first appearance together as Cutthroat Boyz.
On November 12, 2012, Lopez released an official video to "Hell in a Cell".
Since Versace Ragz release, Lopez has been regarded as being a pioneer in experimental gangster rap as his subject matter reflected a mixture of gang life and the implementation of WWE Wrestling references. Lopez has often referred to himself in song as several monikers in homage to wrestlers including; Brick Flair, his most popular moniker in tribute to Ric Flair, Mini Van Dan, in tribute to Rob Van Dam, Big Poppa Pump, in tribute to Scott Steiner, Eddie Guerrero's Hologram, in tribute to the late Eddie Guerrero, and Latino Heat, also in tribute to the late Eddie Guerrero.
Following the success of Versace Ragz, Lopez would join A$AP Rocky on the European leg of his Live.Love.A$AP Tour in May 2013. Lopez was then announced to make a feature appearance on A$AP Ferg's debut album Trap Lord before joining his first nationwide tour 'Turnt x Burnt' as a supporting act the following Fall.
On May 1, 2013, Lopez release an official video to "Mack 11" stating the video was his directorial debut, as well as announcing that he was working with legendary hip-hop producers Alchemist and Evidence (of Dilated Peoples).
In June 2013, it was announced Lopez was working on a new project entitled 'A$ton 3:16' which he would described as a departure from his former projects, "Showcasing [my] rap ability across the board." In an interview with HipHopDX, Lopez described his experience with both producers as,
Two weeks later on October 16, 2013, Lopez released an official video to "Like This" the video became a viral sensation garnering over 500,000 YouTube views.
On December 16, 2013, Lopez releases an official video to "Free Wavy Crockett II" an official followup to "Free Wavy Crockett" off his NOFVCKSGIVEN project, both songs and video pay homage to incarcerated New York rap artist Max B whom went by the moniker 'Wavy Crockett'.
On January 29, 2014, Lopez debuted a single off the project entitled 'T.L.C.' which featured Action Bronson, Flatbush Zombies, and A$AP Yams. The song is Lopez's most streamed song on Soundcloud to date, garnering over 1,000,000 streams.
On February 10, 2014, Lopez released an official video to "Praey". Two weeks later on February 24, 2014, released an official video to "What You Need" directed by 2015 MTV Video Music Award Director Andrew Hines, the video features a cameo by A$AP Rocky.
On February 20, 2014, Yams tweeted a flyer confirming Lopez's appearance at SXSW Music Festival, one month later on March 14, 2014, Yams would post footage of Lopez performing a verse over an early version of A$AP Mob's single "Hella Hoes", to his Tumblr. Lopez would later perform his verse in its entirety alongside the group at SXSW's House of Vans stage sponsored by Vibe Magazine and Vans.
On March 16, 2014, Lopez released A$ton 3:16 via Soundcloud. The album's title acted as an ode to WWE Wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin, and featured 19 songs in total. The album's cover art pays homage to Ice Cube's Death Certificate, Lopez has said in interviews his father was an Ice Cube fan and frequently played his albums growing up. The album was executive produced by both Yams and Chace Infinite, featuring production by Evidence, Alchemist, Jay Curry and Dj Khalil, as well as guest appearances by Action Bronson, Ab-Soul, Flatbush Zombies, A$AP Ferg, Vince Staples, and Bodega Bamz.
On July 7, 2014, Lopez released an official video to "Lit". Nearly two months later on August 27, 2014, Lopez released an official video to "The Other Side" featuring Kap G. Both songs have been released as non-album promotional singles.
One month later on December 10, 2014, Lopez appeared alongside Young Thug on Noisey's Rap Monument, a 42-Minute song consisting of over 40 rappers including Raekwon, Pusha T, Nipsey Hussle, Danny Brown, and YG among others. Noisey, the music division of Vice Magazine, regarded Lopez as, "West coast gangsta rap's best kept secret."
On August 28, 2015, in an interview with XXL Magazine, Lopez revealed that he was with Yams the evening he passed away, stating he flew to New York to pitch himself for the 2015 XXL Freshman Class, spent time working with Yams, and ultimately witnessed his passing January 18, 2015. Lopez spoke on the impact of Yams untimely passing stating,
After a near four-month hiatus from social media, on April 1, 2015, Lopez released an official video to "Chapo" featuring Vince Staples. The video quickly became Lopez's most watched music video with over 800,000 YouTube views to date. In the video Lopez is seen wearing a T-shirt honoring Yams.
On May 2, 2015, Lopez would return to London for the first time in over two years to perform, selling out the legendary 100 Club alongside frequent collaborator Da$h. Upon his return to the United States, May 30, 2015, Lopez would go on to sell out Los Angeles' Los Globos alongside Bodega Bamz.
On June 30, 2015, it was revealed Lopez would appear on Vince Staples Summertime '06 album. Lopez was praised by Complex Magazine for his guest appearance as well as being credited the "Best voice in the rap game." Lopez also appears in the music video of the album's lead single "Senorita".
In Lopez's August 28, 2015 interview with XXL Magazine he explained overcoming depression following Yams passing, and announced working with New York producer Velous on his upcoming project entitled "Chapovelli." Lopez described the project's conception as,
On October 19, 2015, Lopez would perform at The Novo in Los Angeles alongside Playboi Carti in part of Young Thug's Hy!£UN35 Tour. A month later on December 13, 2015, Lopez would join Vince Staples on the west coast leg of his Summertime '06 Tour.
