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The Vixen Q&A: Marz Lovejoy Talks Working With Pac Div, New West Coast Hip-Hop And Meeting Raekwon + DJ Quik

You may not necessarily understand her hipster style, her unique sound that intermixes singing and rhyming or even her passion for love and positivity, but once you get it, you'll be locked into this L.A.-based artist. Marz Lovejoy, born Marria Lovejoy, has created a rippling effect since appearing on Pac Div's "Shine" back in April. VIBE Vixen caught up with the curly-haired emcee who hails from planet West Coast to talk about her modeling career, meeting rap legends and why she'd place her money on Lil Kim against Nicki Minaj any day. -Niki McGloster


I want to jump right into the music. Tell me a little about your background and how you began rhyming?
I was actually born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I was out there for two years. I was raised in San Diego. With the music, my father is a DJ and he’s had his own radio show since he was 14. Like, the whole quiet storm, R&B thing. And my mother played the steel drum, she’s a writer and artist, so I already grew up around [music]. Even my family is really big into music.

You already had a super creative background, so your love for music and art came natural to you.
Exactly. I just started off with poetry. I always loved listening to the radio. I was in my car seat, no joke, in the backseat telling my mom what radio stations I wanted to listen to. She’s be taken aback like is this little girl really demanding what radio station she wants to listen to, but my mom chose her battles and the radio was my domain.

Okay, so how did you go from a music lover to gaining the attention of Pac Div to do "Shine?"
I always had it inside of me, but for some reason I was shy about it. But definitely I’d say after I graduated high school. My mother moved us to Minneapolis, kind of just sprung it on me after I graduated. I got out there and I was bored, so I started making YouTube [videos], and that’s when I let people publicly hear me. You know, I did ciphers and my close friends or people at the parties I rapped at, they knew, but not everybody else knew. I did the YouTube [videos] and got feedback. Like from Pac Div, saw them and he direct messaged me on Twitter. I already knew who they were, of course, and he just asked me, ‘Would you be down to make something with us,’ and literally the next day, I went over and we vibed. I came over the following day and we recorded “Shine.” It was great because just getting hit up by somebody who I already listened to and liked. those are my brothers now. We definitely have a great relationship now. It was just the strength of love and being on the same page at the same time, and it was definitely a great experieince. I learned a lot from those cats.

And you're singing on the track. Do you consider yourself a singer?
Yes, I’d say so. I’ve been taking singing lessons and piano lessons. I want to grow, I want to develop my voice more. I don’t think a lot of people know what they can do with their voices. You don’t have to be this amazing singer to get your feelings and your emotions out.

True. Kanye made it work for him [laughs]. Now, for the fans that haven’t copped the This Little Light Of Mine EP yet, what they can expect?
They can expect diversity. There’s a lot of young ladies have hit me up especially and they say it’s very relatable, so I’m glad I could make relatable music. There’s slow songs, there’s more rap songs, I’m singing on one song, specifically. So it’s definitely diverse and fun. Your mom can listen to it, your grandma, your uncles, it’s for everybody.

Now, you’ve got so many artists coming out of the West right now and grinding just like you are. How do you feel about West Coast hip-hop right now? Do you feel like the West Coast is back?
I don’t know if it ever left, it may have went into a little hiatus for a little bit [laughs]. But no, definitely, there’s some talented peers of my generation. I feel that the West Coast is very strong and not even just the West Coast. I grew up with a lot of the artists and it’s just good to see their personal growth. Just the youth right now in music all over the map is really dope. It’s great to see such young, talented artists out there doing what they want to do. Hip-Hop is always changing, and I don’t think that ‘s a bad thing. It’s always evolving and growing. Right now I just think it needs some more attention and some more love, but I think it’s about to get that. Like I said, myself and my peers are coming up and we’re grabbing a lot of people’s attention, so I think that whole movement is going to put more cushion and relevance and love under hip-hop like it used to have. I think it was going downhill for a little bit, but I see hip-hop holding on and maintaining and doing well. It definitely has transitioned into other genres. Rockstars wanna do hip-hop, the indie [groups], and all that is cool too. It’s making the music more interesting.

