By Carlos Cureno
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
Since the 2011-2012 period, Los Angeles has become a breeding ground for hip hop talent. Several big names have come from the city to become mainstream stars. Currently, Marvel The Gr8 is making his presence felt within the city.
Marvel The Gr8 has local fame, but he is far from a local artist. He is currently working alongside many of the biggest companies in the music industry. His influence is shown in the “Coach” music video, which has over 10,000 views in only a few weeks.
In the latest edition of On The Rise, Marvel The Gr8 gave Hip Hop Vibe the opportunity to pick his brain. Along with explaining his motivations for being in the music industry, he also opened up on his new music. There is a lot Marvel The Gr8 is working on and has coming.
Read the entire interview below:
Your music video for “Coach” has gone viral within a month, has this surprised you? I would have to say that I feel more blessed than anything. The visual took a few months to create so finally being able to put it out and receiving such a positive response has been unreal. I really need to thank my family over at Will Call Cinematic for helping turn a concept I had into a reality. Also shoutout to my bro DJ Danl for providing such a slapping instrumental for me to spazz out on.
As an artist who represents this new hip hop/EDM phase, how do you feel about this evolution of music? I really love the direction where music has been going over the past few years. As someone that has a very eclectic taste when it comes to what I listen to, it’s so dope to see genres become less apparent.
Continuing to break down genre barriers that keep fans of music segregated will help music evolve and will bring us all together. Artists need to be free to express themselves without trying to fit in a box and the people consuming music need to keep an open mind. We need to stop being stuck in our comfort zones and experiment.
Furthermore, how do you think such LA rap legends as Eazy-E would feel about the way music has progressed? I think they would be indifferent about what the industry has turned into I don’t feel that legends would be surprised about where the sound of hip hop is now because electronic music played a pivotal role for the culture since the beginning. Afrika Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force were taking pieces of kraftwerk records and turning them into breakbeat records that kind of opened the gates up for hip-hop to flourish on a massive scale. I think they would be proud to see that rap is the new rock and roll. On the other hand, I know that they definitely are tripping out about the style in which we choose to express ourselves nowadays. It’s chill though because this evolution happens with every generation. In the words of my dad Will Smith: “Parents just don’t understand.”
Even though you are still an up-and-coming rapper, you’ve performed with the likes of Too $hort, Game, DJ Quik, J. Cole, Pusha T, Fabolous, E-40, Cam’ron, and many others. What were those experiences like for you and what did it show you about your own style and movement? Seeing the music move people first hand is probably the most rewarding feeling of all time. The fact that I was able to showcase my talent in front of tons of people alongside some of the people I grew up idolizing is so surreal. I can say that the experiences helped me stay humble and continue to work hard.
You have to win over the crowd and find a way to connect. You have to learn to be charismatic. Some people find it hard to perform in front of new crowds but I love the challenge. There’s something about going into a venue where no one knows who you are and having them turn up with you by the end of your set. Through trial and error you slowly learn how to break down the forth wall regardless if it’s a rap show, rock show or even an underground afterhours rave.
Can you tell us more about Postmodern Ignorance, your upcoming release? Postmodern Ignorance is a project I have been working on for over a year now. It features collaborations with a lot of super dope producers that I’m proud to call my close friends. I wanted to do something that can be defined as intellectually ignorant. I really love turn up trap records as well as bar heavy rap records so I tried to find a middle ground where both can exist together. Postmodern Ignorance is an artistic critique of the structure and the stigma that hip-hop is currently defined by.
What inspired such a title for your new project? The biggest inspiration for Postmodern Ignorance is Salvador Dali and Surrealism. The Modern Masters documentary is what got initially sparked something in my brain that motivated me to write. The way Dali disregarded the norm and redefined popular culture. The way he would do and/or create things that off jump might be deemed ridiculous but if viewed from a different perspective become brilliant. I became inspired to do the same. I asked myself, why can’t ignorant music have lyrical content? Why can’t I hear crazy punchlines over a beat that makes me want to dance? So, while creating Postmodern Ignorance, my goal was to break the rules on some Avant Garde shit.
Will you be surprising fans with a special guest appearance or a unique way you release this new project? For the most part everything was done in house as a collaboration amongst friends. The project features production from: Neo Fresco from Mad Decent, DJ Danl from Gladiator, Brian Polar, Planet Rock, FiXXiNS, Danny Parra, arejaysounds and Nold Bayrith. I was lucky enough to get a verse over the phone from one a best friend who’s currently serving time behind bars. He was the one that got me into creating music back when we were in middle school. Other than that it’s mostly me gassing on some crazy left-field instrumentals. I plan to release it online along with some music videos and eventually showcase the project in a gallery. More details on it will be released really soon once the concept is developed and installations are locked in.
Where can fans find you on social media platforms? www.twitter.com/marvelthegr8; www.instagram.com/marvelthegr8; www.facebook.com/marvelthegr8; www.youtube.com/marvelthegr8; www.soundcloud.com/marvelthegr8.
Watch “Yesterday” by Marvel The Gr8 below:
Follow Carlos Cureno on Twitter @DjayyCharliee.