Most people say that music is a young mans game, that being a voice for a generation is something that starts young and continues from there. Most people would be wrong. The absolute beauty of music is that it is not contained to a single age group, sex, ethnicity, anything. When someone truly finds themselves within themselves, harnessing the energy stored within themselves and projecting it outwards, they become a voice. Marley Young is no longer the young gun out there doing it all and more, he has matured and evolved, becoming a solidified voice in his city. He has spent time playing the game for others, and finally decided that it was his time to shine. It is clear from listening through the projects he has released in the last few years, and a from a quick perusal of his FB wall recently, that he is focused on receiving what he feels is rightfully his. After all he has gave his all for Kansas City, and when one comes from a consistently top 5 murder rate city in the United States, they deserve to feel cocky about themselves.
Growing up in Kansas City, Marley was influenced by the iconic life of Tupac Shakur, specifically Pac’s forays into acting, serving as his inspiration for joining theatre. He was still playing basketball in high school while attending the Picel Academy of Fine Arts when his basketball coach came up to him and informed him that if he wanted to continue playing basketball, he would need to run and condition in the offseason. During theatre season. See now, this conflicted with the whole reason why Marley was at the school in the first place. “My theatre teacher told me that I had to audition for at least two more plays during the year in order to remain in the program, that theatre is full-time the exact same that sports are,” Marley offered when explaining his decision more thoroughly. Once the script was in his hands, Marley ran with it hard, from high school to college, where he continued studying theatre to expand his skill sets by writing and directing. While in college, Marley became familiar with Ebonics, and more specifically combining Ebonics and phonetics to allow the actors to transcribe the scripts into shorthand for specific characters. As Marley explained, “It’s writing the word exactly as it sounds, regardless of the speakers standpoint,” allowing uninterrupted flow of acting. The method of writing made so much sense and was so liked by Marley that he continues to write in that style today, taking hours to put songs together, rep after rep.
When asked about how he spends his time when he’s not being a father to his two-year-old daughter or crafting heat in the studio, Marley put it simply, “I love to smoke weed and play COD”. The cannabis game has exploded in the past couple of years, with legalization becoming more of a reality for everyone across the United States. Artists have hopped on it from the start, shoutout Berner and GSC for kicking it off, creating their own strains and using their connections with other lovers of the herb to quickly build their legal brands. “I’m a big indica guy, anything OG really,” Marley responded when asked about his favorite strains, “and yea I could see myself doing a Marley Young strain someday,” which is something to look forward too.
Speaking of looking forward, Marley recently released the song “Dragons and Dracos”, which featured him going well outside any typical box in hip-hop…because he did something no one ever really tries to do, remix Mr. Mathers. The song, “My Dad’s Gone Crazy” has an iconic intro, and the inspiration is relatively clear. It also seemed to represent many of the traits Marley has strived to embody in recent years, focusing on his growth as an individual and stepping outside of the box in his art. Taking a song that he used to listen too way back when, now after having his own daughter using it as inspiration, definitely is a beautiful cycle. Marley has been active in the communities of Kansas City for years, back to school drives, food giveaways, and hosting events for the kids to be involved in something positive. The positive vibes that he emits are evident even through the phone, and through his songs.
He has new music dropping on August 6th, Icon, as well as having other videos and songs in the works. They’ll be available across all platforms, don’t do yourself a disservice, go stream them. You won’t have to look too hard to find Marley, he’ll be in KC, standing proud in the hometown and smoking strong. It is always good to see an artist stand strong for his hometown, especially if they come from a place that doesn’t have much history on the larger hip-hop stage. It looks like Marley will be changing that soon though, if he has his way, and there doesn’t seem to be much standing in his path.