Matt Johnson is a typical teenager in rural New Hampshire who belongs to every club at his high school. Just one thing, he loves to rap. He uses his nickname Patches (so-called for all the badges he wears on his jacket) when he performs. A fan of the Tony-winning songwriter Lin Manuel Miranda, who penned “Hamilton,” Johnson also crafted an original rap, which he wrote in honor of the “e
While all four judges were enthusiastic about him, one got the sense that they saw him as a novelty act rather than the would-be artist that he envisions himself as. Indeed, Simon Cowell called him “hilarious” and Howie Mandel made merry with the fact that he was a white kid. Take a look at his July 10 audition above, in which he spits rhymes, and then chime in with your opinion in the comments section below.
Our live blogger, John Benutty, observed, that Johnson was “dressed in a suit like he was going to church.” To that end, it was a shock that his song ended up being a rap. On top of that it was an original tune. In John’s estimation, it was this element of surprise that impressed and fascinated the entire panel to the point of them giving him a unanimous set of YESES to send him through to the next round.