Aston Matthews could’ve easily been a 1990’s wrestler complete with a signature move, an over-the-top outfit and a waist stocked with championship belts. Thankfully, Aston a.k.a. Minivan Dan the Latin Moses is an 80’s baby whose only focus is leaving his mark in hip-hop and dropping hits instead of elbows.
Before having solid intentions of becoming a successful artist, Aston’s late teen years were spent caught up in the California gang culture that has taken so many young lives before their time. After getting shot in his hometown of Lakewood, CA, Aston reflected on his situation and the impact it had on his family “2008 got shot, seeing your mom with you every single day on your death bed, I just started to not take life for granted.”
With a second chance afforded to him Aston wasted no time jumping head first into music and putting the same efforts on the tracks that he was putting in the streets. Using his experiences from the streets combined with unique vocals and a savvy delivery has put young Matthews in a position few Latinos in Los Angeles have ever had. “I feel like its important for me to hold down my heritage out this way and really do it right and represent people in the proper manner, since this is the first time it may go down like this I feel like it should be done the right way.”
Since the glory days of Big Pun, Fat Joe and Cypress Hill, Latino hip-hop fans have had only a handful of Latino MC’s that have been able to garner interest outside of their demographic and immediate culture for broad scale support. Current Latino lyricists such as Joell Ortiz, Bodega Bamz and Pitbull have established a name for themselves but the West Coast in particular is ripe for a new representative.
For the vast majority of the country, conflict between blacks and hispanics isn’t even a thought. In certain parts of LA being black or hispanic in the wrong neighborhood can get you killed. Aston is in an age group where race means very little which is none more evident than his relationship with Long Beach rapper/producer Joey Fatts, “Usually you meet someone for the first time and its an awkward experience, we stood in front of Burger King for an hour and a half just chopping it up. We just decided to link up together and get it cracking.”
No matter their race or gang affiliations Aston and joey have a respect for each other as people and as artists. With so many dying needlessly, it’s a hope that the mentality of the cutthroat boys will soon be just as popular as their music.