More and more, it seems that finding a hip-hop artist with an actual message is becoming a rarity. The growing trend of heavy beats cloaking nonsense lyrics is all too common, and more often than not rappers are moving towards profitable blandness instead of using their platform to instigate real change. Whether it’s fear of making waves and losing out on precious airplay or simply a desire to pump out the next generic hit (looking at you Post Malone), it’s wonderfully refreshing to finally hear something with real substance.
Marcus Alexander is one of the few artists in the rap game standing against the odd ‘mumble-game’. A thirty-one-year-old talent from Chicago, he’s found fame through numerous features on Jamie Foxx’s Sirius XM Radio Station, The Foxxhole, as well as the acclaim of his last mixtape ‘#ShareThePositivity’. His success is built on a story of pain, however, and to reach his current heights he has had to deal with many heavy obstacles. Through it all he’s used his music to grow and overcome, treating it as ‘lyrical therapy’ and an outlet through which to cope. It’s a wonderful thing, and ever since his mixtape Marcus has been trying to share it with the world.
With his new album, ‘Suited Up, Vol. 1’, Marcus has moved a giant step forward in this goal, bringing together his passion and character to produce a release that is hard to ignore. With his own style erupting from the very first verse of ‘Control’, it’s clear to see the talent that Marcus has. His sound is short, sharp and powerful, with tracks never pushing past three minutes and never over-staying their welcome. He sets the tone, lays down his sound, and spares his audience of useless frivolities and pointless flourishes. Everything is planned and purposeful, and there is little in the eight tracks that you could class as dead weight.
The one weakness in Marcus’ album is the production. It’s polished, almost neat, but it doesn’t serve to heighten the power of each piece, only to support it. It’s an issue that can often be overlooked due to the evocative flow that Marcus lays down, but you can’t help feel that the album could be so much more if the instrumentals and productive were on Marcus’ level.
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