In our next artist spotlight, we chat to Hull-based hip-hop act, Marx about his music and inspirations.
S] What do you think of Hull’s hip-hop scene?
I think Hull has a lot of raw talent, whether in hip-hop or otherwise. We’re very fortunate to have a lot of great emcees in Hull, and from what Humber Street Sesh showed, a lot of people in this city love hip-hop, but we need to make it more visible. Redeye is doing that with his Hull Beats Bus project, as well as Chiedu Oraka and Deezkid with their Audacity nights, but the city needs more hip-hop gigs, in my opinion.
S] What motivates you outside of music – think people, places and movies for example?
Political and social issues affecting the world. I don’t intend to be preachy with my music, but if I can at least get people thinking and forming their own opinions, that’s a start. Even if people hear some of my own political views in a song, research the topic, and then disagree with what I said, I’ve still got someone thinking and that’s enough for me.
S] What’s your biggest challenge as an artist?
I feel like my biggest challenge is just to keep people interested when performing. My past musical experience comes from fronting heavy rock bands where you’ve got to keep the performance interesting by giving the crowd something to watch and pay attention to. I don’t want to watch someone on stage just run through their songs and then leave, I want to see action, passion and energy behind the lyrics, I want a performance, an event. That’s what I try to do on stage by incorporation different elements of my favourite frontmen’s styles, people like Jonathan Davis, Greg Puciato, GG Allin, Sticky Fingaz etc.
S] What has been a career highlight?
Spitting on stage with Big Daddy Kane, he’s been a massive influence on my style and sound, so to get love from him was pretty special. Plus that was when I was first ‘becoming Marx’, so to speak, so it provided the validation I needed, like “if a legend like that is giving me props, maybe I’m on to something?” so it’d have to be that moment. Big up Playa One and Redeye who supported him that night and did 4 bars each too, it was a very special night.
S] What artists inspire your sound and why?
Big Daddy Kane, like I just mentioned. I love old-school, million rhymes a minute cats like him, Rakim, Kool G Rap, CL Smooth, etc. I also like the hardcore, psychopath rap like Eminem, Onyx, and the Geto Boys, as well as the socially conscious stuff like Public Enemy, Talib Kweli, and Ice-T too. My influences range from hip-hop to metal; my favourite bands (and biggest influences in general) are Wu-Tang Clan and Korn. Anything can inspire me though, I listen to reggae all day at work, and hearing the dub/toasting techniques and the way they work with the rhythms definitely provides influence. Anything can spark it.