HHC talks hip-hop with acclaimed producer Marco Polo [Article]
Toronto, ON – Producer Marco Polo has been a mainstay in the underground scene since his affiliation with Masta Ace and Buckshot at the beginning of the decade. “What is underground hip-hop?” Marco questions, not being too keen on the labels and segregating adjectives used to describe hip-hop music. “It’s like when people say Canadian hip-hop. It’s not fair because if you already have an opinion in your mind of what Canadian hip-hop is, you don’t give the other guy a chance.”
Coming from someone that takes pride in making his own way into the music scene, Marco knows how important it is to get an opportunity. He found his opportunity years ago while in New York and has turned that into a career ripe with accomplishments. He is fresh off the Rap City Tour, spinning tracks in Australia and New Zealand with the legendary DJ Premier and old school rap crew The Beatnuts. He recently dropped a catalogue of unreleased music titled The Stupendous Adventures of Marco Polo that features some of his work with Ruste Juxx and other members of his Duck Down label. Add to that a show in Spain he just did with Buckshot and Smif-n-Wessun, and you begin to see why Marco Polo is a consistent force in hip-hop music, not just in Canada, but around the world.
“My work ethic is why I’m able to do what I do,” he says humbly. “I just stay focused on the music, that’s it!” And when Marco says music, he’s referring to the crazy drums and gritty vocals of the hip-hop he knows and loves, not the singy hooks and auto-tune prevalent in much of the mainstream music today. “I feel like we’re failing Rakim,” he says. “I’d like if there was more balance.
”Marco is not completely opposed to the new wave of tame music, even crediting artists like Drake for helping to push the radar over to Toronto, Marco’s native city. And although he admits to cutting back on his work load to keep up the quality of his material, he is still a big supporter of local talent. “I like guys like Rich Kidd and Frank Dukes, and even Drake. I feel like I’ve help make it possible for some of [them].”
Though Marco may not fully understand the direction of some of the recent music, he has not let that stop him from continuing to put out his own material. Other than doing work on Pharoahe Monch’s upcoming album titled W.A.R (We Are Renegades), he is currently cooking up production for Port Authority 2, the sequel to his 2007 street branded album, which featured raps from the likes of Mr. International Kardinal Offishall and rhyme assassin Kool G Rap. “Features are all under wraps [for this one],” Marco taunts. “But I’m planning for a 2011 release.”
And if it’s been anything like we’re used to hearing from the battle tested producer, then the hip-hop world, underground or otherwise, better get ready to stamp Marco Polo as one of the best in the game.
Written by Kern Carter for HipHopCanada
Edited by Jonathon “Bizz” Brown for HipHopCanada
Photography by Robert Adam Mayer
Tags: Marco Polo