The Marine Rapper and Mat Best Just Dropped a Fire Collaboration

July 2, 2021Hannah Ray Lambert
tmr mat best

Photo illustration by Coffee or Die Magazine.

The Marine Rapper, aka TMR, and Black Rifle Coffee Company executive vice president Mat Best just released a collaboration years in the making, and it’s a total banger.

TMR, who served as a Marine combat correspondent in Iraq and Afghanistan, released the single “Hollywood” earlier this week on Apple Music — a surprise for fans who weren’t expecting it until the release of the full album Culture War, which dropped Friday and is available exclusively on the rapper’s website. On the first day it was released, “Hollywood” broke the top 40 in hip-hop/rap singles on Apple Music. 

TMR and Best first connected when Best was working on Range 15, a crowdfunded zombie movie made by and for veterans in 2016.

tmr the marine rapper Raymond Lott
Raymond Lott, aka The Marine Rapper, released his album Culture War Friday, July 2. Photo by US Marine veteran Bryan Wark, courtesy of TMR.

“We’ve been friends and acquaintances for a long time, and we’ve been going back and forth saying we should work on a project together,” Best told Coffee or Die Magazine

The topic arose again when TMR attended the grand opening of BRCC’s new coffee shop in North Richland Hills, Texas, in June. TMR said he’d written a track and would love for Best to be on it. Best recorded the vocals shortly after, and TMR mixed a final version of “Hollywood” for the new album.

“When I was in the Marine Corps, people always knew I wanted to rap and do stuff like that, and they’d say, ‘Oh, you’re going to go Hollywood on us and forget about us. You’re going to be bougie and nose up in the air,’ and stuff like that,” TMR told Coffee or Die. “So the song is playing off of an old military saying of going Hollywood and acting like you’re better than everybody else, when in fact you’re just trying to be a source of inspiration and motivation for other troops to do the same thing.”

Best said he got to put his own spin on the song, adding a little trill as he croons “Hollywood” in the chorus. 

“They say my attitude’s no good,” Best and TMR sing on the track’s chorus. “They say I love myself too much. They say I’m full of myself too. They said I went Hollywood. Hollywood. Hollywood. I tell all my haters, I went Hollywood.”

Like TMR, Best has had people accuse him of going Hollywood and said the song is a “fun way to react to people who are hating on you from their mom’s basement.”

Mat Best is the executive vice president of Black Rifle Coffee Company. Photo courtesy of Black Rifle Coffee Company.

BRCC’s chief executives also get nods in Hollywood as well: “Shot out Tom Davin and shot out to Evan. Was brewing back then like I’m BRCC. If you ain’t done it, then you should say less. I did the worst, now I rap with Mat Best.”

At its heart, the new album is an analysis of what counts as culture, who owns it, and who defines it, TMR said. The rapper, who completed two combat tours and one deployment to Africa as a Marine from 2004 to 2014, is known for commenting on social issues, from politics to religion, the military, and relationships. TMR performs some songs on Culture War solo, but much of the album is collaborative.

“You can’t fight a war without troops,” he said. Listeners can expect both veterans and civilians, singing rock, pop, metal, and even a bit of country. “I wanted to show that it’s a diverse world out there, and we’re more united than divided.”

The Marine Rapper released his new album Culture War July 2. Photo courtesy TMR.

The inclusion of so many veteran artists is a big part of why Best wanted to work with TMR.

“He’s an inspiration really because he’s a combat veteran who is paving a completely different path in his life outside government service and consistently tries to bring other patriots and veterans up in his space,” Best said. “That parallels a lot of what Black Rifle tries to do.”

Listeners eager to hear more from the duo won’t have to wait long. Best teased that TMR will make an appearance on one of his tracks very soon.

It’s going to be a great summer.

Read Next: Conservative Rappers Fight Back as Viral Anthem ‘The Patriot’ Gets Canceled

Hannah Ray Lambert
Hannah Ray Lambert

Hannah Ray Lambert is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die who previously covered everything from murder trials to high school trap shooting teams. She spent several months getting tear gassed during the 2020-2021 civil unrest in Portland, Oregon. When she’s not working, Hannah enjoys hiking, reading, and talking about authors and books on her podcast Between Lewis and Lovecraft.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
dear jack mandaville
Dear Jack: Which Historic Battle Would You Want To Witness?

Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.

west point time capsule
West Point Time Capsule Yields Centuries-Old Coins

A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.

Ouija Board aircraft carrier
Low-Tech ‘Ouija Boards’ Have Helped Aircraft Carriers Operate for Decades

Since the 1920s, a low-tech tabletop replica of an aircraft carrier’s flight deck has been an essential tool in coordinating air operations.

Army vs. Navy mascot
The Navy Goat vs. the Army Mule: Mascot Origin Stories

For nearly as long as the Army-Navy football rivalry, the academies’ hoofed mascots have stared each other down from the sidelines. Here are their stories.

ukraine long-range weapon
Zelenskyy Says Ukraine Has Developed a Long-Range Weapon, a Day After Strike Deep Inside Russia

Zelenskyy said on his Telegram channel the weapon was produced by Ukraine’s Ministry of Strategic Industries but gave no other details.

7 of the Best Movie Ambush Scenes of All Time

Ambushes make for great action scenes. Here are seven of the best to ever grace the big screen.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, with his daughter, center right, reportedly named Ju Ae, review the honor guard during their visit to the navy headquarter in North Korea
North Korea Launches Missile Toward Sea After US Flies Bomber During Drills

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the launch occurred Wednesday but gave no further details, such as how far the missile flew.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
Contact Us
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved