Messy Marv is a young, hungry artist hailing from California's Bay Area. He has a long history, being in the game over 10 years to date, moving everywhere from the Midwest, Atlanta, down South and back to Cali. His first independent projects moved heavy units and some are considered classics to people that follow his work. But today, Mess is taking his destiny into his own hands by launching his own label, and is ready to take his career to new heights.
After garnering shine in the form of cover stories in Murder Dog, Showcase and being featured in upcoming issues of The Source and XXL, Messy is finally receiving some well deserved recognition for the years of grinding he's put in.
As he shoots for higher accomplishments, BallerStatus caught up with the Bay Area rapper to speak about his plans, his past and the future.
BallerStatus.com: For people that don't know who Messy Marv is, tell me a little bit about where you grew up and where you're from.
Messy Marv: I'm from San Francisco, California, the Filmore district. I've been doing this sh** for about 12 years now. I'm a living legend in the Bay Area. The same struggle as everybody, you know? But, I'm running the courts in the Bay Area right now. I'm their n****. I was underrated for quite some time, but right now I'm running the courts, you know?
BallerStatus.com: When you were growing up, what artists were you listening to that influenced you musically?
Messy Marv: Scarface, N.W.A. ... that's about it.
BallerStatus.com: Around what time [in your life], did you decide hip-hop was what you were gonna do as your career?
Messy Marv: Maybe like in '95 man, when I started doing my first independent album. It sold like 10,000 out the trunk. I counted like $80,000 as a young n****, so when I counted that $80 grand was when I knew rap was the career for me.
BallerStatus.com: You've been in the game for a while now, why do you think that you haven't gotten that nationwide recognition yet?
Messy Marv: Actually I have gotten the nationwide recognition. Umm, you know, I've sold a lot of units in the Midwest and down South. I've bounced through those areas a lot. As far as recognition, I'm not on a "major label" yet. But, I've had the nationwide recognition for about five years now.
BallerStatus.com: Ok well, let me re-phrase the question. I mean that mainstream recognition. Why do you think you haven't gotten the mainstream recognition yet?
Messy Marv: It's takes time, you know? It takes time and I'm gonna keep smashing. I don't know why I haven't gotten the mainstream recognition. You gotta ask Def Jam, Universal or one of those motherf***ers why they haven't gotta at a real n****. I don't know. I got classic sh**. Every album is a classic and I just work hard, you know? Real n****s feel what I do, but I don't know why I haven't gotten the mainstream recognition yet.
BallerStatus.com: You've recently released your latest album, Disobayish, tell me about the album.
Messy Marv: Actually on this album, I've showed my maturity -- just showing the streets and my fans how much I've grown. The album, I got Nate Dogg, I got Too Short, I got E-40, I got Tone! Toni! Tony! on a joint. You know, I'm just showing my maturity on this album. Dope production, so it's real big.
BallerStatus.com: Now you've got the lead single "Baby." It's more of a radio-friendly song. Why did you decide to make a radio hit as oposed to the tracks on your previous albums that were more street.
Messy Marv: I don't want my fans to think that I make anything FOR the radio. That's not... It's a radio-friendly song, but I didn't make that one FOR the radio. It just came out like that. Situations that I was going through, trying to get at these older bitches and they kept shutting me down. You know, so it just came out like that. It wasn't like "Hey man, let me see what I can make for the radio." I don't ever do that because the radio is gonna play my sh** anyway. Motherf***ers from the ghetto buy my music. If the radio do participate and support a n****, I'm grateful for that too. But, I didn't make that for the radio, it just came out like that.
BallerStatus.com: How are the fans reacting to the album so far?
Messy Marv: Actually, they are loving the album. I shipped 20,000 in 30 days. Then I'm giving away a $8,000 watch with a purchase of the album, so you can win a watch. It's a double-disc, so you get a DVD with it for free. I'm giving the consumers what they want. I'm giving them what they are paying they money for, you know what I'm saying? Expect nothing from Mess, then me giving the consumers what they want. Whether it be a watch or whether it be three CDs. All my albums from now on, they are called triple series. I'm coming out with three discs! I'm giving consumers three discs! Every album that drops is gonna have three discs!
BallerStatus.com: I also noticed on the album you have a song where you take some shots at Obie Trice from Shady Records. What's that about?
Messy Marv: There ain't really no beef between Messy Marv and Obie Trice. I just was letting that dude know that he was real disrespectful when he came to my city and got on the radio station. He got on the radio station and told the people on the air that San Francisco showed him love, but he had to walk around the club with his ass on the wall. Like n****s is gay or something and I just got at him, telling him... giving him a visual of the life that I lead and where I grew up at and where n****s get they mouth ran in talking that bullsh**. That's the perception of San Francisco: when people think of San Francisco, they think of fa**ots, when really there is some real hard head, hustling, ballin' ass n****s with money. Straight killas from my city. I had to let that dude know. My nickname is "repercussion," so whatever come from it, I ain't trippin'. For the record, there ain't no beef between me and that dude, I just had to get at him to let him know how it is where I'm at and where I'm from, so that n**** won't make that same mistake again -- coming to my city saying that bullsh**.
BallerStatus.com: You mentioned that your CD also includes a DVD. What can fans expect from the DVD?
Messy Marv: The DVD has video footage and footage of my diary, that will be coming out real soon man.
BallerStatus.com: So it's just previews of your upcoming diary DVD?
Messy Marv: A trailer of the diary and never-seen-before footage of different albums.
BallerStatus.com: I just saw the new Murder Dog and you were on the cover. How does it feel after all your hard work to get that recoginition from you local media peers?
