Revere native Michael ‘M-DOT’ Januario continues to hone his lyrical skills, traveling to Europe for colossal rap festivals, and working on the second part of his critically-acclaimed album.
And he does it all while balancing a family and a career.
Fresh off his hit album ‘Ego and the Enemy’ last year, M-DOT just got back from the Czech Republic where he performed in the key timeslot for the Hip Hop Kemp Fest, which is one of the top 50 rap festivals in the world.
“It’s like Woodstock for rap,” he said. “It’s about an hour away from Prague in the Czech Republic. We performed in a really good time slot in an airplane hangar on Aug. 24. We got great feedback and the energy was awesome. One of the bloggers there said we put out the most memorable set of the entire festival, which is a great thing to hear. Basically, I had done a show in Germany with the Phar Cyde back in March when I was on a 30-day tour. It was a very cool show and I was professional and showed up on time and took things seriously. The promoter was impressed with that and with our shows, and that led to this great opportunity at Kemp.”
Past performers at Kemp included Wu-Tang, De La Soul, Kendrick Lamar, Common and other big names.
But M-DOT said he really enjoyed just being a regular guy while at the festival, which was a hit with fans.
“It was a great festival because as much as I’ve accomplished, I’m just a regular guy,” he said. “I’m not a superstar and so I like to go around talking to people and that is well-received because not all the big stars do that. I’ve always been raised in Revere to be humble and I don’t take any of these experiences for granted.”
M-DOT performs under the Own Lane Music label and travels with his crew, dubbed EMS. However, the humble Revere native got his start at the Beachmont School writing poetry and recording his rap lyrics on an old Walkman. After about a thousand miles of cassette tape recordings, he began playing out in Boston, and from there hustled and hustled to hone his craft and get recognized.
This weekend, he will be playing on Sunday at the HempFest on Boston Common, excited to return to Boston and play for family and friends who will be coming out to see him. He is scheduled to go on at 5 p.m. on Sept. 16.
Beyond that, he said he is currently working on the sequel, part two, to Ego and the Enemy. He expects that to come out in the first half of 2019.
The second part has Method Man (Wu-Tang) returning and features production from Pete Rock, plus Berklee graduate G-Koop (whose produced for Jay-Z, Dr. Dre & Rick Ross).
However, his proudest accomplishment is that he has done all of this while balancing family life and a job. He said it requires great planning and patience, but he enjoys the balance.
“As much as it’s portrayed that way, it’s not a party,” he said. “I have to stay professional and I can’t afford to burn any bridges. It’s very exhausting traveling and performing. I also balance family with my career and my work. I’ve found a really good balance right now. Some people sacrifice family or some just quit and stay at home because it becomes hard to find the balance. I’m proud of that balance I’ve found.”
Looking back at the summer, M-DOT said he’s very excited for the coming months.
“I’m really proud of what we did in Kemp and our placement in that show,” he said. “We have the album coming out soon and I’m excited to play the HempFest in Boston this weekend.”
M-DOT can be followed on Twitter at: @mdotboston.