Mayo High grad riding the Gravy train to musical fame
It’s going to be a busy summer for 23-year-old Matt Hauri, a 2014 graduate of Rochester’s Mayo High School. Most recent college graduates would say the same thing about their summer — time to find a job, find a place to live in a new city, try to figure out how to live on your own — but for Hauri, it’s a little different.
After all, as Yung Gravy, things can get a little hectic.
It’s been a wild ride for Hauri since releasing his first single. His debut studio album Sensational debuted at No. 52 on the Billboard 200 in mid-June (he’s believed to be the first artist from Rochester to hit the charts). Over four million people listened to his music on Spotify in the last month, and his top song “Mr. Clean” reached gold status earlier this year.
His style of laid-back, soul-influenced meme rap is unlike any other rapper’s, much less anyone making music in Rochester. Producers like Englewood and Jason Rich take old 60s/70s funk tracks and turn them into modern hip-hop beats, while Hauri’s rich baritone delivery simultaneously adds an aura of confidence and comedy. The genre-bending strategy immediately proved successful, as his third track “Continental Breakfast” found success on Soundcloud just months after Gravy hit the scene.
Since Hauri publicly released his identity in 2017 (Yung Gravy was publicly ‘faceless’ for about a year to prevent the project from getting in the way of Hauri’s job opportunities), the ride has only become crazier. He’s toured the U.S. and Europe, signed to Republic Records (making him labelmates with Drake, The Weeknd, and Lil Wayne) and released four projects, including the aforementioned Sensational— not to mention graduating from the University of Wisconsin.
In a 2018 YouTube interview with Mass Appeal, Hauri gave mixed opinions of his hometown.
“I live downtown, right by [the Mayo Clinic], so everybody there is like a f---ing nurse or a doctor or, like a janitor at the f---ing Mayo Clinic,” Hauri said. “It’s cold as s--- up there, and people are kind of square up there … but it’s not just all square-ass people. It’s diverse, and it’s a tight city, but I’m glad I’m not spending my whole life there.”
Gravy’s never played a public hometown show, although he’s played many times in Minneapolis and just spent a few weeks in Rochester before heading out on the road. The closest he’ll get to coming home this summer is in Chicago for Lollapalooza August 4. You can find his music on Spotify, Apple Music and all other major streaming services, but to hear the entire discography (including many tracks from the early days that were taken off Spotify and Soundcloud) head to his YouTube page.
Isaac Jahns is back in Rochester this summer reporting for Med City Beat. The Mayo High School grad studies journalism at the University of Missouri. His main passions are writing music and telling people’s stories.
Cover photo: Gravy performing in Toronto / Mac Downey for The Come Up Show