1 July, 2010@1:04 am
HHS: Can you tell us a bit about the new album:The Stupendous Adventures Of…?
Marco Polo: The new album is called The Stupendous Adventures Of Marco Polo, and it’ dropping on Duckdown, June 29th. Basically it’s a collection of really good songs that I recorded pre the Port Authority era till six months ago. They were all songs that were recorded before or after album deadlines and never really found a home. Some of them have been released over time, some of them are remixes that I did for other projects, like Diamond District and DJ K.O. There’s also a Large Professor “Radar” remix which was never available on cd, but was more of an exclusive b-side. But yeah, there’s Rustee, Skyzoo and Torae, Duckdown fam and up and coming artists from Toronto like Shiloh and Promise. It’s just really a collection of songs and over the years being in New York and just working, I decided to get it properly mixed and mastered and compiled.
HHS: After this release are you going to work with more artists from Canada or stick with what you’re doing, working with artists like Rustee and Torae?
Marco Polo: The focus now is Port Authority 2. I’m always down to connect with people from Toronto. That’s where I’m from so I try to stay involved in the scene up there. But right now, I’m full steam ahead on Port Authority 2.
HHS: Do you plan to tour for The Stupendous Adventures Of or is more of just a studio album.
Marco Polo: Yeah,I might do a show in New York with some of the artists, but it’s tough to take an album like that on the road. Rustee and I are probably going to get out and do some more shows this fall to promote The eXXecution. I’m going out with Masta Ace and Edo G to Australia and New Zealand, with DJ Premier and The Beatnuts, doing six shows out there and getting to promote the albums while I’m out there.
HHS: You’ve said many times that DJ Premier is a big influence to you and you’re getting to be one of the most sought after producers in underground hip-hop. Can you talk about your evolution?
Marco Polo: Yeah, people that know me and my music know that there’s no hiding it that DJ Premier is the number one influence. He’s a friend now.I’m blessed to be able to get feedback from him and to work with him on a lot of projects. He’s executive producing a lot of albums and I’m fortunate to have him bring me in the mix and have me produce. An example of that would be MC Eiht’s new album. I did three joints on there and that was all through Premo. It was a dream-come-true to work with a west coast legend like that. But my whole thing is to take the energy that he’s given to hip-hop over the years along with many other producers that influenced me, like Large Professor, D.I.T.C., The Beatnuts, Pete Rock, Bomb Squad, Marley Marl, Dilla. I just try to make my unique production in music. I try to dig a little differently and if people get that vibe from my beats, that’s cool. If my beats remind people of a certain style or era, that’s dope. That’s what I’m shooting for. But I’m definitely not trying to take anything back or bite anybody’s style.
HHS: As far as digging, with things being a lot more digital now, are you still hitting the record stores? Or do you do a lot of digital digging now.
Marco Polo: I do both. I’m not gonna lie, I get my e-dig on from time to time, but I’m at the record store every other weekend with my man DJ Skizz. We both hit up certain spots in New York, but sometimes it’s not just about beats. I like good music and a lot of it is only available on vinyl. I’ll always be a record head and regardless of the production, I’ll always buy vinyl.
HHS:9th Wonder recently said something about us all having different personalities when it comes to music. Sometimes we want to listen to straight underground hip-hop, sometimes you want to listen to club and party stuff. Do you agree? Like for you personally are you a straight underground hip-hop head or can you also be a fan of that and be a fan of the club and popular music as well?
Marco Polo: I’m a fan of good music. It actually kind of bothers me when people think I’m just at home playing underground hip-hop and just smoking Newports. I love everything. You can catch me listening to Stereolab and Zero 7 one day and then the next day, you can catch me listening to the Beatles and then an old EPMD album. I’m just a fan of great music. Even today, you can hear stuff on the radio and if it’s a good record, it’s a good record. I don’t hate on anything. If it’s good and I feel it and it gives me some sort of feeling, that’s what it is.
HHS: Do you want to work with any majors? Like for example, Ludacris.
Marco Polo: Absolutely. I just want to stay in my zone when I do that. That’s why I respect Premier, because when he works with bigger artists, they respect what he does and they want him to stay doing that. If I had the opportunity to work with a Nas or a Ludacris or a Game or a Snoop, I would hope that I could stick with my style and bring something to the table, as far as my production. So that’s how I’d like to see it go down if that I had the privilege to work with bigger artists.
HHS: What are your thoughts about leaking music?
Marco Polo: I think it’s foul. Unless the artist is doing it for free and makes it be known. But if you know that an artist is putting out an album to sell and then a blog just posts the shit up for free with a link, that’s fucked up. You’re messing with people’s livelihood and income. It’s no secret that album sales are down and that’s one of the reasons why sales are down. You know that once an album hits one blog, it’s on a lot of blogs. Those links move fast. So it’s like a rat race to stop it and even labels don’t know what to do when it happens. I’m lucky to say that I have a trustworthy team.
HHS:As far as this album, what do you want people to take from it?
Marco Polo: I want people to have a solid project to vibe with. There’s definitely a need for good music right now. I just want to clarify that this was definitely a collection of songs in-between projects and it’s to hold you over while I work on the official producer album that I always wanted to work on and do after Port Authority. So this is kind of the appetizer before the main course that I will hopefully finish up and release if all goes well, sometime in 2011. It’s great music, it has a vibe, quality stuff. The artwork is incredible. I’m just really proud of the Stupendous project. The name and the vibe of the project just made sense. It’s really what’s been going on with me since I moved from Toronto to New York with the things I’ve been through and the artists that I’ve worked with. So yeah, definitely check that out on June 29th.
HHS:Is it going to be available everywhere?
Marco Polo: Umm, it’s indie distribution, so everywhere, probably not. But the mom and pops should have it. Some of the bigger chains may have it, but it’ll definitely be in Fat Beats and places that support good independent hip-hop should have it. Amazon will probably have it too.
HHS: Last words?
Marco Polo: Yeah, shouts to HipHopSite.Com, I’ve been a reader for a long time. Shoutout to anyone that supports Marco Polo music and anyone that’s been rocking with me since “Orange Moon Over Brooklyn” to Port Authority to Double Barrel to The eXXecution, I appreciate it. There’s more music coming and better music. I’m growing as a producer and I appreciate anyone that wants to stick around for the journey.
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