Ness: The Philly Bad Boy

Lloyd Mathis, known by his stage name Ness, is a talented American rapper and battle MC from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He rose to prominence through his participation in Diddy’s MTV reality show, Making the Band 2, from 2002 to 2004.

Photo Credits: Brian Raymond

Ness’s journey continued as he signed with Bad Boy Records. He earned songwriting credits on Diddy’s 2006 album, Press Play. During his time on MTB2, Ness became known for his intense on-camera battle rap with Da Band member, Jae Millz. This battle became a notable example of a cappella battle rap in mainstream media at the time.

Ness later returned to his battle rap roots in 2010. He would captivate audiences with his stage presence, writing skills, and fast-paced flows unique to the vibrant Philadelphia rap scene.

Since then, he has showcased his talent on some of the biggest platforms in the battle rap culture, including King of the Dot, URL, Rare Breed Entertainment, Don’t Flop, Gates of the Garden, and Grind Time Now.

Photo Credits: Brian Raymond

New Ventures

Throughout his career, Ness has faced jokes about his infamous task of fetching a cheesecake for Diddy during his Making the Band days. However, in a remarkable turn of events, Ness has redefined the cheesecake joke by launching “Ness Philadelphia Cheesecake”, a brand that has gained popularity within the music industry and hip-hop culture. This demonstrates his ingenuity and ability to transform a seemingly negative experience into a successful venture.

Since the Covid 19 days, Ness has been on a relentless mission to redefine himself. I have personally witnessed his remarkable rebranding journey. I have had the privilege of building a strong relationship with Ness, to the extent that he would visit my studio to write his rounds for upcoming battles, create reference tracks, or simply hang out and relax.

One thing that Ness consistently does is break the algorithm on Instagram every week. Since 2019, he has been dropping unique freestyle videos that go viral, showcasing his impressive rhyme schemes and captivating the attention of fans worldwide.

E Ness
Photo Credits: Brian Raymond

There was a time when the Philadelphia hip-hop industry felt that Ness was being overlooked or even blackballed. However, as of 2024, there is no denying the mainstream and underground presence of “Lew,” also known as the “Lockness Monster.” Ness’s relentless branding efforts and innovative business models have paved new lanes for him and garnered the attention and recognition he deserves.

Checkout The Latest Music From Ness

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Straight Official Sit Downs: Afro Preachah

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Afro Preachah

AFRO PREACHAH stopped by our headquarters for this edition of Straight Official Sit Downs where we spotlight emerging artists. @TenthLetterMedia got the opportunity to chop it up with him this time and the vibe was dope! Check out their one-on-one down below and click here for more Straight Official Sit Downs.


Introduce yourself. Tell us where you are from and what first interested you in the entertainment industry?

They call me Afro Preachah. I was born in Kansas City, KS and grew up in Missouri before moving to Minnesota. The name was given to me by my producer friend Griff.  What interested me was watching music videos from Run DMC, Public Enemy, Morris Day, Bootsy Collins.

Who or what inspires you to create?

 My first inspiration was my father and grandfather.  Both are preachers. Growing up in church. The rhythm of music in general. Music, words and rhythm have been on auto play my whole life.

How would you describe your sound?

 I would say it’s a fusion of then and now. Old and new.  Hip-Hop, Funk, R&B, Soul and sounds of Gospel.  So folks call is “Sexy Chuuch music”.  It makes me laugh.


Tell us about your creative process. What are your go-to’s for a session?

I like to just vibe out in my mancave when I get the music from my producers.  Play video games, watch anime, smoke one. Surround myself with art. I basically “Nerd Out” (laughs).

What artists would you like to collaborate with?

Artists I’m a fan of.include Morris Day, Tech N9ne, Trinidad James, MC Lyte, Chris Brown, 69 Boys & Bootsy Collins.

Afro Preachah

The music is for you & them, not me. The real grassroot. I’m just the vessel. I could never say thank you enough. Living my dream to do music for folks that want it is a true blessing. Gratitude.

Afro Preachah’s words to his fans


What’s a skill/talent that you possess that no one knows about?

I practice five different forms of Kung-Fu & Martial Arts.

If not for music, where would you be in life right now?

That’s a great question.  I’ll have to ask God and get back to you on that one.

If you could change the music industry in any way, what would you change and why?

Well, in a dream I had all labels support all artists from an independent artist aspect. Why that change? Speaking for myself, I’m an LLC. Yes, I’m an artist but business comes first.  So, presenting any kind of business that would hurt personally is off the table. 

Important things artists should know. How to balance their checkbooks, understanding sync licensing to running your independent artist website. Labels offer real music business education.  In these past years in my opinion, we’ve had why to many negative outcomes in our African American entertainment community.  Label can make just as much money by educating their artists to own themselves. Then I woke up! (laughs)

Afro Preachah


Do you have a new project out? If so, tell us more about it and where we can hear it.

Yes, actually a couple projects. “Watch Me” produced by @Lstmusic and “Rap Caviar” by @flamesquadDJMC. You can stream, download and watch video on

Give us your final words. Let us know where we can follow on social media.

You can find me @afropreachah YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and X.  For all the content that doesn’t make it to social media go to and subscribe. 

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