Houston Speed-Rhymer Reps His City
3:00PM ET March 31st, 2012
Contributor : D. L. Thomas
A Rocky Williform Company
Rappers are notoriously confident.
Cockiness is a cornerstone of emceeing, but for Houston's Marcus Manchild--confidence in hip hop wasn't immediate. The former basketball standout may be one of the hottest up-and-comers in the Lone Star State, but in the beginning, he wasn't exactly bursting with confidence at his abilities. "I thought I was bad," he says with a chuckle. "But I started getting better and better and my partners would be like 'You killing it' and I just fell in love with it. They motivated me, basically. Since then, I've been going."
And going, and going.
Manchild has become one of the most talked-about young rhymers in the game--and he's gotten cosigns from veterans ranging from his fellow Houston rhymers Slim Thug and Bun B to Chicago spitters like Lupe Fiasco and Twista. The latter is one Marcus' major influences.
"Shoutout to the homie Twista," Manchild adds. "I give him all his props."
Being from Houston, Manchild knew that his own speedy delivery would set him apart from his peers. "My partner told me it kind of made me versatile and gave me my own kinda lane," he says of his rhyme approach. "We tend to hear stuff on the radio and on the internet and its hard to not mimic it. It gets stuck in your head--especially when you're not own. It kind of shows in your rap. [I said to myself] 'If I can make this happen, its gonna be unexpected.' Especially coming from down south, from Houston."
The speed-rap approach was actually a happy accident that Marcus attributets to a few too many libations in the studio during one session. "They had a song called 'Bottoms Up' and I remixed it on my first mixtape ever called 'Preseason,'" he shares. "I told my homies, 'Let me be in here by myself with the producer.' I was f**ked up and sh*t and started rapping too fast and he was like 'You still on beat.' Since then I was like, 'Let me practice this.' So I kept going with this."
The veteran support Manchild has received from notables like Bun B and Scarface hasn't gone unnoticed, either. He believes that the key to his success in the industry is his ability to listen and absorb. " Its a blessing that they even gave me a chance to get on records with them," he says of the Houston rap elite. "Shout out to them. It tripped em out when Slimm first gave me some advice: 'Don't ever think about the business first, because that'll take the fun out of your rapping.'"
Manchild remains humble--despite the A-list fans and the praise he's gotten in his hometown. He credits much of his success to his affiliation with the AMG label and the familial approach they've taken. "They keep you working and keep you going," he says. "They make sure everything you're doing is on-point. Its a brotherhood. All of them are older than me so they treat me like a little brother. its more than music, its actually family. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be in the position I'm in now. Nobody would know who Marcus Manchild is."
More and more people are learning, however. And Marcus Manchild's track "Problems" has helped his ever-growing fanbase see a different side to the fun-loving rapper. The intensely introspective track is Manchild's proudest moment thus far. "Shoutout to Bun for being on that," he says of "Problems." "I always talk about the good stuff that goes on and i never really get to express to people what has happened in my life and what still goes on in my life. I felt like I had to do that for fans to respect me and my music, instead of just thinking 'he's another ni***a that's rapping.' I feel problems was just a good track to put out there.
But, despite "Problems" and its heady subject matter, the young emcee is still enjoying himself. And he's still learning the game. Both off-stage and on.
"In Minnesota I had a bad incident where I went up and shouted out Detroit," he reveals, laughing. "They was rocking, they was hype and at the end I was like 'Y'all get down here in Detroit!'"