Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Birthday: Marley Marl

Birthday respects to another pioneer in Hip-Hop. Marley Marl (born Marlon Williams on September 30, 1962) is one of the most influential and important figures in Hip-Hop. He was the first to sample a breakbeat (Honey Drippers - "Impeach The President") and reprogram it, which he did for his cousin MC Shan's "The Bridge" in 1985. The founder of Cold Chillin' Records in 1986, Marl was the house producer for the Juice Crew which contained Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Roxanne Shanté, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, MC Shan, Craig G and Masta Ace.

He also produced for outside artists such as King Tee, LL Cool J, Lords of the Underground and also an important figure in the careers of Eric B. & Rakim, producing their first hits "My Melody" and "Eric B Is President", the latter being replayed in the same drum pattern as James Brown's "Funky President". Marl also was a key figure in helping to launch the career of legendary producer Pete Rock, after appearing several times as a guest DJ on his Private Radio show on WBLS radio station in New York City.

Marley Marl has played many key parts in the tradition of rap battles with one of the most memorable being the Queensbridge vs South Bronx battle where he and MC Shan took on Boogie Down Productions, where KRS-ONE started his recording career. Other challenges include the diss record by Roxanne Shante' ("Roxanne's Revenge) in response to UTFO's "Roxanne, Roxanne" in 1984. Marl produced LL Cool J's crossover hit "Mama Said Knock You Out" as part of the battle between LL Cool J and Kool Moe Dee.

In 1988, Marl released his first full length album under his own name, In Control: Vol.1 that contained the infamous posse record "The Symphony". In Control: Vol.2 was released in 1990. Both albums featured mainly artists from his Cold Chillin' label to give them an opportunity to flex their skills. The 1990's also brought about Marl producing for TLC, Capone-N-Noreaga, Da Youngtas and Fat Joe.

In 2007, Marl and KRS-ONE collaborated on a project titled Hip-Hop Lives. In 2008 a collaborative effort was done with Craig G for Operation: Take Back Hip-Hop.

Follow Marley Marl on Twitter: @GoldenEraRadio

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