The NY rap auteur discusses his career, his singular style and the creation of one of the most influential albums of the 2010s.
For most, Roc Marciano’s career began with Marcberg. Praised by fans and critics alike, his self-produced 2010 album refined the tropes and sounds of NY crime rap as much as it reprised them. Over unadorned samples and sparse drums, and with clipped yet intricate lyricism and vivid diction, Marciano detailed the felonious means and luxurious ends of street life in his hometown of Hempstead. The album remains the foundation for Marciano’s singular aesthetic and the blueprint for the recent wave of New York rappers working in the same milieu. He was briefly signed to Busta Rhymes’ Flipmode label in the late ‘90s, and his group the UN appeared on Pete Rock’s Petestrumentals and released an album, UN or U Out. Since going solo, Marciano has guested on countless songs and released several acclaimed projects, including Reloaded (2012) and Marci Beaucoup (2013). His most recent albums — Rosebudd’s Revenge (2017) and its sequel, RR2: The Bitter Dose (2018) — improve on his often imitated but never replicated style. In this Fireside Chat, he discusses growing up in Hempstead, his decade-spanning career, crafting his style and creating one of the most influential albums of the 2010s.