When it comes to making music, everyone has a different approach. Some people choose to pay homage to those that came before them in order to emulate and reciprocate greatness. Such is the case with Roc Marciano a smooth operator out of Hempstead, New York. Growing up in what he called, “Pimpstead” was a struggle for this New Yorker but he managed to climb his way out of the, “city in the suburbs.” He attributes the area for the direction of his approach, style and taste in hip-hop.
Six degrees of separation: Marciano and Busta Rhymes
As Marciano grew up, many people were hip to his talents, but it wasn’t until he linked up with Busta Rhymes that he began to really gain major traction. Busta Rhymes formed a new label called, “Flipmode, ” and Marciano attributes this connection to the theory of “six degrees of separation” because he went to school with Busta’s younger brother who caught wind of some of his early musical efforts and passed them along to Busta. Both of them thought highly of his capabilities and gave him the chance to shine on a bigger platform.
Around 2000, Marciano saw himself going bar for bar with some of the hardest artists in the game. He gave the utmost respect for legendary artists who paved the way for him to thrive. He paid homage to those before him but would also gauge where they set the bar and try to surpass that. When he contributed to “The Heist” on Busta Rhymes album, “Anarchy” he exchanged verses with the likes of Ghostface Killah (fresh off classic album, “Supreme Clientele”) and Raekwon, both from the Wu-Tang Clan.
Roc Marciano and UN Crew
In 2001, he formed his own clique called “UN Crew” with his Uniondale high school counterparts, Dino Brave, Laku and Mike Raw. They received cosigns from influential artists such as Large Professor, Madlib and Just Blaze. The group rapped over Pete Rock beats called “Petestrumentals,” and navigated their way into their own record deal with 456 Entertainment. After their deal with Loud Records fell through, the UN Crew would ink an agreement with Carson Daly and 456 Ent. Roc Marciano grew tired of obeying commands and having to rap over beats chosen for him and eventually disbanded from the UN Crew and the record label they were signed to.
After a while, Roc began to differentiate himself from his peers. Rather than constantly trying to rap over the beat that is the, “hardest” he started to stray from the typical path and shift the paradigms of his artistry. Large Professor played a monumental role in the encouragement of Marciano’s solo career. Large Professor encouraged this burgeoning artist to tap into the twisted sounds within his brain and individually produce every track for his forthcoming album. Often, rappers have a leg up on their competition when they are able to rhyme over self-produced beats and melodies. Also, Marciano’s other advantage ithat he thexecutes his verses well with an off-kilter and complicated form. That is the reason why he received widespread Internet acclaim when he dropped Marcberg in 2010. On his debut album, he received underground reception because he was able to display the intricacies of his artistry. By rapping over his self-produced beats, Marciano was able to deliver sounds in pristine form and enter a zone that made him truly stand out.
Smooth maneuvers: Roc Marciano
Being an individual that keeps it fresh is nothing new to Roc Marci, stylistically, metaphorically and within his approach to the genre. His flow maintains a heavy stream-of-consciousness and is highly stylized and underappreciated. His casual intensity makes what he does seem effortless, meanwhile it is far from it. In reality, every move that he makes on wax and between the scenes requires a great deal of calculation, rehearsal and craftiness. Being both smooth and strange has yielded beneficial results for this NY artist. He is somebody who will put forth great bodies of work regardless of theme/concept, ultimately what matters is the lyricism and composition of the entire song.
As an unpredictable, risk-taking and edgy performer, Marciano keeps his style interesting when it comes to creating tunes.
Verbal technician: Roc Marciano
Marciano is nonchalantly devastating. As a descriptive and introspective emcee, he illuminates the virtues of a true player in the game. His stone cold delivery accentuates elements of linguistics and exuberance. Through precise timing, cadence and tonality he is able to flourish through well-developed gems. He has an impressive flair for storytelling and that is the major reason why he has built a significant following. He attributes his gravitation to the art of rap to the group, “Ultramagnetics.” They showed him the “scientific” aspects of rap and Marciano was highly intrigued by the possibility of evolution within the genre. His innovative approach, authenticity and discrete nature are all reasons why people appreciate him and his music.
Precise process: Roc Marciano
Marciano digs through various ranges of musical samples and sees it as an adventure to discover new sounds and depict new sights from piecing together those sounds. The sounds that he finds, whether they be from Miles Davis, Ohio Players or Quincy Jones, must have one thing in common. All samples must be able to move him spiritually, move the pen physically and produce renditions that people can relate to intellectually. He pursues the production process as a sort of musical gumbo. He likes to mix all different kinds of sounds such as blues, jazz and soul. By being creative with it, he manages to always reinvent his craft on every track. On production, he tends to leave tracks open (minimal drums) and does not usually include features for the same reason. By leaving space on the track, he can reach the desired effect of giving the listener time to contemplate and allowing his vocal contribution time to marinate.