Interview Marvo

He might look juvenile, but Chicago's own Marvo is 20, and he got a kid and a purpose : getting a major label deal. This full-fledged 80's baby is determined to prove there is more in the Windy City than Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco. So yeah, the kid's quite ambitious.

16/06/2008 | Interview by The Unseen Hand with contributions from Mehdi et Nicobbl (traduction) | Version française

Abcdrduson : How can you introduce yourself to the reader who might don’t know you ?

Marvo: I’m a universal artist. I’m a mixture of everything that is hip hop but my main influence is people like Biggie and Jay Z. I’m planning on bringing that feeling back to the game and the music. A lot of people are concerned with making hit records and records that people can dance to but nobody is concerned with making great music. My approach to the game is: make that great music. That music that touches emotions and the music that people can relate to.

A : You are coming from Chicago right ? What can you tell us about your up bringing out there ?

M : Chicago is one of the worst cities in America. You got a lot of famous artists who come here and get robbed. Everywhere it is poverty and you have a high crime rate. It’s rough growing up where I’m from. It’s the type of city that can either make you or break you. If you make it over here, you can live anywhere on the planet because it is a jungle! You walk outside and you don’t know if your friends are going to kill you or what is going to happen. You take a gamble when you walk out of the door. It’s hard city to live in, especially for a young black man because the first thing we get involved with is gang because you are looking up to the people who have rims on their tires, those are role models in the hood. The cycle just repeats itself over and over again.

A : Chicago is one of the hottest places right now. Do you think the fact that Kanye, Lupe, Consequence, Rhymefest...

M: [interrupting] Yeah, you have artists who are backpack rappers and all of that but the whole thing is the hood part of Chicago doesn’t breed people like Kanye West or Lupe Fiasco. The hood breeds people who are in tuned with the streets, artists like myself. Kanye is from the hood but he wasn’t actively involved in the streets. Kanye went to college. I went to school with Lupe and we know each other. Lupe wasn’t necessarily a street type of person and that’s why he doesn’t rap about street stuff. He’s more the person who is going to teach you to get out of the streets and stay away from the streets. We got those kinds of artists out like Lupe, Kanye & Common but those are not a reflection of the greater population of the city of Chicago. They are just a reflection of some of the people in Chicago who like them because they are labelled as conscious rappers. There are not a lot of conscious people out there in the city because there is a lot of crime. The conscious person doesn’t pick up a gun and shoot someone from his same neighbourhood. I think the music industry would like to paint a pretty picture of Chicago by putting out artists like Kanye West and Lupe but that’s not what it is like in Chicago. I don’t know if you are familiar with Bump J…that’s what it is like in the Chi! Music like that depicts what really goes on in Chicago: robbing, stealing, killing, prostitution and pimps. This city is a great place to be raised. My son is going to be raised in the hood because it makes you stronger. If you can make it through here, you can make it anywhere.

A : What I wanted to ask you is do you think that the success of those artists helps you to get some attention ?

M : Yeah definitely ! Everybody in Chicago loves Kanye but he just doesn’t represent what Chicago is all about. He is a part of the story. A person like myself, I’ma give the whole story. Kanye West knows who I am, Lupe Fiasco knows who I am and Common knows who I am. All those people know who I am personally. All the rappers know what I bring to the table. I’ve been rapping for over 10 years. I had a deal before and having a deal didn’t get me anywhere. I understand it is not just about having a deal. I’m not the person who’s gonna get signed and then say “it is the label’s job to promote”. No! I’ma get out there and get on the grind with him. I’m going in the trenches with them to make sure they are doing their job. That’s where I stand.

A : Would you say that the experience you had with the previous deal helped you ?

M : The deal that I had, it educated me on the business side of things as well as having me growing my talent. That situation made me a better artist then most artists who are just jumping in the game. I’ve been doing it for years. I’ve crossed path with all the top artists in the game.

A : You are young, what makes you want to dedicate your life to the music ?

M : I love music! I’m not just a rapper, I play the piano, I read music, I write music and I use to produce. I fell in love music at an early age and I got signed when I was 15, when I was in high school. Everything happened so fast that I knew what I wanted to do.

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