Catch Marty's next Ebony Tusks show at the Jackpot on Thursday April 5, opening for Steddy P on the "Better Make Room" tour. The FB event page is here .
Thanks to Marty for chatting with us about hip-hop slang, vulgar rap lyrics, and the importance of documentation. Enjoy!
Chip: I don’t know what ‘Jockin’ My Fresh’ means, but I’m going to assume it’s dirty. Am I right?
Marty: For me, it's a loose reference to a Jay-Z single called "Jockin' Jay-Z (Dopeboy Fresh)". It was released ahead of his 2008 album The Blueprint 3 but didn't actually make the album. It's a song I loved from an artist I consider to be one of the best in the history of American music. As for the term itself it just means to ride someone's coattails or to bite their style. It's often used as a self-compliment as are most phrases in rap culture.
Richard: I know the ‘Jockin’ My Fresh’ concerts have been around for three years now, but what’s the genesis of this new concert documentary and why should our readers be super-hyped to witness it?
Marty: Well, I just wanted to give people an opportunity to approach the annual event from a different perspective. If you already appreciate rap music and hip-hop culture then my hope is that the documentary will be an extension to what you already love. If you aren't as versed perhaps you'll see or hear something different than what you expected. If you don't get out to live shows or support the artists in your city or region maybe this will give you an incentive to do so. Plus I'm a big believer in documentation; great music and great events deserve to be chronicled no matter their scope or audience. Quinn Brabender did a great job on it; that's the foremost reason to be excited.
Chip: The idea of releasing a bit of new footage each week as a lead-up to the official documentary release date is pretty cool. My favorite has to be Strider's take on 6”7 and my favorite lyric of 6'7 has to be “Never met the bitch but I fuck her like I missed her.” It’s just so witty. In your own work, do you tend to go in for the vulgar lyrics and constant use of the word ‘bitch’ like so many others?
Marty: Ha! For the record the line is a direct quote from Lil Wayne, the artist whose beat Strider takes advantage of for his version of " 6"7". I can certainly appreciate lyrical content whether nuanced and suggestive or brutally graphic. Ultimately I write what I feel and I like to challenge myself by refraining from certain words and language. It's a dark world we live in. Who knows what my future content will hold? We'll see I suppose.
Richard: We’re guessing most scenesters have seen you in Cowboy Indian Bear, but maybe fewer have seen you in Ebony Tusks. Tell us about your sound, ideally using some pompous Pitchfork-style writing and one of those “sounds like ___________ meets ___________” comparisons that form the basis of most music criticism.
Marty: "Sounds like your 6th or 7th favorite songwriter meets your 6th or 7th favorite rapper". Trying my damnedest to defy even that expectation.
Richard: Tell us where we'll able to watch the doc and can you give us any spoilers about the highlights?
Marty: We'll hit you with that soon - it's currently incubating at an undisclosed location. Suffice it to say that it will look like a damn good time on a Saturday night in January.
Richard: You’re a busy dude, so what all can we expect to witness from Marty Hillard and your various projects in 2012?
Marty: Another Cowboy Indian Bear album + videos, another EBONY TUSKS video + more music, etc. ad nauseum
JMF logo by Jared Bergeron and photos of Marty and Strider via Rebecca Dreyfus: