Matt Maxey, who is hard of hearing himself, started gaining Internet interest in the last year with his group DEAFinitelyDope and their covers of hip hop music videos all in ASL. Some of the music they’ve recreated includes, Lil Yatchy’s “iSpy“, Migos’ “T-Shirt“, and Solange’s “Cranes in the Sky“. The videos are creative, fun, and you might even pick up a few signs from them since they rock to the music for us hearing folks too, which is exactly the goal for Maxey and DEAFinitelyDope—to unite the deaf and hearing communities through music.
Story | Angie M Says
Image | Instagram @DEAFinitelyDope
Since then, Maxey seems to be in a whirlwind of blessings. He was snatched to be part of the ASL interpreting team at this year’s Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN, where he met the Father of Hip Hop’s Baby Boomer Era, Chance the Rapper. Next thing you know he is helping Chance learn the signs for his song, “Blessings” on Pigeons and Planes, being featured in GQ magazine, and now, him and his crew are full out touring with Chance on his Be Encouraged Tour giving out free tickets to the shows for deaf and hard of hearing people.
This is a really cool thing because it’s not often that musicians have someone there interpreting, which leaves out an entire community of fans and potential fans. The group told XXL in June, “it’s rare for an artist to provide this [ASL] service, forcing deaf fans to bring their own interpreters.” As if we couldn’t love Chance anymore, right?
Maxey isn’t hard to love either with a smile that could brighten anyone’s day and just an overall demeanor that is contagiously happy. Which is exactly what happened to me when I was at the Hollywood Bowl for the Chance show and I see a guy wearing a DEAFinitelyDope hat. “Is that the guy I’m writing a blog about? Could it?…” I chased him down, froze when I realized it was, and then tried to sign as much ASL as I could remember on the spot after not using it for years. He was super sweet and patient with me and even gave me the best hug ever.
There’s a chance you he’d hug you too if you book the group to perform at your school, event, or club. You can also be just as DEAFinitelyDope because www.deafinitelydope.org has tons of swag for you and your homies to rock at shows, at school, or just around!