I agree. Hip-Hop is in that place where you can kind of anything with it. I know you’re an big fan of the early 90’s hip-hop, so how was it meeting and performing with DJ Quik, GZA and Raekwon?
Ah, man. It was unreal. My first show in New York, I opened for GZA, Raekwon was there, DJ Premier was there. There were so many legends. I mean, Raekwon came up to me after I did my set and told me I did a good job, that I killed it. That in itself was amazing. DJ Quik, I mean, that’s the uncle right there [laughs] as far as I’m concerned! He showed me so much love. It was just a really humbling experience to see people that I listened to and I grew up on. Even before I was born, they were rockin’ so that was great to be a part of that.

That’s incredible. Some people are still waiting for moments like that.
Yeah, it was dope.

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Quavo Talks Can-Am Partnership, Offset's "Magnifico" Solo Album And Upcoming Huncho Day

There’s something special to be said about the art of speaking things into existence. Just two years ago, Migos released “MotorSport,” a single that played to all of the group members’ lyrical strengths with scorching features from Cardi B and Nicki Minaj. Behind the hit single lies their love for all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes, which has now morphed into a creative partnership with Canada’s Can-Am motorcycles.

Launched Friday (March 8), the budding businessmen will unveil Can-Am's icy turquoise Ryker 2019 model and incorporate the dynamic three-wheel motorcycle into an upcoming music video.

Speaking to VIBE about the partnership, Quavo said the deal was a natural fit considering the Quality Control artists are already "all about that skrt, skrt, skrt." Signature sayings aside, the deal is bound to introduce the rappers’ fans to another means of transportation and flexing.

We caught up with the rapper as he headed to Mexico to kick it with Cardi B and Offset where Quavo shared his love for bikes, Offset’s "magnifico" solo album and the second annual Huncho Day coming up at the end of March.

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W E R E A D Y T O R I D E #CanAmRyker #partnership

A post shared by Migos (@migos) on Mar 11, 2019 at 6:07pm PDT

Vibe: How did the partnership with Can-Am come about?

Quavo: Can-Am is what I am. The partnership came about because we're all about that skrt, skrt, skrt. [sings] They pulled up with the Can-Am and it was a conversation of nothing but skrt, skrt skrts.

Was the bike life big for you coming up in Atlanta as a kid?

I was whipping anything with wheels on it. We had quads, dirt bikes, and go-karts. I have the big four-wheeler right now with me. You can see the Can-AM over on my Instagram, where I'm dressed up in the all-green suit. I'm an outside adventurous type of guy myself.

What were your thoughts on Offset's solo album completing the Migos trifecta?

 

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Father of 4

A post shared by OFFSET (@offsetyrn) on Mar 4, 2019 at 8:05pm PST

It was a masterpiece. Magnifico. Everybody had their chance to do their own thing. I'm definitely proud of my guy. He came out and he hit them hard where they're supposed to be hit at.

How did "On Fleek" come together between you and 'Set?

That was a new record. Matter of fact, I had just recorded that the day before the album came out. It was priceless.

With Offset opening up and letting people into his personal life, is that something you'd ever consider doing with a project?

That's something I'd think about, I don't really do stuff like that. That's what he represents. His relationship and what he's got going on makes him an open guy. [He] and his wife live that type of life. That's not the route I go. I try to be more musical and give y'all an image of what my life is about and see how you can relate to my position.

What can we expect from Huncho Day coming up at the end of March?

Huncho Day is going to the international Pro Bowl. Superstars upon superstars. The best players that play the game. Last year, I had the best players to play the game. Everybody that comes out gets a little secret to Huncho's sauce, so they can ball in their real league. We got some NFL MVPs and a Rookie of the Year. Make sure you're there, it's going to be a special day.