On December 21, 2015 in celebration of the life and legacy of Yams, the ASAP Mob announced Lopez would perform at the first annual Yams Day Music Festival at Terminal 5 in New York City on January 18, 2016. Lopez would go on to perform at the second annual Yams Day Music Festival at Madison Square Garden in New York City the following January 18, 2017.
On April 26, 2016 in part of the Wavy Wendnesday series, ASAP Mob released a remix version of 'Hella Hoes' featuring Lopez and Danny Brown in addition to the group's original verses, on Soundcloud and YouTube. Lopez performed his verse three years prior at The House of Vans Stage at SXSW alongside the group, as well as on a leaked video version posted by Yams the week of the performance.
On July 11, 2016 Lopez released a video to a previously unreleased song entitled 'One Time.' Released in response to the rising number of police related killings, the song also shares Lopez's first hand experiences with police brutality. The video is a comprised montage of police brutality caught on tape including incidents of murder related to Mike Brown, Laquan Mcdonald, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Noel Aguilar, Tamir Rice, Alex Nieto, and Philando Castile.
On October 18, 2016, Lopez debuted 'Coldest Night In Hell' the first single off his upcoming album Chapovelli. Produced by Velous, the song heavily samples Ghostface Killah's 2000 song 'Mighty Healthy' and details the events of '100 Days, 100 Nights' a period of sustained gang warfare in retaliation to the death of a 27-year-old man in Los Angeles in the summer of 2015. On November 29, 2016 an official video was released, drawing artistic influence from Oliver Stone's cult classic 'Natural Born Killers'.
On April 10, 2017, Lopez debuted 'Night To Remember' a collaboration between himself and long time collaborator Da$h on Instagram Live before properly releasing it on his Soundcloud April 11, 2017. On August 1, 2017, an official video was released.
On June 20, 2017, in an Instagram post celebrating the life and legacy of the late rap artist Prodigy of the Queensbridge rap duo Mobb Deep, Lopez revealed they had recorded an unreleased collaboration 'months' prior to his passing. On January 30, 2018, Billboard premiered the posthumous collaboration entitled, '1 Minute To Pray.' In an interview with Billboard, the collaboration is described by Lopez as,
On September 13, 2017, Lopez debuted 'Phantom of The Opera' a collaboration with artist/producer Velous. Confirming Chapovelli's upcoming release, in an interview with OnSmash.com he described the song's creation as,
On September 15, 2017, Lopez announced he would be performing for the first time in Seoul, South Korea at The Henz Club. The performance would mark Lopez's first appearance in an Asian territory. A week later, Lopez announced on September 25, 2017 that a collaboration with up-and-coming producer Pi'erre Bourne was in the works. On November 1, 2017, Lopez premiered the collaboration with hip-hop magazine XXL entitled 'BRAZY' reviving talks of his long-awaited album Chapovelli across the internet. Two weeks later, on November 13, 2017, Lopez debuted a music video for 'BRAZY' citing its release in honor of Yams birthday of which fell on the same day. The music video showcases Lopez's travels throughout Seoul, South Korea.
On the morning of February 9, 2018, Lopez announced the arrival of his first born son.
Lopez is a self-proclaimed fan of The Oakland Raiders, The Los Angeles Lakers, and The University of Southern California Trojans, frequently making highly opinionated and candid remarks toward each organization across all social media platforms throughout each team's season.
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|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Mini Van Dan"||2013||--||--||--||Versace Ragz|
|"Hell in a Cell"||--||--||--|
|"Mini Van Dan" (Remix)
(featuring Flatbush Zombies and Danny Brown)
|"Like This"||2014||--||--||--||Aston 3:16|
(featuring Vince Staples)
|"What You Need"||--||--||--|
(featuring Action Bronson and Flatbush Zombies)
|"The Other Side"
(featuring Kap G)
|"--" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|"Tres Puntos"||2012||Bodega Bamz||Strictly For My P.A.P.I.Z.|
|"Sweet Chin Symphony"||Retch||Delinquents & Degenerates|
|"TanGerine"||2013||Chuck Inglish, Kash Flow da God||Droptops|
|"Everything a Go"||Joey Fatts||Chipper Jones Vol. 2|
|"Fuck Out My Face"||ASAP Ferg, B-Real, Onyx||Trap Lord|
|"R-Cali"||ASAP Rocky, Joey Fatts||Grand Theft Auto V Soundtrack|
|"In My Mind"||Raven Sorvino, Mike G, Maxo Kream||Queen of HeArts|
|"With My Soul"||2014||The Alchemist, Budgie, Action Bronson, J Rocc||The Good Book|
|"AWOL Radio Volume Won"||Statik Selektah||AWOL Radio Volume Won|
|"3:16"||Smoke DZA, 183rd||Ringside 2|
|"Paradise"||Joey Fatts, Waka Flocka Flame||Chipper Jones Vol. 3|
|"Screen Door"||Vince Staples||Hell Can Wait|
|"The Man"||Les||Steak X Shrimp, Vol. 1|
|"Invoice"||2015||Bodega Bamz||Sidewalk Exec|
|"Hang N' Bang"||Vince Staples||Summertime '06|
|"Shark Tank"||Dash, Sha Hef||17 More Minutes|
|"Chemdream"||2016||Chuck Inglish, Blended Babies||Ev Zeppelin|
|"Hella Hoes" (Remix)||ASAP Mob, ASAP Rocky, ASAP Ferg, ASAP Nast, ASAP Twelvyy, Danny Brown||N/A|
|"Double Tap"||2017||Madchild, Fashawn||The Darkest Hour|
|2016||A$ton Matthews||XXL Freshman||Nominated|