Roc Marciano enjoyed a sterling 2012, with the Long Island rapper’s Reloaded emerging as the hip-hop connoisseur’s album of the year. Now he’s building on that momentum with his follow-up project, the pun-tastically titled Marci Beaucoup. He’s also furthering his industry clout by taking on a role as vice president of A&R at Man Bites Dog Records. So while Marci and Man Bites Dog founder R.M.L. devoured turkey and mayonnaise sandwiches at his swanky midtown Manhattan hotel room, Hive got the scoop from them on who’s on Marci Beaucoup, his new day job and dreams of working with Prince.
How much can you reveal about Marci Beaucoup?
Roc Marciano: It’s gonna be real interesting, man. It’s gonna please a lot of people ’cause they’re gonna get a chance to hear me doing more features with people over my own production. When you hear my albums you [usually] just hear me. I mean, you might hear one or two of my dudes, but it’s basically all in-house as far as the features, but now I’ve reached outside so people will get a chance to hear some of their favorite artists on my production and me rapping alongside them.
Are you rapping on every song on Marci Beaucoup?
Roc Marciano: Yeah, I’m on all the songs.
Who are they guest rappers?
Another bearded wonder.
Roc Marciano: You know, I got the crazy beards in the building! I’m producing it like I would produce one of my albums, you know? I’m basically trying to give them the music I would rap to — I’m not trying to give them the throwaway beats.
Does Marci Beaucoup have a release date yet?
[Man Bites Dog Records founder/producer] R.M.L.: I think you’ll start seeing the first singles in summer. We’re gonna make sure it’s handled correctly.
What’s your favorite track from Marci Beaucoup so far?
Roc Marciano: That’s a tough one ’cause I love all the songs for different reasons but one of the illest collaborations is me, KA, and Guilty Simpson. I was excited to see that happened as a fan myself.
R.M.L.: I don’t wanna give too much away but the feature I love most is someone we don’t want to name yet. It features a west coast artist who’s very ill and the production’s just perfect.
Who came up with the album title?
Roc Marciano: That’s me.
Do you speak any French?
Roc Marciano: [Laughs.] No. A little bit I learned in school but I wasn’t paying attention. My name is Rakeem and there wasn’t no French name for Rakeem so I remember saying “Je m’appelle Robert.” She gave me Robert instead of Rakeem! Vous apples vous, whatever that means, I remember saying that! I remember about two sentences!
How did the A&R position at Man Bites Rod come about?
Roc Marciano: I’ve been doing a lot of work with them throughout the years, a lot of feature work. So just through talking we got to know each other. I wasn’t surprised when they asked me ’cause we’d been talking about doing some business for a while now.
What will it involve on a daily basis?
Roc Marciano: It’s gonna basically be making sure the projects sound the way they should sound, picking the right singles and recruiting new artists.
Can you give us any clues about who these new artists might be?
R.M.L.: I was playing him the new Blaq Poet record last night that we’re gonna be doing. We’re dropping a new EP with Harry Fraud today too. So when somebody sends me something I call him up and we chop it up. I need to hear his opinion on everything we release. The quality of the music is important for him, number one. We listen to some dudes and got to make sure the quality is up to par.
Is DJ Premier going to be involved in the Blaq Poet project?
R.M.L.: No, all the beats are going to be by Vanderslice and Stu Bangas. It’s more brutal music. We also have projects with Reef The Lost Cauze and Blackastan with them.
You were also signed to Busta Rhymes’s Flipmode Squad for a moment. Did Busta give you any useful industry advice?
Roc Marciano: Oh yeah, definitely. Busta‘s the hardest working man in show business and hard work is the foundation. You get out of it what you put in and I learned that from Busta. Busta has one of the most competitive spirits that you can ever encounter when it comes to making music, so I definitely learned a work ethic and staying competitive from Busta.
If money was no object, who’s on the wish list of artists you’d want to bring to the label?
Roc Marciano: Prince, let’s start with Prince, I’d like to get that album scheduled for a nice release!
Would you be confident with giving Prince advice on his music?
Roc Marciano: Um … I would just ask him if I could sit in on some sessions! I wouldn’t tell him what to do, I’d have more or less requests. I’d just hang out; signing him would basically be so I can hang out in the sessions and learn! I’d sign him as a fan. [Pauses.] Besides that, Mary J. Blige — just want to make sure the money is straight! We’d be alright then, me and Mary.