A catapult of tragic incidents as a child led New Orleans-bred rapper Markel to be the artist he is today. The rapper endured street violence as a kid, Hurricane Katrina and most importantly the death of his cousin Blair who was fatally shot. Blair was known around their area as an amazing freestyler and was a big influence in Markel’s life – he taught the rapper the intricacies of rhyming. Enduring all of this as a kid and teenager, Markel was motivated and hungry to make it out of New Orleans’s 7th ward, and was forced out unexpectedly after Hurricane Katrina, which surprisingly ended up being one of the best things to happen to him.
“My house was completely under water. Although it was devastating, I know I would be dead if that didn’t happen, honestly. Katrina gave me a way out of New Orleans.”
Through all of these pivotal moments in his life, the rapper used music as an outlet and was determined to create a future for himself in it with New Orleans in his rear-view.
“Like so many of my family members and close friends, music became my escape, which is why I talk about so much adversity in it.”
Throughout his childhood and teenage years, the rapper worked on perfecting his craft and also became intrigued about the business side of the music industry, leading the rapper to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Entertainment Business. It was always important to him to not only be a rapper, but understand the business behind it.
“For me learning the business of music was very important. Witnessing how Birdman and Master P positioned their brands for the long haul was something that always stuck with me.”
With his business-minded mentally, he is making his mark in the rap game independently. In his music, Markel ties in his New-Orleans roots and his upbringing in the 7th ward, addressing topics of supremacy, education, business ownership, racial issues and more. In an unreleased track featured on his IGTV titled “Fu*k The System,” he raps: “See they gon say it was a gun, but you just had ya phone/Deep down they are scared they send a few to ya dome/No warrant to come in ya home, cuz ya dreadlocks are long/Ya skins a way darker tone, you gave his daughter the bone/You fucked the system.”
While Lil Wayne is his inspiration, Markel’s true motivation is his 8-year-old daughter, who is usually found in the studio with him (and also happens to be his identical twin) who he raps about in his track “9 Months.” “A young man with no father bouta have a daughter/I know a beauty is on the way cuz ya mother’s gorgeous.”
Markel’s music is relatable, inspirational and will have listeners feeling good.