Q+A: Marcus Manchild
The South’s newest sensation talks hoops, hip-hop and the Rockets.
by Rodney David King / @mehkavelli
This past Monday, the legendary SOB’s in New York City played host for a wave of new talent coming from the South. The headliner of the night was the man of the hour in Southern hip-hop, 2 Chainz. While the jam packed crowd waited to see 2 Chainz and all his ghetto fabulous glory hit the stage, they were introduced to who may be the next in line for the King of the South crown, Marcus Manchild.
A Houston, TX, native, Marcus is the byproduct of both the screw era of music that initially put Houston on the map and the new Houston movement that came years later headed by Mike Jones, Slim Thug, Paul Wall and Chamillionaire. His rhymes are fly, flashy and packed with more fun than a night out at the club. On this night, those rhymes and his over the top energy kept a sold out crowd of New Yorkers entertained.
Shortly after his performance I spoke with Marcus Manchild about how he got into rap, why his style is so different from past acts coming out of Houston and why he missed most of the Houston Rockets’ season so far:
SLAM: How did you get into hip-hop? What made you want to start rapping?
Marcus Manchild: I started in school. I always knew I could freestyle, but I didn’t know I could actually rap. So I started trying to write some songs and before you knew it people liked what I was doing. Everything went crazy after that.
SLAM: For those who haven’t heard Marcus Manchild yet, describe your style.
MM: My style is similar to Twista’s style. I just speed it up and add some fineness to it. I rap about smoking, drinking, partying, women and what I do on a daily basis. It’s all about trying to be a little different than what everybody else is doing.
SLAM: Who are some of the artists who you listened to coming up?
SLAM: Do you feel like the industry is ready to hear a new type of sound from Houston?
MM: It’s not really a new style. There are still rappers who rhyme with the old Houston style. There are people who still listen to the old style of music. This is just how I wanted to come out.
SLAM: You just got off the stage opening up for 2 Chainz at SOB’s. How was that show?
MM: [Laughs] It was wild! I know it’s a historic place. I never knew how small it was, and it was packed out. I was nervous. I had never been there before and I know that they will boo you in New York if they don’t like you and what you’re doing. The show went great though! The people, the media, everything was great.
SLAM: You also brought out some special guests for your set.
MM: I brought out Slim Thug, Paul Wall and Michael “5000” Watts. They performed “Still Tippin” and the crowd went wild! Then me and Paul performed our single “She likes it.”
SLAM: How does it feel to be nominated for the XXL Freshmen cover?
MM: It’s a blessing. I feel like getting nominated for the Freshmen cover really opened a lot of eyes and ears to my music and towards what we’re doing over here with the AMG movement. I hope I gained some new fans from it too.
SLAM: What are you working on right now? Do you have a mixtape or a full album in the works?
MM: I have Pre-season 2 hosted by DJ Ill Will that’s out right now. We dropped Space Jams a little while ago and we’re working on Space Jams 2 right now. Space Jams is pretty much where I take a bunch of industry beats and go ham over them. You can get that Space Jams right now at Datpiff and online everywhere.
SLAM: How bout them Rockets? They’re looking pretty decent right now.
MM: [Laughs] I’m missing it! I keep hearing that they’re playing good right now.
SLAM: They’re playing OK, third in the division is better than nothing. It’s way better than everybody thought it would be.
MM: I’ve been locked in the studio so I’ve missed most of the games so far. I’m waiting for these industry basketball games. I feel like I’m going to beat everybody!
SLAM: If there were a player who you felt resembled your rap style, who would it be?
MM: The Manchild himself, LeBron James! He’s explosive and that’s how I want all my raps on all my albums to be: explosive.
Follow Marcus Manchild on Twitter @marcusmanchild. You can also check out his mixtapes Space Jams and Pre-Season 2 hosted by DJ Ill Will online right now. Space Jams 2 coming soon.