Producer albums are the most under appreciated project in all of hip hop. Often treated as afterthoughts by casual listeners, they tend to be some of my favorite releases of any given year. Marley Marl set the standard with his In Control series in the late 80’s, and the bar was forever raised in 1998 with Pete Rock’s classic Soul Survivor. Some would argue that DJ Muggs’ Soul Assassins Vol. 1 is up there, and we’d take no issue with that opinion.
In today’s market you see a lot more freedom among artists, labels are dead in the underground allowing guys to work with whom they please. And while producer albums still take a ton of effort, follow-up and skill, there’s still some guys willing to make that leap and have a project they can call their own.
Today’s subject Marc Petersen is one of those, not only enlisting some of the finest MC’s the scene has to offer but using DJ’s from all over the globe to provide high-quality scratches to compliment his thick boom-bap driven production. Here’s what Marc had to say about his career up to this point, and what to look forward to on his 2nd album ‘Afterglow’ due July 31st.
RD: How long have you been producing?
MWP: Around 2010, I had been messing with various software before, but that was when I really started to study music and see how everything comes together.
RD: What inspires you to create?
MWP: Everything can inspire, but the main source are the people around me. My crew ‘Goodwill Gang’ which includes Shiraz/Mark Live and myself. I’m a competitive person by nature, so I’m always striving to improve my sound, especially when I hear my crew improving theirs all the time. I’m not getting left behind! Haha, its all love between us so its a passion-based competition.
RD: You worked with some legendary MC’s on your 2015 debut ‘New Horizon’, take us thru the selection process.
MWP: That album was all about showcasing my abilities, I had the beats made and started mapping out the features once they were ready. I wanted it to play out like a movie, taking you thru different emotions and characters. Hand-picked the emcees that fit on each track, everything from serenades to more street-driven material. I wanted it to sound different, but still reflect me.
RD: You’ve worked with a number of members of the Winners crew, what brought those connections about?
MWP: Hooked up with Smoovth first, he had checked out my Soundcloud and was interested in doing some work. He later introduced me to Hus, and we built the relationship up. They paint such vivid pictures with their rhymes, it was a complete match for what I’m looking for for the type of music that I make. They later introduced me to some other members of the crew, and we’ve created some great songs together.
RD: What are some favorites from New Horizon?
MWP: ‘The Genetics’ with Ill Conscious is one, Ill is like a brother to me. We connected over some old remixes, at first I thought he was another standard guy trying to do some business but when I heard him rhyme he blew me away. We are in a 2-man group called that, so it was only right I named a track that. He’s all over the album, I wanted to feature him as much as possible.
‘Blood Diamonds’ feat. Oh No and Smoovth. I always loved Oh No long before I got into production, it was a honor to get him on the album. Added Smoovth for the 2nd half and it came out great. The mood of the beat and the cinematic rhymes make that one stand out
RD: You use many different DJ’s, a different twist for a producer album, what goes into selection for them?
MWP: Grasshoppa is my main guy, he constantly finds ways to amaze me, very thankful hes been down to rock on so many of my tracks. DJ Modesty out of France was one of the first to play my music and get my name out there, so it was only right to get him on the record.
RD: Baltimore seems to be home away from home for you, you work with a ton of guys from there. Why BMore?
MWP: There’s something about hip hop from Baltimore, its very genuine and has a lot of passion. The love goes both ways with Ill, Don and everyone, so its very easy to collab with them.
RD: Who are some guys you’d love to get a record that you have not been able to? You secured Roc Marciano for Afterglow, who is left?
MWP: Ghostface, DOOM, Action Bronson. I just did a remix album for Mos, im a longtime fan so he would certainly be on that list. Who doesn’t want to work with Hov? That would be amazing.
RD: What can fans expect from ‘Afterglow’ sonically?
MWP: Afterglow is much more 90’s influenced than New Horizon was. The sound is darker overall, I’m not trying to touch on as many bases as I did on NH. Getting back to the sound that got me started in the first place, and continues to inspire me. Finding my own lane, continuing to develop my sound. This will be much more rare for the vinyl collectors as well, with only 100 copies being pressed
RD: Any other plans for ’18? What does the future hold for you
MWP: Main focus is Afterglow, so I’ve taken a step back working on other projects, but I do have some other things in the works, laced Knowledge the Pirate with some heat. I’m hoping to finish the album I’ve been working on with Ill Conscious. In the works is a 2nd album with Seneca The Misfit, a 90s inspired heavyweight.
Afterglow is available July 31st on Marc’s Bandcamp, you can pre-order it here https://mwpbeats.bandcamp.com/album/afterglow
twitter and IG: marc_mwp