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I T S B O U T T H A T T I M E #HunchoDay2k19 CALLING ALL MY PATNAS And ATHLETES To Come Out Have Fun On The Nawf. Doin For The Culture And Most Def For The Community!!! @vonmiller @tg4hunnid @ajgreen_18 @ricflairnatureboy @mohamedsanu @jno24 @lilbaby_1 @lilyachty @juliojones_11 @alvinkamara @martavisbryant10 @roby @richthekid @troubledte6 @yfnlucci @21savage @offsetyrn @yrntakeoff @ezekielelliott @jacquees GUWOP BETTER BE THERE THIS YEAR!!!!! @laflare1017

A post shared by QuavoHuncho (@quavohuncho) on Mar 4, 2019 at 11:45am PST

Did you plan to be involved with the NBA Dunk Contest when Hamidou Diallo dunked over you to clinch the title?

Nah, everything in my whole life is about surprises and popping up. He pulled up on me and I told him, 'Let's do it.' We didn't have to practice anything. I knew it was going to go smooth. We don't need practice, like [Allen Iverson].

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S L A M D U N K C H A M P SWIPE TO SEE DUNK

A post shared by QuavoHuncho (@quavohuncho) on Feb 16, 2019 at 8:13pm PST

A few leaked tracks have hit the internet recently, are you aware of how that may have happened?

Somebody leaked them. Sometimes when you got so much drip and it's filled to the brim, it's going to spill over and you got to clean it up every now and then. That's some hot s***t, but it won't be going on anything because it leaked. I'm about to get on this 250-foot yacht in Cabo, document that!

Find out more details behind their Cam-Am partnership here.

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9th Wonder On The Everlasting Marriage Of Hip-Hop And Sampling

Third time seemed to be the charm for D’USSE's Re-Mixer Series. As a multitude of guests arrived in Los Angeles for Grammy festivities this month, music and spirit enthusiasts settled in at Hollywood's Beauty & Essex to enjoy lessons in music and sampling by legendary producer 9th Wonder.

The third annual D’USSE Re-Mixer Series brought out those curious about the cognac's spirited cocktails along with those who were ready to hear the sounds of DJ Oliva Dope. In addition to 9th's presence at the mixer, fellow music and DUSSE lovers like Memphis Bleek, Rapsody, Insecure's Sarunas J. Jackson and Bacardi Senior Portfolio ambassador Colin Asare-Appiah were also ready to show off their cocktail making skills.

But there wasn't just D'USSE cocktails to indulge. Guests enjoyed rich lessons on the importance of R&B's marriage to hip-hop. While today's resurgence with artists like SZA, Ella Mai, H.E.R. and Daniel Caesar have brought emphasis back to the nayhooos of it all, early tunes remind us that hip-hop's skeleton carries plenty of soul.

Chic's "Good Times" provided weight for The Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight," DeBarge's "A Dream" gave reflection for 2Pac's "I Ain't Mad At Cha" and James Brown's "Funky Drummer" allowed us all to lay back and enjoy Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's "Let Me Ride."

R&B sampling continues today in nearly every chart-topping hit. Donny Hathaway's 1972 track "Jealous Guy" gives power to Chance The Rapper's "Juice," Beyonce's '03 tune "Me Myself and I" loops lovingly on Meek Mill's "24/7" with Ella Mai and The O'Jays' 1972 single "Backstabbers" spruced up Drake's "Fake Love."

As 9th Wonder shared the beauty of notable samples as guests like R&B songwriting legend Brian Michael Cox popped in to teach scratching methods to aspiring DJs, the relationship between hip-hop and R&B seemed to be stronger than ever.

"I think we need that," 9th shares with VIBE about today's balance and the current popularity boost in R&B. "I'm a historian by nature so I watch trends and I watch culture. Everything repeats itself whether we're talking about fashion and especially music. When I was 20 years old, D'Angelo was my version of something 20 years before that which was Marvin Gaye and Stevie [Wonder]."

