Veterans

11 Questions & A Cup of Coffee: Entertainer and Businessman Mat Best

May 17, 2019Marty Skovlund Jr.
Coffee or Die Photo

He’s taught you how to be an operator, how to work out like an operator, and even how to be an American. You’ve probably listened to his infamous rap battles and maybe even downloaded one of his chart-topping singles. And now, with the upcoming release of “Thank You for My Service” (which is currently the No. 1 bestseller in the love, sex & marriage category on Amazon.com), you’ll be able to read about his exploits while drinking his coffee with his movie playing in the background.


What hasn’t Mat Best done?


Well … not much. The former U.S. Army Ranger-turned-CIA contractor from Southern California has been around the block a few times and has at least two real-world, no-shit-there-I-was stories for every one of his creative or business adventures. So, we sat down with Mat to ask him 11 questions over a cup of coffee. Check it out!


The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.


Photo courtesy of Mat Best’s Instagram.

COD: How do you take your coffee?


MB: I have a home espresso, so I have an espresso double shot nearly every morning, and, if I have time, cold brew. Cold brew’s my favorite coffee ever.


COD: How do you make coffee?


MB: With my wife’s hands — because she makes me my coffee every morning through our espresso machine.


COD: What’s the most bizarre or extreme place you’ve ever had, or made, a cup of coffee?


MB: I would say I had chai — essentially a type of coffee — very, very high in the Kurdish Mountains. It was an awesome experience, and it correlates back to why I love Black Rifle Coffee and why I’m a partner in it.


Sitting up there around a cup of coffee with these Kurdish guys that were fighting for their country … We couldn’t even speak the same language, other than me in the really broken Kurdish that I have. Just the banter back and forth, and I’d be asking how to say “mountains,” and they’d tell me. But it was all over this frigid cold mountain, with a fire and a cup of coffee. It’s just an awesome memory for me. I love those guys.


Photo courtesy of Mat Best’s Instagram.

COD: What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done, physically or mentally?


MB: Okay. That’s a hard one. Wow. I would say, physically, for me, I hate being cold. I was in Iraq, where I was so fricking cold on an operation that I was running into buildings with my hands beneath my chest armor to keep them warm because I wouldn’t be able to manipulate my safety if I had to shoot anybody. That was terrible — it just sucked. It sucked all around.


Mentally, I don’t know. I’d say figuring out how to transition in life has been, probably, the most mentally challenging for me. I’ve done that three different times. Realizing that you have to close a chapter on something you defined your whole entire self by, and then reopen a new one and there’s blank pages — terrifying. Very challenging, but very rewarding.


COD: What motivates you to do what you do?


MB: I’m a hyper-competitive person. I’m motivated by my surroundings, which is why I always hang out with very talented, exceptional people. They challenge me every single day to be a better version of myself. Part of that, especially with the company and my career, is I just enjoy making people’s lives better. It’s wonderful when you see people laugh, and you just brighten their day a little bit and get them away from whatever bad experience they’re going through. Life is so short. There’s no dress rehearsal, so why not fucking laugh our asses off through it?


Photo courtesy of Mat Best’s Instagram.

COD: What do you think is the most misunderstood thing about you or the work you do?


MB: That is a loaded question for me. I don’t think people probably know the scope of my life and all the things that I do, and it’s my own doing. I’m defined by a set character that people see on social media, which is a heightened version of myself. I do a lot of other things outside of the internet to include being a business owner at this point in my life, that people don’t have any insight into, and I’ve never put it out there. But I think people often get one fraction of the person I am and don’t understand who I am in a more visceral sense.


COD: How do you define success?


MB: Happiness.


COD: Mountain view or ocean view?


MB: Mountain view. And that’s coming from a guy who grew up in Santa Barbara, California. Oceans are great, but there’s something to be said about the mountains of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho — it’s just the coolest shit ever.


Photo courtesy of Mat Best’s Instagram.

COD: Do you think maybe because you did grow up in Santa Barbara it’s like, “Okay, I’ve got the ocean thing. I grew up around it, so mountains are more impressive to me?”


MB: Surprisingly, no. Honestly, being born and raised in Santa Barbara, I would go up to Lake Tahoe, up in the mountains, and check out the lake instead of going to the beach that was eight minutes from my house that I could ride my bicycle to. I don’t know why. I wasn’t a surfer bum, I was just all about the mountains and getting away from people. I think that’s part of it. The beach is always populated with people drinking and dogs. It’s great, but the mountains and lakes are very desolate. And I love that.