Messy Marv: It feel real good, but it's bigger. Murder Dog has been supporting me from day one. I've deserved that. It's a good feeling, but I feel like it's bigger. The next cover is Showcase, I got that cover next issue. It's getting bigger and better, but that was the start. I wanna say one love to Murder Dog because people on the streets would know nothing about Messy Marv or these real n****s coming up out of these cities independently, that's smashing. You would not know about any of these real n****s if it wasn't for Murder Dog. So it feels real good to be on the cover of Murder Dog because it's a real raw-and-uncut magazine. They don't sugar sh** and that's what the streets wanna see. Its feels ggod, but like I said, it gets bigger.
BallerStatus.com: The Bay Area have been doing their thing independently for years now. With the exception of an E-40 or Too Short, most artists from the Bay haven't received that mainstream audience. Why do you think that is?
Messy Marv: The Bay has been mainstream, so don't get that f***ed up when you say why hasn't the Bay reached that mainstream level. Because you hear these mainstream n****s saying our sh**, biting our style, all of this. We are trendsetters, so we've been mainstream. It's just n****s get these deals, come to the Bay, soak up game and run with it. But we inclined, we ain't mad, that's the sh**. So, don't get the Bay f***ed up, we've been mainstream. You just see these n****s with major deals through the pipeline, they get it out first and you think it's coming from them. That sh** comes from right here, so we've been mainstream with it. We're just showing up with it, we're not mad.
BallerStatus.com: I was reading the interview with Murder Dogg and read that you got into a life threatening accident and you broke both your legs. What happened?
Messy Marv: Just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
BallerStatus.com: Now that is something that could really effect someone emotional as well as physically. How did that effect your outlook on your music and career?
Messy Marv: Actually, when you deal with certain situations accordingly, you sit down and think about it a lot, so that accident just made me sit back and realize how important it was for me to slow the f*** down and put my career first instead of the streets, man.
BallerStatus.com: Now also in that Murder Dog interview, you stated that you have moved a lot of units for other labels you put your music out on, but we're never paid. How does that work? How do you move all those units and not get paid? You signed a contract right?
Messy Marv: I never signed sh**! When you are young, you do young dumb sh**. I went into sh** on homie sh**, n****s ballin' and I'm rappin'. You put up the money, I do the lyrics and we split it down the middle. That's how we do it where I come from, my balls and my word. I respected that, but the n****s I was f***ing with didn't, so sh** happens and it was a learning situation that I learned from. Now I got my own sh** and I got all of my albums back, so I went to the legal side of it and I own all of my own sh** now. I ain't mad, you live and learn. It makes you stronger, so all the times I got f***ed, I got my money back three more times.
BallerStatus.com: What is different about this new album as far as what label it's released on?
Messy Marv: Nothing's different. It's all Scalen Incorporated. I'm the head n**** in charge and I'm an artist on the label.
BallerStatus.com: How does it feel after all you've been through with other labels to put it out on your own and be in charge of everything?
Messy Marv: Like I said, you live and learn. I learned that was the only way I would be able to eat. Get out there and get it myself. Just like I've been doing, but I thought the rap game would be a little different than the streets, but it's the same man. I wouldn't take a front when I was selling dope, so what the f*** would I take a front with this music sh**? When I was growing up watching "YO! MTV Raps" and seeing these motherf***ers on the screen, I thought the game was all peaches n' cream. I didn't realize how much of a struggle and how cut throat the industry was, you know? A n**** just live and learn man, you know?
BallerStatus.com: Where does Messy Marv see himself five years from now?
Messy Marv: (repeats the question to himself) Getting money like a baseball or football player that just got drafted, on a major label, just you know doing major things. Doing a bigger role in the community, as far as kids and sh**, owning a couple more houses, crashing a couple more whips [laughs], you know? Living and taking care of my kids man. Watching my kid grow up homie.
BallerStatus.com: What other projects are you working on that people should be looking for?
Messy Marv: Just tell everybody to look out for the "Messy Marv Diary." I'm giving everybody it uncut. You are gonna see me in New York, running around in the projects -- Brooklyn, Brownsville, f***in' Harlem. You gonna see me down South in Texas. You gonna see me in the West Coast in L.A. f***ing with the bangers -- the Crips and Bloods. You gonna see the police givin' their point of view. Everybody be looking for the diary, it's gonna let a motherf***er know just how worldwide I am and how real it is with Mess in the streets. The streets love me. It shows how I get out and just run through the projects and f*** with these real n****s on a real level. That's what's up. When a motherf***er can have a Ferrari and park that motherf***er in front of the projects, that's what's up. How a n**** can make millions and not let the money make you nervous. A n**** can run around spend his money, jump out his car and do what the f*** he wanna do.
BallerStatus.com: So it's a DVD?
Messy Marv: It's a DVD and a soundtrack.
BallerStatus.com: Will that come together?
Messy Marv: No, it can be purchased separately.
BallerStatus.com: What artists would you work with if given a chance, dead or alive?
Messy Marv: Pac of course, Biggie of course. I like n****s like Jermaine Dupri, Jay-Z, Dip Set. I'm really feelin' them n****s. The n**** from Atlanta, T.I., the YoungBloodz... I would even work with Dr. Dre, you know? It don't matter, whoever wanna f*** with Mess. I'm trying to sell records, so it don't matter to me. I'll work with anyone. Even Lenny Kravitz, I don't give a f***.
BallerStatus.com: A while ago, you and C-Bo were out in Kansas City and you guys had got shot at, what happened?
Messy Marv: You know how sh** be. I ain't really gonna talk on that too much man because I'll leave that sh** in the streets. That's called dry snitchin', when a n**** get to talking about his problems in the streets -- who shot at him and where he got shot at, you know? These n****s ain't fixin' to put me in the 50 Cent category. But yea them n****s got on us. Ak-47's, fully automatic, they tried to do us, but that's how it goes down.