Today, 9th praised artists like BJ The Chicago Kid and H.E.R., who took home two Grammys for Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance for "Best Part" with Daniel Caesar, for providing more than just trusty falsettos.

"I think with H.E.R., Ella Mai, Daniel Caesar, Anderson .Paak and BJ The Chicago Kid and a myriad of other R&B artists who are budding believe in the music and believe in the feeling," he explains. "That's another resurgence that happened in the 90s but everything runs in cycles, history repeats itself and nothing is new under the sun."

D'USSE's relationship to music is also something worth noting 9th says. "I think spirits in a way make you euphoric and there are moments in hip-hop that make you feel euphoric too," he says. "Sometimes, your favorite song can be just as important as your favorite drink. When you're dealing with drinks and music, you're dealing with the five senses and how they go together. They also rely on each other too. You can't have one without the other."

With D'USSE's cognac carrying classic notes and grape varieties, 9th views its relationship to the music just the same with classic sounds from legends like Teddy Pendergrass and The O'Jays.

"If I were to have any soundtrack or label that's dedicated to D'USSE cognac, it would be Philadelphia's Gambling Cuff, all the Teddy Pendergrass, The O'Jays 'For The Love of Money' and 'Backstabbers,' 'Love TKO,' 'Turn Off The Lights/ Close The Door,' he listed. "All of those are really smooth, really cool. That's the kind of music that matches the drink."

One can only hope the gems gleamed through any buzzed feelings the cocktails brought forth. If so, it's a lesson in music worth remembering. "A lot of people don't know the history of drinks like that and a lot of people don't know the history of sampling like that either," the producer says. "Bartending [and making spirits] is their passion, music is mine. We just have to make sure people realize it's paramount to everything."

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Dapper Dan Defends Decision To Meet With Gucci

Gucci's latest initiatives to eliminate their cultural ignorance were helped brought together by Dapper Dan, a decision that has left the designer at throws of critics who aren't thrilled about the Harlem legend working with the luxury brand.

On Saturday (Feb. 16) Dan, born Daniel Day, explained why he met with Gucci's President and CEO Marco Bizzarri and what it could mean for the future of young black designers.

"We have to learn to earn," he said in a statement on Instagram. "What happened to all the Black fashion brands that failed since the '80s? Was it because they didn't get Black support, or was it because they didn't know the business? Do you expect our young Black designers to spend 30+ years mastering fashion by teaching themselves as I did? How do you expect them to compete with big brands if they don't really know the business? They need jobs and internships within these big brands so that they can learn and they branch out on their own."

 

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A post shared by Dapper Dan (@dapperdanharlem) on Feb 16, 2019 at 8:36am PST

Dan's history with Gucci has always been a complex one. Known for his custom designs for street legends like Alpo Martinez and rappers like Jay-Z, Eric B. and Rakim and Cam'ron, Dan is credited with bringing luxury to hip-hop culture. It took over two decades for Gucci and other brands to acknowledge his influence. In 2017, Dan partnered with the brand for a new menswear line and Harlem saw The Dapper Dan Atelier Studio as the first luxury house fashion store in 2018.

But it wasn't until figures like 50 Cent slammed the designer over his business ties with the brand which seemed like a victory just last year to the public. In his statement to his critics, Dan explained why the meeting was bigger than his brand and how Gucci's new initiative will benefit aspiring designers.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt5aNxCnht4/

"Many young people think a t-shirt design with a logo is a fashion business when in reality the business of fashion is so much broader and more complex than that," he added. "I studied my a** off to master this business. Live your dream. Don't let other people's feelings stop you. Take advantage of the chance to learn. All you haters get out the way for young people. Embrace change. For those that want to continue to hate Gucci and boycott, you are entitled to do as you please. But if anyone should be boycotted it's the brands that won't give our young people an opportunity to learn."

Gucci's four new initiatives include hiring global and regional directors for diversity and inclusion, setting up a multicultural design scholarship program, the launch of a diversity and inclusivity awareness program and launching a global exchange program.

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