Mams Taylor is on a collision course with fame and glory. This fall the 28-year-old Los Angeles, Cali-based rapper, by way of London, England, will release Persona Non Grata, his vibrant debut album where he mixes elements of hip-hop with punk for a delectable punch he’s coined “Runk.” The fusion lends extra flavor to the rambunctious fight banger “Chest Out,” the pop-tinged “L.A. Girls,” featuring Good Charlotte, and the provocative single “Girl Gotta Girlfriend,” featuring Snoop Dogg. That’s not the only thing the British transplant is doing this fall. Taylor also plans to make his pro MMA debut. Boxing since the age of 14, learning jiu-jitsu at the London Shoot Fighters gym in his late teens and currently training at Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, it appears this lyrical 5-foot, 7-inch featherweight has the skills to succeed on the biggest stages.
So this autumn is the big MMA debut? Exactly. Other stuff I’ve done has definitely not been sanctioned or borderline legal, so it’s not the same capacity or professionalism and organization. It’s been in some gym with 30 people or even in a different circumstance I shouldn’t even talk about.
There aren’t many rappers that train in MMA. Rappers usually just roll with big entourages and carry weapons, don’t they? That’s the thing. I definitely have a background to back up anything I talk about in my material. I advocate positive thinking and doing positive stuff. I don’t dwell on the things I’ve done in my past that I don’t necessarily regret. I’ve learned from it, and I wouldn’t behave in the same way today. I’ve got a much better and more ethical code in the way I conduct myself today than I ever used to, but having said that, you hear a lot of guys talking about gang stuff, and this and that. I just laugh at it. Usually, 90 percent of the time, it’s not even true, and if you’re one-on-one with any of these dudes, they normally just shit themselves.
There was a video on TMZ last year of you beating up Jesse Metcalfe from Desperate Housewives. What happened? The guy was real rude to me. The guy was real rude to my girl at the time, my ex-girlfriend, and what was funny was they cut out the part where he was like, “It’s on, bitch! It’s on.” He actually said that, and where I’m from, that means you’re about to get into it. So I threw a punch at him, and everybody was all surprised, like, “Oh, wow! How could you do that?” (Laughs) You know what I mean?
Yeah. You planted him. Yeah. I’m lucky and he’s lucky it didn’t hit his chin. It hit him in the eye. If it had hit his nose or chin, I think I would have been in a little bit of trouble. But it worked out perfectly. I think he learned his lesson and I’ve seen him since, so it’s all good.
Is it going to be difficult to balance a music career with fighting?
Well, music is my first love, and I want to use my music as my platform to get my message across and ultimately, to make hits and connect with as many people as I can; to spread positivity and get involved in things that I believe in. That’s my God-given talent, and that’s what I do. But with MMA, I enjoy it so much and I love it. [I want to have] one or two fights a year to keep myself in shape and exorcise my demons, and that’s it. I’m never gonna be a UFC champ or something like that, so I’m not gonna pretend to be something I’m not. But I definitely have the balls and guts to get in there.
Is Snoop Dogg gonna be your corner man for your pro debut? (Laughs) Yeah, because he’s got a great entourage, and at the end of the day, if I’m losing, they’ll step in and just beat the crap out of the guy in the ring. So yeah, Snoop and all the other guys I work with, I’ll get them on my side.