Mooch. Photo: Anthony Alston

More often than not, when it comes to creating Hip Hop music, artists dream of being a famous, front-facing act, with all the praise and glory that comes with it. Yet Mooch fell in love with the intricacies of sound, those details that dictate how you hear the sound coming out of your speakers. One could argue that engineers are as important to Hip Hop’s evolution over the past 50 years as the recording artists themselves. So yes, engineers are artists too. 

Mooch has worked with a handful of notable New York artists like Jay Critch, but it’s not the glitz and glamor he’s after. “It’s never been about the money or fame for me,” he says. “One of my biggest motives is assuring high-quality recording, mixing and music services for the grassroots-level artists that I love.”

On the heels of Hip Hop’s 50 birthday, we sat down with Mooch to discuss all things Hip Hop – his introduction to the genre, the interesting moment that led him to fall in love with it and more.

This interview has been slightly edited for clarity and conciseness. 

Epicenter: What was your introduction to Hip Hop?

Mooch: I like to think I was born into Hip Hop. I’d say I became conscious about it around 8 years old, listening to 50 Cent’s “Get Rich or Die Trying.”

Epicenter: Can you speak to the moment you fell in love with Hip Hop?

Mooch: The Lupe Fiasco “Superstar” music video, for sure. I’ve been wearing glasses all my life, and Lupe was the first rapper I really connected with just because we kinda looked alike. That’s when I really bought in and started to study Hip Hop for real.

Epicenter: When you hear the term “Hip Hop,” what does that mean to you?

Mooch: Multiple things really. It’s a culture for one. It’s one of those things that’s in you, not on you. It’s a language even – one where what’s understood doesn’t need to be explained.

Epicenter: As Hip Hop just turned 50, what do you think about how far it’s come and where you would like to see it go?

Mooch: I honestly have no idea how far this could possibly go. Hip Hop amazes me year in and year out with the reach it’s gained and the barriers it’s broken. Personally, I’d love for more Hip Hop artists and producers to score soundtracks for movies. I think what Metro Boomin did for the Spider-Man movie was amazing… and I’ve yet to see the movie [laughing].

Top 5:

Epicenter: What are your top five favorite Hip Hop albums of all time?

Mooch: This changes all the time, man. I’ll do my best to span albums across my lifetime: “The Black Album” by Jay-Z, “The Cool” by Lupe Fiasco, “The Sun’s Tirade” by Isaiah Rashad, “Ramona Park Broke My Heart” by Vince Staple and “Control System” by Ab-Soul. 

Epicenter: Who are your top five favorite Hip Hop artists of all time?

Mooch: Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco, Nipsey Hussle, Wale and Jadakiss.

Epicenter: What are your top five favorite Hip Hop songs of all time?

Mooch: Man! I don’t know if I can answer this one for real – there are too many songs that are near and dear to me… “That’s How I Knew” by Nipsey Hussle, “Allure” by Jay-Z, “Still Feel Me” by Jadakiss… that’s all you get, I’m sorry [laughing].

If you or any Hip Hop artist you know are in need of having their music mixed and mastered, reach out to Mooch via email at

Curtis Rowser III is a Brooklyn-based writer and digital media creator. He recently earned a master’s degree in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University and is currently completing his master’s...

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