marleymarl

One of hip hop’s greatest producers speaks.

Red Bull Music Academy‘s 2014 edition in Tokyo wrapped up earlier this month, and as always those of us unable to attend are left with a growing collection of lectures from musical legends.

One of the highest profile interviews from this year’s edition (and there were a few including legendary Japanese composer Iaso Tomita) was with New York producer Marley Marl.

Marl’s legacy is multifold: he accidentaly discovered drum sampling, thus triggering an entirely new approach to hip hop production; he was the driving force behind the legendary Juice Crew; and in many ways was the first producer in hip hop to show that the man behind the boards could also be the artist.

The RBMA lecture lasted an exhaustive 3 hours, including q&a with the participants, and was hosted by Chairman Mao from EgoTrip.

For those of you without time to spare just now you can make use of the topics button to allow you to jump to specific points in the discussion. You can also read Mao’s profile of Marley Marl in 1998 for EgoTrip, which is a great place to start.

Talking of the lecture, Mao said:

Our RBMA talk wound up being kind of an exhaustive one. Honestly, it could have easily gone longer. A big reason is simply due to the importance of Marley’s catalog; the fact that his early classic productions – from MC Shan’s ‘The Bridge,’ Eric B. & Rakim’s ‘Eric B. Is President’ b/w ‘My Melody,’ and all the essential Juice Crew stuff – was really the pivotal musical force to usher in the modern era of hip-hop (and as such merited detailed discussion). But we also took time to address other minutiae: which record he was, in fact, trying to sample when he fortuitously caught that drum sound; how the drum pattern for ‘Eric B. Is President’ originated with Tragedy’s ‘Stunt of the Block’ etc. Then, of course, there’s Marley on his relationship with broadcast pioneer Mr. Magic (RIP), an intriguing story (at around the 1 hour 50 min. mark) of how a disconsolate Nas sought his advice during the height of Biggie’s popularity in NYC circa ’95 yielding the underground classic ‘On the Real,’ and how other artists sampling Biz’s ‘Make the Music With Your Mouth’ has served Marley as a late-career revenue stream.

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