Face the Music
Matthew Walker was born in 1976 to Rocoe and Vivian Walker in Chicago, Illinois. As a 15 year-old freshman attending Palatine High School, Matthew (armed with a dictionary, thesaurus and notepad) began writing rap lyrics during study hall. The 17 year old rapper, known to his peers as 'Mad Dog', along with the members of his rap group 'Death Penalty', began making demos at a recording studio in Maywood, Illinois. Although the members of the group chose separate paths after high school, Matthew has (and occasionally listens to) the music they made together. Over the next 2 ½ years, Matthew grew into a young man during his Active Duty tour with the United States Army. He reflects on this time of his life and says, 'The military taught me how to endure hard situations and overcome obstacles regardless of what they are. Also, and most important, I became aware of and accepted Jesus as my Lord. At 19, I started on my journey to recognizing the potency of the musical talent that God gave me and utilizing it to share words that will strengthen my listeners' character, reinforce the principles outlined in the Scriptures, and create a constant awareness of spiritual things.' In March 1999, Matthew (a member of Crusader's Church West, Apostle Daryl O'Neil) completed his first album entitled 'iMpartation' and had become known as 'The M....' 'The M dot-dot-dot just means that the ministry that God has placed in me doesn't stop. Like the work He started when Jesus was sent into the earth didn't end with the death of Jesus, it had only started and continues even now. The ministry will continue to go forth, even through me. It's infinite.' He recalls writing all of the songs before and after work each day, while sitting in his car, waiting in long lines, during lunch breaks, after classes at Triton College, anywhere he happened to be when he was inspired to write ideas for lyrics. 'I disturbed the neighbors all night while producing the music and practicing my songs in the mirror. I recorded this entire album at my Uncle James' studio in Maywood, Illinois. It took about 5 months to record the instrumentals, lay all of my vocal parts, assemble and train the singers to record their parts, do the final mix down, then put it onto CD. I was so excited to have my first CD finally finished. When I listened to it for the first time, I must admit, I was unhappy with it. I knew that I could have done better. I didn't start printing copies of 'iMpartation' because I wallowed in self-pity for about one month. A close friend asked about my progress and I let him hear the album. He got excited and helped me get excited about my music. He told me that I was hearing all of the mistakes, but he was hearing some of the best music that he'd ever heard.' Matthew sold nearly 1000 copies of 'iMpartation.' In August 2000, it was back to the drawing board to create his second album, 'I Wish You Knew.' He shares, 'Due to the previous experience, I knew exactly what route I must take as well as what corners I was able to cut. This album was done in Chicago at the studio of a man named Ismail Mehmetti. I call him Mr. Mike. I remember him saying that he was impressed with my professionalism, precision and preparedness. It only took three months to write, produce, record and digitally master this album. I went through the same writing and production process as for the first album, but I was better prepared for this one. I immediately noticed that I had grown as an artist. I see exactly where I am in my artistry and how far I am from where I need to be in order to accomplish what I must accomplish.' His latest album, 'Face The Music' was released by Elohim Music in March 2003. This album was produced by Brother Pasi, who has become one of Matthew's best friends. This project is a wonderful example of the product of teamwork. Through the attitude of a 'Champion', and the regular prayers of Pasi and Matt for each other, this album was produced. Since the completion of his first album, Matthew has performed at many functions all over Chicagoland for various events including World Vision (an international Christian humanitarian organization serving the world's poor and displaced) as well as churches and organizations in Indiana, Wisconsin and Texas. 'I'm part of an anointed team of singers, dancers, poets and fellow-rappers, and we are always eager to share our hearts.' When asked why he has chosen rap as a tool to minister the Gospel, Matthew states, with humility, sincerity and a smile, 'God chose me for this mission, so I do it with great pleasure.'