Maff Test aka Young Harvey
A math test is a series of questions designed to determine knowledge or ability of the relationship between figures and forms, and relations between quantities. Maff Test aka Young Harvey, is looking to challenge the state of music in the same way. His new project entitled Contrabands and Contradictions dares listeners to explore their personal contradictions while exposing some of the music industry’s biggest hypocrisies. Like a mathematical equation, he believes that contradiction is equal to change which is necessary for growth. He says the content speaks to the imperfections and contradictions of mankind. “Contradiction can be due to growth, we will all be forced to change our outlook if we want tomove to the next level,” Maff explains, “if you are afraid to contradict yourself, you will stunt your personal growth.”
Growing up in Harvey, Illinois, Maff saw his share of violence and became familiar with the streets at an early age. Music was introduced to him through his older brother Jon Wain who sung R&B as well as wrote and arranged music. Although Maff Test wanted to rap and not sing, he was fascinated with melodies and hooks. “I was always a Big dreamer and the dream of music saved me. My brother used to sing so I was around harmonies, etc. and I knew how a song should be structured etc. I understood harmonies before I started rapping,” Maff says. Music had become an influence but Harvey still needed to find a way to help take care of his family. When given the choice between applying for a job at the local McDonald’s or surviving off the streets, he chose the latter. At the time Harvey viewed his choice as necessary. “From a need to survive is where the word hustler comes from. Originally the word was somebody who hit the streets to sell drugs or do whatever they have to in order to survive. It’s the mentality of I’m going to survive and take care of my family by any means necessary,” Maff explains.
In 2005, Maff recorded his first mixtape “Young Illini/the line-up”. With his street connections and marketing instinct, the project sold over 5k copies on the streets of the Midwest and doubled its sales online. A year later, he released “Stolen Property” and started branding the project with t-shirts, towels and other merchandise. He doubled his physical sales, selling 10k and sold even more online. Determined to be even more competitive, Maff collaborated with DJ Khaled on his third release entitled,
“Big Business”. He added radio, online marketing campaign along with media and sold over 25k copies and nearly tripled online sales and merchandising numbers. Test went on a promotional tour with the project. Realizing the investment paid off, he followed the same blue print with his 2011 “Big Business 1.5” featuring Nipsey Hustle and DJ Cartoon Network. Although he still owned Locked Out studios in
Chicago, Maff Test realized he wanted to extend his knowledge and ability to earn residuals in the business. He started writing with different well known industry producers and went into business mode to learn the executive side of the business. “Collaborations with other artists and writing sessions, allowed me to see others how others create and helped push my career to the next level, perfect my craft,” Maff explained.
Everything he observed working with other artists and watching some of his musical mentors, has primed Maff to return with his current project, “Contrabands and Contradictions.” This project is personal because he says he pulled from the violence he sees in his hometown of Chicago. “Chicago takes pride in violence because there is nothing else to take pride in. There is a really bad connection between violence and pride,” Maff says. He believes “Contrabands and Contradictions” shows his growth as a man and he hopes the content will push old and new fans alike to test their perspectives on life and realize that change and contradiction can equal growth.
-by Christal Jordan