Marlon Wayans: On Hip-Hop’s Heart Beat, Jokes And Kanye’s Genius


Maybe in true Hip-Hop form – the urban roots of the Wayans family have eroded from our collective memory. But those that lived it remember when Keenan Wayans employed KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions for “Jack of Spades” or the overt rap overtones of “In Living Color.” And in 1996, Shawn and Marlon starred in a full-feature parody called “Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking your Juice in the Hood.” Now, as he releases his first indie flick, A Haunted House, Marlon Wayans talks about Hip-Hop and his ties to it. Oh, and why he considers Kanye West a genius. AllHipHop’s Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur gets clowned a bit in the process.

marlon wayans A few years ago, you did a movie called “Don’t Be A Menace While Drinking Your Juice In South Central.”

Marlon Wayans
: (blank stare, audience explodes into laughter) Who did that movie?
…Juice in the Hood…something like that.

[Editor’s note (which happens to be the author of this piece): The exact title of the 1996 cult classic is “Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking your Juice in the Hood”]

Marlon Wayans: You f**ked the whole title up. “Drinking the scary juice while dating white chicks…walking a lil’ man in a haunted house. What’s that like?” In my opinion, you kind of forecasted what Hip-Hop looks like now, a parody of its former self.

Marlon Wayans:
…you gotta get Trinidad James in there somehow. [audience laughs.] “Gold all in my hair.” How do you feel about being a prophet of what Hip-Hop would eventually become.

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Marlon Wayans: I don’t know about being prophet. You just kinda of do stuff, you see things. You notice the ridiculousness of where [Hip-Hop] goes and you’re like, “IT WON’T GO THERE.” And your realize, “Oh s**t! It actually went there!” I think we were very in tune with the Hip-Hop generation. I think Chris Rock was another one when he did [another parody] “CB4.” You know, we love the culture of Hip-Hop. Born and raised. My heart beats to Hip-Hop. So wherever it goes…I’m not going to be that dude that’s going to be like, “Hip-Hop is this [does a human beat box].” No, its not. It changes and it evolves. And I look at my kids and I’m like, “So, you like ‘Gold up in my hair…?” And I’m like, “Ok, cool.” [Giving another stare of bewilderment] And so I listen. Its funny, because if you listen enough, you get the heartbeat of this generation.

I don’t want to be that guy that just sticks to what I know, because I think we have to embrace the evolution for the old school cats to make it something different. You have to be a student of all. I wish the kids of today were students of the history of music, in general. Don’t just do beats. Learn how to play the drums, learn how to plan an instrument, then learn how to do a beat. And then that beat will be insane. Like, to me, Kanye is a genius. He knows music. You know?