COD: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?


MB: I feel like this sounds super cheesy, but to be able, in some large capacity, end the suffering of people who are decent humans. I think it’s why we’ve worked with charities to cure pediatric cancer and all these other things. It would be amazing to have the touch to walk up to someone that you know is just this brilliant human and you want them to experience a full and happy life, and just be like, boop, touch them, and they’re like, “Oh my god, I get a second chance at life.” That would be epic. I think it’s why you join the military — because if you rid bad people from the world, hopefully more good people will populate. In theory.


So, the magic touch — to just give people the ability to live a quality life.


COD: So, Mat Best wants to be Jesus.


MB: I didn’t think about it that way … well, I’ll drink all the wine, then.


Courtesy of Mat Best’s Instagram.

COD: What are your hobbies outside of what you’re known for?


MB: I’m never not listening to music — always, whenever I have downtime. I hunt a lot these days, obviously. I just work — that’s my hobby. I don’t know. I guess, just creating things, whether that’s riding the Bobcat at my house and building a trail, making things better. I can’t sit still, so my hobby is always creating something and changing it to what I think it should be.


COD: On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you in your ability to survive in a post apocalyptic world? (1 = dead on day one, 10 = ruler of the new world order)


MB: I would give myself a nine on that one. I didn’t say 10 because I don’t want to be the leader of the new world. I would start my own mini-tribe, my little clique. But I have survivability skills as far as being able to live out in the mountains, and I have lots of guns and ammo, so my survival rate will be significantly higher, for sure.


All my friends are in the same boat … We have a fallout plan already.



Marty Skovlund Jr.
Marty Skovlund Jr.

Marty Skovlund Jr. is the founding editor of Coffee or Die Magazine. As a journalist, Marty has covered the Standing Rock protest in North Dakota, embedded with American special operation forces in Afghanistan, and broken stories about the first females to make it through infantry training and Ranger selection. He has also published two books, appeared as a co-host on History Channel’s JFK Declassified, and produced multiple award-winning independent films.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Military
‘Butter Butter Jam!’: Troops Loved, and Hated, the M249 SAW

For nearly 50 years, the SAW has played a major role in America’s wars. Now it’s being replaced by new weapons.

February 8, 2023Mac Caltrider
Coffee Or Die Photo
Military
Space Force Vows ‘Above and Beyond’ Cleanup of Maui Spill

Brig. Gen. Anthony Mastalir, the commander of the U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific, said a team will t...

February 8, 2023Associated Press
Coffee Or Die Photo
Military
Navy Releases First Photos of Chinese Balloon Recovery

In the newest images released by the Navy on Tuesday, sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks at the Pentagon in Washington, Nov. 16, 2022. Lawyers for a group of Navy SEALS and other Navy personnel who oppose a COVID-19 vaccination requirement on religious grounds want a federal appeals court to keep alive their legal fight against the Biden administration. Congress voted to end the requirement in December 2022, but vaccine opponents note that commanders can still make decisions on how and whether to deploy unvaccinated troops, under a memo signed last month by Austin. AP photo by Susan Walsh, File.
Military
Vaccine Litigation Lingers After Lifting of Military Mandate

Lawyers for a group of Navy SEALS and other Navy personnel who refuse to be vaccinated for religious...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Armed Forces Service Medal
Military
Who Earns the Armed Forces Service Medal?

The Department of Defense honors heroism in combat in many ways, but there is also an award — the Ar...

February 7, 2023Noelle Wiehe
Soldiers carry the coffin of Eduard Strauss, a Ukrainian serviceman who died in combat on Jan. 17 in Bakhmut, during a farewell ceremony in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. AP photo by Daniel Cole.
Intel
Russian Forces Keep Up Pressue As Ukraine Anniversary Nears

Russian forces are keeping Ukrainian troops tied down with attacks in the eastern Donbas region as M...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Chinese spy balloon
Military
Blown to Bits! Chinese Spy Balloon Blasted, Plummets Into Sea

The US Air Force downed the Chinese balloon that's been soaring over the US.

February 4, 2023Carl Prine
germany, european union, ukraine gas reserves
Intel
Ukraine Wants To Store Europe’s Strategic Gas Reserves

Ukraine maintains 12 underground gas storage facilities with a total capacity of about 31 billion cu...

February 3, 2023Nolan Peterson
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved