More than ten years in the game, MOD the Black Marvel is a veteran of Hip Hop from Dutch soil but mostly known in Wu-Tang affiliated circles in New York with his production team Godz Wrath. With his homies from Supercharger Records he kept on doing his thing and in February 2012 his debut album called BM-Ultra finally saw the light of day.
Because of this milestone in his life IBMCs asked Black Marvel to answer this Q&A so the world can also get to know the man behind the music.
Can you introduce yourself for anyone who hasn’t heard of you yet?
Black Marvel aka O.Mosley aka Mod Huxtable aka MR Black aka ya local Super Hero.
What are your first memories of Hip Hop?
My first memories of Hip Hop is actually a tape I borrowed from a friend with KRS-One’s song ‘9mm Goes Bang’. I played that shit over and over again. Then I got the Public Enemy ‘Fear Of A Black Planet’ tape from my sister and from that day it was on.
Can you explain how you first got into music and what were your first experiences of making it?
I always had love for music, period. My mom was a DJ back in the 70’s, so music was always around. I think I was like 15 when I got two old beltdrive turntables. I messed up some classic records on them, thinking I was DJ Lordjazz.
Also my moms husband use to be in a band wen he was young. He hooked me up with a old 4 channel mixer, a Korg Poly-61 and a Mini Korg. That kept me of the street for a while. I still have both of the Synths.
What was it like being part of SuperCharger Records and releasing your own music? And what is happening with the label right now?
SuperCharger Records was a great learning experience at the time. I’m talking ‘The Campaign’ era. We didn’t knew anything about the industry. All we knew was that it was shady. I also think we started that company in the worst time of economy ever.
Good thing is we released ‘The Campaign’ and got the chance to work with great artists.
Over the years you build up quite some international connections, also with the production team Godz Wrath. How did this come together?
Think it all started in 1998, around that time. I met Shabazz the Disciple when he did that Gravediggaz tour. And we built from there, he introduced us to Killah Priest and it was on from there.
Where did you tour and how was that experience?
I toured through Germany and Chech Republic and through the Netherlands of course.
Tours are always fun to do. You get to know people in different levels, learn about other cultures. Travelling is a good inspiration period and most of the time we come home with the craziest vinyl we bought in dusty record stores.
How do you see the Dutch Hip Hop scene over the years and how do you think you are seen as a part of it?
Lets put it like this. Don’t get me wrong, but I think the scene sucks. There is a scene in Dutch language rapping, but I don’t think that has nothing to do with what we do as English speaking MC’s. I wish it was different though.
I noticed that the new generation don’t understand English like 70’s and 80’s born people. We grew up on some Sky Channel cartoons, you know, Transformers with the subtitles and shit. 90’s babies got overdubbed television, so I think that’s basically what happened.
And I don’t really think alot of the people of the new generation know me, but I am convinced I will reach them all in the end of the day.
So now you’ve been in between the mainstream and the underground Hip Hop scene in different parts of the world for almost 20 years, with as result, the release of your long awaited debut album BM-Ultra on Superchargerrecords.
Tell us a bit about how the album came together, how you like it and what you hope to achieve with it.
It’s basically me, Jordan Riverbanks and Ciph Barker on the production. They know me the best. Riverbanks.. that dude he will play a beat and you just start writing. He’s bananas with his shit.
I think I really started working on my album during Priest’s album ‘The Offering’. That gave me a boost. Priest is just outta this world, he is a great inspiration and teacher. Listening to him made me write more personal stuff and that was exactly what I needed to finish this album.
It took a while for me to collect and select these tracks. I think the oldest verse I wrote on this album is from 2001 and the newest one 2012. This made it kinda hard to connect everything together but I think with the cartoon skits and everything it came together perfect. I wanted my debut to be special and have all the right elements and I am satisfied the way it came out and I think that’s important.
I hope people will pick it up.. Fuck that!!! Y’all should pick it up!!
Are you gonna do live shows to promote the album?
Yeah of course.We working hard to get some dates. It’s harder than back in the days, but I’m sure I will be hitting y’all in the head in a spot somewhere near you.
Is the album going to be released on vinyl?
Do you collect vinyl yourself?
