EXCLUSIVE: Jurassic 5’s Marc 7 Does It On His Own With “When Sounds Attack” EP
As a member of the Los Angeles based Hip Hop group Jurassic 5, Marc 7 contributed to the Top 20 albums Power in Numbers and Feedback. The Paterson, New Jersey born emcee officially set out on his own in 2014 with his debut studio LP Food Clothing & Shelter, and Marc is now returning one year later with his latest effort - When Sounds Attack (Vol. 1).
The 9-track EP includes the soulful “Lose You” and the thundering “Sasquatch.” Fellow West Coast representative Blu joins Marc on “Make A Way.” Knytro and MC Supernatural also show up on “Come 2 Far.”
Even with verbal assistance from other rappers and longtime associate “Big John” Meyers serving as engineer, When Sounds Attack is fully a Marc 7 creation. The project is being released on his Marc7 Music label, and the EP’s aesthetic was forged by the artist himself.
WSA1 is just the opening salvo of the socially conscious rhyme spitter’s musical delivery for 2015. Before he continues his re-introduction to the world as a solo performer, AllHipHop.com caught up with Marc 7 to get some insight into his new commercial release.
[ALSO READ: PREMIERE: Marc 7 (of Jurassic 5) – “Lose You”]
Why did you decide to do an EP rather than a full length project?
A lot of thought went into the first record, but when I thought about doing Sounds Attack it was kind of split music wise. I had producers in mind I wanted to work with like Hirolla Beats, but also Blacksmith and Frenic. They had production on Food, Clothing & Shelter.
There’s also a cat named Iron Monkey. I had a bunch of beats from him, so I said, “I may do this in three series and feature one producer’s work more than the others.” Hirolla Beats had a lot of production on volume 1 of Sounds Attack.
Are you expecting to drop the other two volumes this year?
God willing, I’m hoping to drop volume 2 in the summer time and volume three fourth quarter.
You talked about the production being different. What about the content?
It really depends on where the music takes me. I’m always going to have something to say on my tracks. At the same time, sometimes I just want to be an emcee and just rhyme. So it really depends on what the music is saying. Volume 2 is more an emcee’s record. It’s more hard-hitting beats.
You’re releasing Sound Attacks on your own Marc 7 Music?
Yeah, that’s my label.
What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of releasing music on your own?
I can’t really say any disadvantages. Where the industry is right now, it’s a great time to be an independent artist. With the explosion of the Internet, how music is received and streamed, how you can get it out - if Jurassic 5 had this when we were coming out, there’s no telling where we would be.
You don’t have to really worry about a label supporting you. It’s not necessary. In all honesty, if someone offered me a deal I wouldn’t take it. I would never sign a 360 deal. That’s just me. There’s no reason to give up so much of your pot of gold to a label that's just going to give you a little marketing which you probably already have, depending on your presence online.
The artist direct-to-fan marketing is where it’s going. If you have that support or fanbase, what else is there?
With a lot of the majors now, they’re not interested in signing an artist unless you come in with a fanbase, but then they get a cut of your merchandise and touring. So what is the advantage of being on a major label?
They know the secret to all this is that fanbase. All they want to do is to tap into your base to get it to whoever else is on their roster. It’s the Information Age. There’s a lot of money in people’s information. There’s a high demand for it.
I remember I called an A&R at Interscope after we left to get my hands on the mailing list for J5. They didn’t want to give it up. They finally gave it up. It had over 40,000 names. That alone you could sell, not that I would. It’s just a weird time in music in general.
Now that you have your own label, are you interested in signing other artists?
I would like to, but what I’m really trying to do is figure out the stumbling blocks on my own first before I bring someone’s career here and mess it up. I want to be the test dummy. That way I can get a feel of how I want to do it. I’ve linked with some really good people as far as distribution and p.r.
I'm figuring this thing out. Then when I get to that place where I’m comfortable putting stuff out, I can do it. When I establish that on my own, then I’ll bring somebody else in. But yes, I definitely would like to put some cats on.
As you build the promotion for Sounds Attack, are you looking to tour?
I have a commitment with J5 in March to do Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Then we have some summer stuff. I really would like to do a tour of my own after Vol. 2 comes out. I just want to get a nice amount of music under my belt. Let the people know I’m serious about it, and I’m putting out quality stuff.
Was it a different process for you recording a solo album after being in a group?
Yeah, it was, because you’re so used to having all those people’s input and critiquing everything. We’re hard on each other. One thing about [recording with] three other emcees is you don’t have a lot of space to rhyme, so when it’s your time you better do what you do, put as much heat on as you can.
The beauty of being by yourself is you have the whole song to rhyme. There’s a good and a bad. There’s no one to tell you, “I’m not feeling that.” The flip side is it’s all you. All the decisions are on you. You’re the only one that has to say, “Alright, it’s dope. It’s ready.” It’s a good and a bad, but I enjoy the process. I’m on a roll now.
Download Marc 7’s When Sounds Attack (Vol. 1) on iTunes.