Matthew Morris, aka “MattyB,” is a 10-year-old rapper from Gwinnett County who has a large social media following. Here he poses for a portrait in his studio. Morris who originally became known through YouTube at the age of 7, has upcoming concerts in Anaheim, Calif., Atlanta, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Orlando, Fla. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)
SUWANEE — Matthew Morris is a normal 10-year-old kid. He likes baseball, hanging out with his friends and playing video games.
The only difference between him and other people his age is that he’s a YouTube sensation, known as MattyB, who takes popular R&B and hip-hop songs and cleans up the lyrics.
“I take rap songs and make them clean so everybody can listen to them,” the Suwanee resident said. “I even have teenagers that listen to my music.”
MattyB found his stardom at the tender age of 7, thanks to his cousin Marshall Manning.
“My cousin used to be a rapper, so I would always watch him,” MattyB said. “One day, he was on the Xbox and I was hanging out with my friend when we came up with a couple of lyrics. They weren’t really good, but he asked us to rap them, so we did.”
Before he knew it, Manning had written a new version of a Justin Bieber song for Matt. They recorded the song and put it on YouTube.
“It got a bunch of likes overnight. We got close to a million views in a week,” MattyB said. “I thought I’d just get like 10 views from my friends.”
That was three years ago. Since then, the young rapper has performed on “The TODAY Show,” “Wendy Williams Show,” “Dr. Phil Show” and “EXTRA.”
He has also performed live at Turner Field, Six Flags over Georgia, Centennial Olympic Park and Atlanta Motor Speedway.
MattyB raps clean versions of many artists’s hits, including Eminem, Rihanna, OutKast, One Direction, Miley Cyrus and will.i.am — just to name a few.
He’s worked with some big names in his young career, but one sticks out for him: Vanilla Ice.
“I’ve loved all my videos, but I have to say that shooting ‘Ice, Ice Baby’ — I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back, I realize how big he is and how big it was, so that was really cool,” Matt said.
The 10-year-old hasn’t let fame get to his head. His musical inspirations are close to his heart.
“My biggest influence is my big cousin Marshall, who used to be a rapper,” he said. “I’ve been watching him since I was 6. Another big influence is my B-Boys and B-Girls, my fans.”
As an elementary school student, MattyB has learned to balance his hectic lifestyle.
“What we do is I’ll always go to school on the weekdays, then we’ll try to fly out on Fridays when we do a concert on the weekend, every now and then,” he said about his schedule with his family. “We shoot the videos and record after school. I go to baseball two or three times a week (when the season starts), I take hip-hop class and I do tumbling.
“I really like baseball, football and I like to play air soft with all of my friends.”
On Jan. 25, MattyB is holding a concert at the Georgia World Congress Center.
“We’re going to add new songs and I’m going to know a bunch of new dance moves with dancers. It’s going to be one of my favorites overall,” he said about the show. “(In the future) I hope I can keep rapping and keep getting bigger and bigger. I hope to make an album when I’m older, but it takes a lot of work.”
For those young stars with dreams, MattyB has a piece of advice for you: “If there is something you want to do, just follow your dreams. If you don’t make it, keep trying and keep trying at you want to do. You will definitely make it.”
For more information about music, concerts and other fun facts, visit www.mattybraps.com.
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MattyB sheds light on young career
MattyB, a 10-year-old rapper from Gwinnett, shows us his studio, does an exclusive a cappella rap and talks about his daily routine.