BY DYLAN LONG Last weekend, I had the pleasure of sitting down with bay-area rapper Marc E. Bassy (as in, slapadabass, Bassy) at the 8th annual Roots Picnic. Bassy is currently out on the road promoting his new East Hollywood EP. After sitting down and letting him known this was my first real and legit interview as I’m only 17, he smiles and replies, “You’re only 17 man? Want some of my beer?” How could I refuse?
MARC E. BASSEY: Just to set the record straight, I wrote on a song called “Beat It” that featured 2 Chainz, Chris Brown and Wiz Khalifa, and the only person I directly worked with was Chris Brown. He is probably the most talented person I’ve ever worked with; super humble and cool, unlike a lotta motherfuckers that are out here who are pieces of shit. But who the media portrays to be a piece of shit is actually the coolest motherfucker. He’s not my best friend, but he’s mad cool for someone as talented as he is.
PHAWKER: Let’s talk Questlove. How exactly did you get on his radar?
MARC E. BASSEY: I got on Questlove’s radar just through management and industry connections, but truthfully I’ve been a fan of The Roots since they put out their very very first album which is called Organics, back when I was like a little kid — I’m 28 — so that was when I was like fucking 12 or some shit. I’ve always been a hip-hop fan, and I make hip-hop music even know it’s disguised in something different, but The Roots have been on the forefront obviously of hip hop culture in general, but also especially live music and how that intersects with hip-hop. That’s what I do and have always done, so Questlove is the motherfucker, and also Questlove produced my favorite album of all time, it’s called Voodoo by D’Angelo. He’s unbelievable; one of the best musical directors and producers of all time, so shout out to him man, I appreciate him having us out here.
PHAWKER: So would you say Questlove is one of your bigger musical influences?
MARC E. BASSEY: All the way, I mean Voodoo is my favorite thing ever, and a lotta The Roots albums were huge for me, and he was a part of that so he’s a big influence.
PHAWKER: Who else would you consider an influence on your work or development as an artist?
MARC E. BASSEY: D’Angelo, Tupac, Bob Dylan, Sly and the Family Stone… I mean the list goes on and on, I mean I’ve been really influenced by Bay area rap music, there’s a group called The Starting Six that influenced me a lot, Bobby Brackins, Young Murph the Kid, all my Bay Area people that’ve been kinda raisin’ me…
PHAWKER: So you think the Bay Area people got you into what you’re doing now?
MARC E. BASSEY: Yeah man! The Bay is everything; the Bay seasoned me, it made me who I am, it gave me my voice, my sound, my rhythm, my everything. Everything about me is Bay Area. Even now I’m not all hyphy and goin’ crazy, I’m really a Bay Area kid and that’s my music.
PHAWKER: Beautiful man. I appreciate your time a ton!
MARC E. BASSEY: No problem man, great meetin’ ya!
Marc laid down a beautiful set of soulful hip-hop mixed with funkadelic guitar riffs and good vibrations during his 12:30 opening set at the Roots Picnic, drawing a crowd from far and wide together to witness the magic. Questlove most definitely made a wise pick bringing this bay-area native down to the City of Brotherly Love to party.