Marlon Palmer attempts to takeover the Internet [Interview]
Toronto, ON – With the internet being such an incredible tool for artists to communicate to their fans, Marlon Palmer has used the world wide web to help create a new team of superstars. With his YouTube channel full of funny and parody videos at almost 7.5 million views, Marlon has become the new king of the internet. Marlon invited HipHopCanada to his crib to sit down and discuss the phenomenon he’s created. His roommate and partner in crime Laith Hakeem joins in on the discussion as well. Check out what the guys have to say about their future, how they’re beating the odds and a special message for their haters. Check out the sit-down with Marlon and Laith, after the jump.
HipHopCanada: So tell me where around Toronto you grew up.
Marlon: For the most part I grew up in Maples. Other than Maples, do you know where Canada’s Wonderland is?
HipHopCanada: No, I haven’t been there yet! I’m new in Toronto.
Marlon: Wow, you’re slippin! You’re like a tourist.
HipHopCanada: Yes, I’m from Vancouver! Have you been there yet?
Marlon: I might be going soon actually. We might be going on a little roadtrip for a weekend. We want to do Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver in one weekend. Soon. It’s going to be crazy! I heard Vancouver is crazy.
HipHopCanada: So Maples is where you grew up?
Marlon: Yeah, I was there for about 7 years, went to highschool there. All the friends I have now are mostly from there too.
HipHopCanada: How did you guys meet?
Marlon: I met Laith because his ex-girlfriend became my new girlfriend.
HipHopCanada: Oh, so you’re an asshole!
Marlon: [Laughing] Kind of! I heard about him through her. He heard about me through her. We also had mutual friends so we ended up meeting eventually, and talking about how psycho she was.
Laith: Yeah, we agreed on everything.
HipHopCanada: So you guys live here now downtown together?
Marlon: Yeah, Laith, me and our buddy Chad. This is kind of the bachelor pad.
HipHopCanada: This is where it all goes down.
Marlon: Mostly work in here, but yeah.
HipHopCanada: So you both were finalists on a past Muchmusic VJ search. A lot of people thought one of you guys were going to win; with the leaving of Matt Babel, they needed a new urban presence.
Marlon: Yeah, Laith should have won, for sure.
Laith: Shut up!
HipHopCanada: Tell us about the first video you guys put up on YouTube, that started this whole movement.
Marlon: The first video we put up was called “Make-Up Tutorial”. There are these girls who do make-up tutorials online, who get hundreds of thousands views. We wanted to get their attention, and we knew they would never see our tweets. So they put out this challenge to their viewers to look their worst with make-up, and we were the only guys who made a video back. They noticed right away, the plan worked. From there people kept telling us to keep making videos. “Shit Jamaican People Say” has been the most popular though.
HipHopCanada: Yeah that video was funny. Same with “Shit Toronto People Say”, I liked that one. Who came up with that?
Marlon: Basically I saw the “Shit People Say…” trend was picking up and what not, and there was no Toronto one, so I decided to do it. I saw a Jamaican one but I wasn’t impressed so I just did my own.
HipHopCanada: So it’s kind of crazy how this has become such a crazy snowball effect. You’ve got like 47,000 followers on Twitter. Artists like P. Reign and Drake have shouted you out!
Marlon: I was in a club! Hosting a party, I think at Wetbar, and all of a sudden I kept getting text after text. Everyone was telling me like “Yo, Drake just tweeted your video! Check this out!” P. Reign tweeted the “Jamaican Valentine” video. So yeah, it was pretty cool.
HipHopCanada: Have you talked to Drake about it yet?
Marlon: Yeah, Laith is friends with him, so I’ve met him through him and every time I see him, he shows love, it’s cool.
HipHopCanada: That’s sick. Now you guys are going for that “World Star” star title?
Marlon: No, I don’t want that. That site is mad ignorant. That site screams ignorance!
Laith: Yeah I don’t want that title.
HipHopCanada: Why do you feel that way?
Marlon: All they show is negativity. Fights, girls, ratchet this, ratchet that. When they show positive stuff it’s awesome, they should do more of that.
HipHopCanada: What kind of girls do you like?
Marlon: [Laughing] The one rule is NEVER answer that question. As long they have all their teeth, good credit and no kids! That’s my motto.
HipHopCanada: You both have just a crazy amount of girl crazy fans, all over the place. What are some of the craziest tweets or messages you’ve received?
Marlon: One girl said she would pay me to suck my dick. I retweet them all the time, it is so funny to me.
Laith: Girls tell me they are legitimately in love with me! I try to be nice but it’s so awkward. I pretend I don’t see it.
HipHopCanada: Let’s talk about the “Badda Badda” track you put out, produced by J. Staffz. How did you guys get together for that?
Marlon: Me and J. Staffz have been friends for a while, so me and Slinky [the rapper on the track] asked him what he thought. He’s the first person we thought about when we got the idea for that track.
HipHopCanada: So are you trying to be a rapper now?
Marlon: Definitely not. That was just something for comedy. It’s like those guys who did “I’m on a Boat”, or “Dick in a Box”. Some people were so mad though! They’ve been rapping for years and our song got on the radio. We did nothing wrong, we played the same game, and did it better than you. Don’t be mad! Some people don’t work hard enough.
HipHopCanada: Well, a lot of those guys are working extremely hard.
Marlon: They’re working hard but not efficiently.
Laith: They’re working hard but not working smart.
HipHopCanada: What else do you guys want to say to your haters?
Marlon: Sup! Keep doing what you’re doing, I love it.
Laith: I don’t know the haters.
HipHopCanada: So the “Shit People Say…” trend is obviously gone now. How are you going to avoid being a fad? What’s next now?
Marlon: We’re creating characters now. Characters have developed from those videos. We are trying to keep it as consistent as possible. People really love those characters, especially Marlesha. “ARE YOU DUMB?” (In his Marlesha voice).
HipHopCanada: So I sent out a tweet to ask all your fans what to ask you guys. A few people asked me to ask you guys when you are planning to visit Europe? Which is crazy because you guys are so popular over there.
Laith: Oh my God, they are so amazing! We want to go so badly!
Marlon: We are trying to work on doing a huge party over there. We’re in talks with some people over there so it may happen soon. I’m definitely going before August, if not in August. They have their own Caribana festival over there, I am definitely going.
HipHopCanada: Is there anything else you want tell your fans?
Marlon: “Badda Badda” is still on iTunes. We got t-shirts on sale. Visit me on Twitter at @thatdudemcfly.
Laith: I got “OFTP” coming out.
HipHopCanada: What is that?
Laith: It’s my brand. Everything I do will come under that. The t-shirts are coming out soon, but it will be a complete brand. I’m investing most all of my time into that. It’s going really well, so far so I am very excited. Marlon and I work well together because he’s so well in the spotlight and I enjoy working in the shadows.
HipHopCanada: Tag team.
Marlon: Definitely, always a simultaneous effort.
Interview conducted by Christina Parihar for HipHopCanada