Young Marqus is without a doubt history in the making. At the tender age of 12 this young Houston rapper recently completed a multicity tour with Mindless Behavior and opened up for Lupe Fiasco last year, on the full 18 week Generation Lasers tour. The media has rightfully dubbed him as “The Future Of Hip-Hop” and he is already making his presence known around the world. Young Marqus talks to Yo! Raps about his musical influences, working on his debut album with top producers 1500 or Nothin and his future plans as a recording artist.
At just 12, how did you get the taste for wanting to become a rapper?
I’ve been rapping my whole life. I was born rapping. I rapped my ABC’s. I was introduced to music through my mom who is also an artist. She had me in the studio before I was older enough for pre-k [laughs].
Like you mentioned, your mother is also a talented singer/rapper in her own right. What influence has she had on you as an up and coming artist?
Man, my mom is a huge influence on my rap career, just seeing her writing and recording growing up made me want to work harder. She just showed me that if I put my heart and all into anything I do, I can be legendary.
What artists have influenced you and why?
So many.... too many to name but I’ll just name a few cause we'll be talking all night [laughs]. But first and foremost Michael Jackson, why? Because he is and will always be the greatest. He was young like me when he started and eventually became the “King Of Pop”. Another one would have to be Tupac. I love Tupac. Pac made me feel every word he said. That’s how I am when I write. I want my fans to say, "Man, YM a real dude" just like Pac. Last but not least Jay-Z. Yeah Hov… I think he needs no explanation, he’s been rapping since 1996 and is still the best rapper alive.
So far you’ve had 3 singles out called, Houston, Who Is He? and Merk Out (ft. Teyana Taylor. Can you tell us about those tracks?
Yes that’s true. Those three songs are the first songs I recorded after the Generation Lasers tour with Lupe Fiasco. While I was on tour everybody was asking who this 11 year old kid from Houston is and how he got on such a big tour? So, with that I wanted to let everybody know Who Is He? I’m from Houston, Texas and a lot people still don’t know how big the Houston music scene is so I decided to pay homage to my city to let the world know where I’m from. Now, Merk Out came about because I wanted to make something that would get the party jumping so I did Merk Out and got Teyana Taylor on the hook… the rest is history.
You dropped a mixtape entitled H-Town Sponsor on August 30th, what has the response been like to that?
The response has been amazing. Everybody has been giving me positive feedback so that makes me happy. I do this for my fans and just to see their response to my music only motivates me to make better music. They really love a song on their called, No Love For Cowards. I think that’s everybody’s favourite.
Last year you opened up for Lupe Fiasco on the Generation Lasers tour, spending over 18 weeks performing in front of large crowds. What was this experience like for you?
That experience was crazy! First I have to say thank you again Lu for the opportunity. But man it was so fun. The fans were really supportive and everybody that was on that tour was really cool. That was probably one of the best experiences I experienced so far and I’ll never forget it.
What motivates you to write?
Just life itself, my life experiences, everything and everyone gives me motivation to write. I love music. It’s a way I express myself. My mom, my sisters, friends and family, that’s my motivation. Hip Hop saved my life.
What artists are you listening to at the moment and why?
I’m listening to a lot of artists, but my favourites right now are Kendrick Lamar, Wale, and Drake. I like all those guys because they all bring something totally different to the game. Kendrick being from Compton; my second home is a lyrical genius. Wale just brings a swag to rap like never before. I think Drake can do it all, plus he reps Houston like he’s from there. I love that about him.
Like I mentioned above, you are only 12 years old. What is a typical day like for you?
Right now, it’s about school, after school it’s basketball with my friends. Then before I lay it down it’s Facebook and Twitter [laughs]. I love being able to interact with my fans. I’m a pretty normal kid.
You’re currently working on your debut album with Grammy award winning producers 1500 or Nothin. How’s is that coming along? When will it be released?
Well, my debut album is going to be called Phenom and it’s coming along great; it will be released sometime next spring. I love working with 1500 or Nothin. I’ll be releasing my single next month featuring Jacob Latimore called, Send Me A Picture… it’s a jamma!
What artists or producers would you like to work with and why?
I would love to work Jay-Z, Wayne, Drake, Kendrick and Wale… I mean everybody. I respect a lot cats in this game. Producer wise of course Dr. Dre, Kanye, Hit Boy, No I.D., everybody that’s jamming! But these people I named are people I study and look up too, so I’ll be honoured to do a song with anyone of those cats.
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years from now?
5 years from now I would like to see myself getting ready to graduate high school of course. I would to love be top of the billboards, touring overseas, making movies. Just doing everything God has in store for me. At the end of the day if it’s not in God's will I don’t want to be a part of it. But with all that being said I just want to be successful in Drake voice [laughs].
What advice would give to any young up-n-coming MCs like you?
Keep pushing. Follow your dreams. Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from being great. And stay true to yourself.
Where can people find out more about Young Marqus online?
Go to my website www.youngmarqusmusic.com, follow me on Twitter @youngmarqus befriend me on Facebook. Follow me on Instagram at Young Marqus. That’s about it, make sure you all download, H-Town Sponsor and get my singles from iTunes.