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Name: Adam Bernard
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Artist Of The Week – MarkmyWords
Monday, September 08, 2008

When one hears phrases like Nature of the Beast and Homeland Security images of a government gone wild with its power come to mind. According to Nature of the Beast emcee MarkmyWords, however, that’s not what his music is all about. Nature of the Beast is a duo made up of MarkmyWords and DJ Sinn and after checking out their album, Homeland Security, I sat down with MarkmyWords to find out what the real, very personal, meaning is behind their album's title. During the interview the Cali native also opened up about how being a skater helped him develop his love of Hip-Hop, and why he feels word of mouth is still the best form of promotion.

Adam Bernard: Start everyone off with some basic background info. Who is MarkmyWords and what were some of his early influences in life?
MarkmyWords: Markmywords is the voice of Nature of the Beast, a two part emcee/DJ crew from San Diego, CA. I’m also a father, a husband and a student. I still work the nine to five and freelance on the side doing graphic design and websites. I’m the dude you see rhyming in his car on the way to work at nine in the morning cuz I gotta squeeze that extra practice in somewhere. I grew up skating and almost everything I do now came from what that culture gave me. That’s where I first started hearing Hip-Hop that didn’t sound like what the mainstream was shoving down my throat. Around my sophomore year in high school I started digging to catch up on everything I had missed up to that point. There was no file sharing, though, I had to “legitimately” steal my music from the Blockbuster Music down the street. Kids have it too easy these days, right? Being that you couldn’t skate in one spot for too long, listening to Hip-Hop became a big part of actual skating, too. We’d get out the car, skate, get kicked out, jump back in the car and put the tape back in, all day. Yeah, you heard me right, tapes. I used to forget them on the dash and they would melt. It wasn’t until the boredom of graveyard shifts struck that I actually picked up a pen and started writing rhymes myself. I actually used to do acid on the clock and write these fucked up rhymes. Everything around me is completely different now, but it’s still that same voice in my head that comes up with the shit.

Adam Bernard: What are the qualities that make up a MarkmyWords song?
MarkmyWords: Heavy rhyme schemes, structure, balance, melody and emotion. I like to ride beats, but I feel like my verses could ride as a capellas just the same. When it comes to the pitch of my voice I get the Eminem comparison but that’s what my voice is, I’m a nasally white dude and I’m not gonna rap like Aesop Rock just to avoid it. I also think that my voice has a little back of the throat flatter rasp to it, kinda like Nas, which adds a little more seriousness to my delivery. So you might expect to hear a slight drawl, slurred enough to build a nice melody, a raspier, nasally voice with an honest delivery in a well-structured verse, dope rhymes, and a couple punch lines in there for shock value.

Adam Bernard: You, along with DJ Sinn, make up the duo Nature of the Beast. In what ways do you feel you influence each other musically?
MarkmyWords: We are both very critical, and even more so of our own stuff, so it gets brutal, and we do crush each other’s shit all the time. We argue a lot, but that’s what happens when you put two arrogant bastards in a room together. In the end we appreciate that we both take it so seriously. I don’t want people saying the rhymes are nice but the scratching was hurting, or vice versa, so we keep each other sharp. It does get ugly sometimes, though. (laughs)

Adam Bernard: The name of Nature of the Beast’s 2008 release is Homeland Security. The title is obviously a hot-button topic, but is that why you chose it or have you come up with another meaning for Homeland Security?
MarkmyWords: That’s funny, because no one other than Sinn has ever asked me what that meant. It’s not political at all. When I started writing the album I had just found out my wife was pregnant. It was crazy; she has some medical issues, diabetes, and stomach problems. It took like seven doctors visits a week, we had nurses that came by to deliver medicine to her, she had a pick line in her arm that she would slam medicine straight to her heart through. Amidst all of this I was still writing. It was like, I’m about to have a son, I need to take care of my family, but with all this in my head and no way to get it out it won’t end well. So it was like that album was my personal homeland security, it kept me sane while we were going through all that. I want to go to school, I want to be successful in all kinds of things in life, but if I’m always asking myself what about Hip-Hop then I will never be able to put my heart into anything else. So it kind of works on many levels; emceeing is the security system that protects my home and family from myself.

Adam Bernard: With pop-rap having taken over urban radio playlists, what do you feel an independent artist like yourself needs to do in order to get heard?
MarkmyWords: As far as getting heard, as an independent artist you will never get the exposure that a major label can give you, but at the same time, if it’s good people will hear about it. It’s like that joke you tell at the party and half the crowd already knows the punch line. Word travels fast, and in this day and age it travels even faster. You have to have something that everyone wants to talk about, though. If there were 400,000,000 vacuum cleaners on the market no one is gonna tell you about the one that cleans the floor. Play your CD for 500 people and if none of them start talking then you need to make a new CD or quit. Wu-Tang didn’t have to trick you into listening to 36 Chambers. I almost wanted to stop listening to it cause people kept saying, “have you heard it yet?” I was like yeah motherfucker I was the one who told you about it last year. (laughs) You have to get it out there, but once it’s out there, it has to carry itself. Make an amazing album and then push it hard.

Adam Bernard: Finally, if you could only accomplish one goal in your career what would it be?
MarkmyWords: I think I’m doing it now. I just wanted to put out an album, start to finish, fully professional, vinyl, CD, the whole nine yards. Now I just have to push it how it needs to be pushed and I can look back at it as an accomplishment in and of itself. Whatever happens, we finally pressed that wax we talked about forever and that is a dope feeling.

Related Links

Website: notbmusic.com
MySpace: myspace.com/mwnotb
MySpace: myspace.com/djsinn
Accesshiphop: Homeland Security
iTunes: Nature of the Beast


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:42 AM  
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