I buy vinyl, but mostly oldies to sample. I love the sound of it. I got some crates at the crib, but if you mean Hip Hop I don’t have a lot. I think some of my most precious Hip Hop albums on vinyl are ‘Only Built For Cuban Linx and Method Man ‘The Riddler’ for the B-side. I was a big Wu fan when I was young. And my own 12”s of course.
I lost alot of Hip Hop on vinyl over the years moving around.
Which artists are you most influenced by? Which artists do you still want to work with?
On the producer tip I would really like to work with Ghostface. He was always a great influence through my career. I always like the atmosphere in his records and choice of beats. And Nas. There are not alot of flawles MC’s like that. I would say they are my favourite MC’s with Priest, but I already worked with him of course.
Do you listen to rap in different languages than Dutch or English?
Not really. I love the English language. I think Hip Hop sounds best in English personally.
I fell in love with this form of art in English and still loving it. I’m not saying that Hip Hop in an other language isn’t good, but overall I just prefer it in English.
What do you think about the conscious scene in rap nowadays? Subjects people talk about went from racism, equal rights and self empowerment to esoteric beliefs and conspiracy theories.
I just think the content changes with time and history. You will always have that. That’s how it goes. But the trick is to change the future with content.
You also rap alot about things like the Bilderbergers, society brainwash and political issues, tell us something about your own life philosophies or political, sociological views and how that relates to your message in your music.
Yeah, me and Ciph Barker always mock all that shit. And having fun with it. You got to have fun with it, because you will go mad otherwise. I mean when reading this it all became clear to me, my boy Lockheat always recites this.
Rev13:18 – Here is wisdom.(drumroll) Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is 666.
I mean we all know what we are capable of as a man. Having power comes with great responsibility. A man can only handle so much responsibility. You got to be strong.
Now just because someone studied at Harvard University and is able to be the next president, doesn’t mean he is capable to withstand to take that bite of that juicy apple.
Do I need to say more? That’s it basically in a nutshell, how I think of the situation. And it can’t be stopped. The beast is inside us. In order to survive. Basic instinct. And some people are more driven by there basic instinct than others.
With IBMCs we are trying to unite the Hip Hop culture on an international level. How do you see the worldwide Hip Hop culture has an effect on people around the world?
I always say I liked Hip Hop better when it wasn’t so out there. The fealing of it. I think it became to big in a way. But maybe I’m just getting older and becoming a grumpy old rapper saying ‘when I was young it was all better.’
But I don’t want to be to contradicting. So I think it’s a good thing and we can learn from eachother and hit more heads with good music. And I hope IBMCs shows people what real Hip Hop is.
How important is the history of Hip Hop for people around the world, the beginning in New York as well as the pioneers of their own country?
I think it’s always a good thing to know were things come from or how it came to be. If you want to be able to understand it.
What are your views on the internet and the downloading culture and the reaction of the music industry and politics right now?
The internet got two sides. I also profit from the internet as an indie artist. It takes two days and people can listen to your album worldwide. I mean I couldn’t imagine that 10 years ago, so that’s good.
But than what are your odds of being heard. Between a million and one MC’s out. I mean now you have people dropping four albums a year plus three mixtapes and 90 procent of what comes out is garbage. The selection is too big. We need population controle, haha.
Everybody is an MC nowadays. It makes it hard to sell albums so that the artist really get payed. I think it’s oversaturated because of the internet. You know, computernerds thinking they are rappers. I kinda miss that real street mentality. Back in the days you had to have courage to pick up that mic, you had to pay dues. Now all you need is a Macbook.and 10.000 followers and you’re considered a good rapper, because that’s what the youth measures it by.
And for the music industry.. that was always shady and karma is a bitch. As for politics,
politics is good if you’re on the right side of the game.
What other projects are you working on at the moment? What is the next step we can expect from you and yours in the future?
I will just continue making music. I’m working on some great projects, like an EP with LockHeat, who is a great and talented upcoming producer.
I dont know. Sky is the limit. We will see what happens.
Who else we need to look out for at the moment?
T.N.T. That’s another SuperCharger group. And look out for all the Malkovingians.
Do you have any shoutouts?
My Family. One love.
By: Krecy | For international Hip Hop: http://www.ibmcs.org