Odessa

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31.8456
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-102.3672

Matty Dee, also known as MattyDeeTwo40s, is an Austin-based rapper whose music is shaped by punk rock and his past experiences.

Photo Credit: Mary Kang | Daily Texan Staff

“I don’t like you,” Matty Dee said, describing his mentality on life. “No, not you personally,” he clarifies with a sly chuckle. “We’re nasty-ass creatures. We eat horrible things. The human race sucks. Not every human sucks, but the race in general is pretty shitty.” Although bold for a 20-year-old, Matty Dee’s contentions are salient, given his history.

Austin-based rapper Matty Dee, known as MattyDeeTwo40s within music circles, moved to Austin after finishing high school in Odessa to study business and build a name for himself — the radical juxtaposition between conservative, rural Texas to its most liberal, urban environment proved an unique experience.

Even so, Dee’s dark worldviews are the result of experiences that happened long before his relocation: “I started taking a lot of pills when I was in high school,” he said. According to Dee, Odessa was riddled with drugs. “In Odessa, it’s just so plentiful. Everywhere you turn, it’s there.”

Despite his affinity for drugs at the time, the main reason why he decided to leaving was to escape from Odessa’s intense narcotics culture.

The rapper used drugs to quell dark parts of his past. “My parents split when I was five and my dad was really never around. I just grew up without a dad. I was always looking for a father figure and I guess drugs ended up being my father figure. I was raised by the computer and drugs,” he said. Dee had no qualms about his past drug history though. “I write my best stuff on pills,” he said.

Dee isn’t exaggerating. His mellow, nasally flow is reminiscent of rising artist Mac Miller and New York’s socially conscious rapper, Cage. Like Cage, who Matty Dee cites as an influence, his raps cross into a compelling realm in an extremely twisted way. His song, “The Lion and The Bull Part 2,” tells a story in which he has an affair with someone in a relationship, leavened with occasional commentary on the immorality of the ordeal. The ethics of the situation is contrasted with lyrics on the attractiveness of the girl. The hook of one of his most recent songs, “I Get High,” is simply Dee ominously stating, “We’re all dead already. Why cry?”

Outside of girls and dark observations on life, like Cage, Dee cites punk rock acts as some of his biggest influences.

“I love The Dead Kennedy’s and Cerebal Ballzy,” Dee said, after arriving clad in a Bad Religion T-shirt. Dee, like many of hip-hop’s up-and-comers (like Odd Future and Kid Cudi), is amongst a new generation of rappers that look to punk rock for inspiration, instead of artists solely within their own genre. That likeness may help his ascent, especially within the Austin scene, already riddled with artists who operate within archetypal rap paradigms.

Despite Dee’s obvious foreboding, aggressive side, he’s actually carries a jovial swagger in step and his face rests in a natural, goofy smile.

“Everyone needs a person like Matty Dee in their clique,” said Elles Infanite, a fellow Austin rapper and friend. “He’s always making everyone laugh.”

“He’s playing with a lot of better rappers on the scene,” Infanite said. “It’s to the point where I can listen to his music without skipping a track.”

After his arrival in Austin more than a year ago, Dee has hit the ground running, moving far past his history of rural drug abuse. He’s established connections with the city’s most prominent rappers, DJs and venue owners. He’s even branched out on the business end of things; Dee and Infanite are starting a music blog and merchandise website called Lot B, slated to launch by November.

Despite Dee pursuing a degree in business and pursuing entrepreneurial ventures, the rapper has no intention of doing anything in his life that isn’t centered around his music. “There is no plan B,” he said. “I’m gonna rap.”

Printed on Friday, August 26, 2011 as: Drugs, dark themes influence rapper.

Guerdwich Montimere, who posed as a Permian High School sophomore in 2010, leaves the Ector County Courthouse in Odessa, Texas, on Wednesday, July 27, 2011. Guerdwich Montimere, 23, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and three counts of tampering with government records, said Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland. Montimere, whose trial was to begin next week in Odessa, had faced up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the original counts.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

LUBBOCK — A former star athlete who posed as a teenager to play high school basketball in West Texas was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison after reaching a plea deal, a prosecutor said.

Guerdwich Montimere, 23, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and three counts of tampering with government records, said Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland.

Officials say the naturalized U.S. citizen from Haiti had graduated from high school in Florida, where he also played basketball, years before he moved to Odessa and presented himself as a ninth-grader named Jerry Joseph. Montimere was 21 and 22 when he played one season at Odessa Permian High, the same rabidly competitive school that inspired the book and movie “Friday Night Lights” about high school football. Montimere helped lead the Panthers to the 2010 state playoffs, but the team had to forfeit after his story unraveled.

Montimere was indicted last year on six felony charges, including sexual assault and tampering with government records. His trial was to begin next week in Odessa, and he had faced up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the original counts. The indictment accused him of identity theft. The sexual assault counts accused him of having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Messages were left with a spokesman for Montimere’s attorney Wednesday as well as with his mother, Manikisse Montimere.

Suspicions were raised about Joseph after coaches from Florida at a post-season amateur basketball tournament in Arkansas said they recognized him as Montimere, a 2007 graduate of a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., high school.

Because he was living with Odessa basketball coach Danny Wright and not a parent or guardian, Montimere had to apply to the University Interscholastic League in Austin to play high school basketball. A waiver was granted and he was the star of the team.

Wright, who still calls Montimere by the name Jerry, said he was livid once he learned Joseph wasn’t who he said he was.

“I was blindsided,” Wright said. “I never saw it coming. I just thought he was a big kid.”

Montimere was named the District 2-5A Newcomer of the Year, an honor that was stripped when his deception was exposed. The Panthers also forfeited their 16 wins, although Wright said the “team would have been good with or without Jerry.”

Bland noted Montimere will have to register as a sex offender.

“To me, this is justice considering what he did here. This will protect other towns from him doing what he did here,” Bland said.

He also said the victim had wanted a plea deal.

“The victim’s been through a lot because of the high profile nature of this case,” he said. “And I wanted to save her from going through the ordeal of a trial.”

After the Arkansas tournament, Permian officials had begun receiving anonymous phone calls and emails saying Joseph was really Montimere. Odessa school officials looked into the situation, and Joseph was initially cleared by immigration authorities and allowed to return to the school.

But the investigation continued, and officials eventually confirmed Montimere’s identity. School officials said Montimere confessed after he was confronted with the new evidence.

In spite of everything, Montimere still had the support of some Permian teachers, who had planned to be in the courtroom for his trial.

Liz Faught, a substitute at Permian who had Montimere as a student several times, said he was always well-behaved and polite. Although she said she felt a “bit duped” when the truth surfaced, she never lost her compassion for him.

“I know he was doing all of it for himself to be better off,” she said. “And that’s fine. We all do that. ... I cannot say one bad thing about this kid.”

Printed on Thursday, July 28, 2011 as: Athlete who posed as student receives three years in prison