Q&A Interview with Bay Area Veteran Mars
Legends Will Never Die: What is the earliest hip hop memory that you can recall?
Mars: Back when I was a little kid, my aunt Brandy was playing the “We Want Some Pussy!” song by the 2 Live Crew & told me that they were saying “We Want Some Cookies!”. That’s as early as I can think of. But when I was a teen, Del the Funky Homosapien got me into it as a Bay Area artist before anyone. From there, the 90’s g-gunk era kicked in & I was stuck on it. But it was when I heard X-Raided, Brotha Lynch Hung & the Three 6 Mafia is when I really found where I wanted to be.
LWND: You’re very renown in the horrorcore scene so that has me wondering: Could you name off your top 5 horror movies?
Mars: I like the classics. The original Texas Chainsaw Masscare, the Child’s Play movies up until Bride of Chucky, almost all the Friday the 13th‘s before the reboot, the Nightmare of Elm Street series, Gorgon Video used to send me all of the Faces of Death & Henry movies as they came out. Loved all that stuff until they released Fact or Fiction & broke my heart when I found out it was all fake footage.
LWND: You dropped a surprise single on Friday the 13th called “It Gets Deep” under your own label Mad Insanity Records in conjunction with EMPIRE Distribution. It goes back to your roots of West Coast g-funk mixed with the horror themes that helped define your career. What made you wanna do that?
Mars: Bad Mind emailed me the beat as I was driving around so I played it, recorded the song & it was already mixed when I woke up the next morning. But, I grew up with my dad always playing funk & soul oldies & I still ride around playing the Delphonics & Brothers Johnson when I drive. I just think it sounds smooth & cool. I always wanted my brand of horrorcore to sound different than anyone else’s. “It Gets Deep” is a reflection of that.
LWND: You’ve released 6 singles & a collaboration EP with Young Swizz this year so far, all independently with EMPIRE backing you up. How much more do you plan on releasing before the year is up?
Mars: I have about 5 or 6 albums coming out, but I’ll keep releasing as singles & other stuff while I’m waiting on features. As long as their waiting on the albums, I’ll keep giving them something to listen to in the meantime. But I’m trying to drop everything I got all this year. My music isn’t for everyone, but the people that fuck with me I want to make sure they have enough new stuff all the time. Nobody can deny somebody’s hustle, determination or drive. I’m trying to get it. It won’t stop next year either.
LWND: You’re dropping a collaborative album with Danny Diablo under Force 5 Records very soon called “Devils & Demons”. How did that come about?
Mars: Danny had hit me up on Twitter & asked me to do a verse for his album. I wasn’t familiar with his hip hop stuff before, but we eventually became friends & the question came up. I knew it would stress Donnie at Force 5 Records out because me & Danny are both knuckleheads & love to party, but it came out really dope bringing our 2 worlds together. This was one of those opportunities that bought a chance to work with people I never I would have ever imagined myself on the same songs with. Slaine, Vinnie Paz? Come on. We got something for everyone on this one.
LWND: You have an EP coming out within the next month called Small Sacrifices. Are these all tracks from your upcoming album or just an appetizer for what’s to come?
Mars: It was gonna be called The Murder EP, but we’re getting a bunch of billboards for it & the imagery of the cover-art was too much for the companies. Small Sacrifices is all tracks I did with the producer Bvne. It’s its own project and theres some really good songs on it. Locked Up a Broad is with a producer named Clayton Van Pelt. And that’s all its own project too, aside from “Throw It All Away” which came out as a single, everything on Locked Up a Broad its all unheard too. I’ve been busy recording like crazy. The singles have been all stuff that were from other producers. I like to have one producer per album so they all have a sound of their own. Medication was with Westside Rell, who has worked with Kung Fu Vampire & a lot of Strange Music artists & that one really kicked shit off.
LWND: You’re set to release a solo album within the next 2 months called “Locked Up a Broad”. Could you tell me what to expect from you on there?
Mars: Locked Up a Broad is a really different album because I picked beats Clayton already had sitting & chose to adapt to whatever I was feeling at the time. So you get a lot of bluesy songs, trap sounding stuff & even some down south shit. But it’s all horror based music about kidnapping. Really different, but super dope.
LWND: You’ve been feeding the homeless community around your hometown of Pittsburg & Antioch, CA with the help of partnerships with Kinders BBQ & more locally based companies. You’ve helped get involved in saving a local skatepark for the kids in the area who were being forced out by a local real estate developer & even partnered up with pro-skateboarder Corey Duffel to create awareness for the cause. What made you wanna do all of that?
Mars: Both things I’m very passionate about. One time, I went to the store & bought sandwiches for everyone at the house & nobody was home, so I went & brought them to everyone downtown & it felt good because people really appreciated it. I get my shows & events catered catered for free and I always felt like if I had that hook up that I should be bringing stuff like that for people who need it. Kinders BBQ, Little J’s in Pittsburg, California & so many places around the community have really kicked down a lot of food for the cause & I often bring hygiene products, shoes, clothes, even cars, down there & make sure people have what they need to stay afloat. I hope to one day open up a shelter and I’ve been talking with the mayor about how I can get more & more involved as it comes up in the city council meetings & city planning. The skatepark stuff, comes out of me being a kid who skated & it brought me so many opportunities & skills that I use every day that I feel more kids need a shot at a positive outlet. From trying to save ones from being taken away to trying to get ones being built, I feel like I have a big enough voice in the community & with a following everywhere that I can make a positive difference with the help of people who support me. Right now I’m trying to get the kids in Pittsburg, California a skatepark so they have somewhere safe to go and not in the streets where they are out getting in trouble just trying to do what they love.
LWND: You make a sizable income wearing products from brands or product placement on social media getting items regularly from Oddball Golf, Fadavi & Co., Sprayground, REBEL8, Kangol, PF Flyers, CBD & marijuana companies & Cuts Clothing. Any more plans to expanding this in the future?
Mars: I was buying REBEL8, Cookies & Kangol way before I was ever getting their stuff sent to me for magazines & social media. This is one of the skills I learned from Skateboarding. Sponsorships, product placement, marketing. It’s awesome checking the mail & getting a check & free stuff all the time. I probably spend the money on the same kinds of clothes anyways. Rap music isn’t just about music. It’s about the brand. Make yourself available for opportunities.
LWND: You’ve gotten major label attention on his last single release “Throw It All Away” after getting play from several Northern California mainstream radio stations, but continued your relationship with EMPIRE. Why is that?
Mars: This A&R contacted me about a possible development deal based off of my song “Throw It All Away”, but I had to tell her that for the last 20 years I’ve been making songs about rape & murder. I’m sure she was good after that. I honestly think horrorcore is the best representation of my personality. I wouldn’t want to make any other kinds of music. This is what I enjoy doing. With EMPIRE, all the biggest rappers in the world are here. Why do I need anyone else? This is where it’s at anyways.
LWND: Any final statements before we wrap this up?
Mars: Halloween is coming up soon & if people wanna hear a darker side of hip hop, explore a different kind of entertainment than they’re used to. If you’re a horror movie fan, there is rap music out there waiting for you to explore.
Follow on all social media @Mars