Meat Guns, Weed Brownies, and Riesling: Our Conversation With Roc Marciano


In Tweets is Watching, Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.

Next week, Roc Marciano will release his exceptional new album, Reloaded. It’s a fitting success for Roc Marcy, who used to count himself a part of Busta Rhymes’ Flipmode Squad and then the Pete Rock-endorsed group The UN before achieving solo acclaim for 2010’s Marcberg album. Tapping into Roc Marcy’s Twitter account, here he explains away the idea of a “meat gun,” his crush on Sheila E, and why he’s diggin’ Earl Sweatshirt’s raps.


How did you feel when you saw that ?uestlove tweeted that he and Jay-Z had been discussing your first solo album, Marcberg?
I felt like that was good; it was good that my album was brought up in conversation among two dudes who’re legends. I feel great about it.

Were you surprised to hear Jay-Z was aware of Marcberg?
I’m not surprised ’cause it’s like my first solo LP, like a lifetime project. I was hoping to leave an impression ’cause it’s my life. When it’s your first solo album — I don’t know about other people — but I had a lot of them samples and stuff like that, like I had them for a long time and I knew those samples and that music would last the test of time. I was living with a lot of that music for a long time, with the sounds and what I wanted to do with the songs. I knew what I wanted sound-wise. I had to put certain things to the side and go back to them over the years to refine them.

Which song do you think Jay-Z would like best on Marcberg?
That’s tough! It’s hard for me to guess someone else’s taste but if I had to take a guess I’d go with “Thug’s Prayer,” maybe “Snow,” maybe “Don Shit.”

Busta Rhymes has been enthusiastically telling people to pick up Reloaded when it’s out. What’s your relationship like with Busta these days?
Busta’s like a big brother to me! He brought me into this business. When you have a friend in Busta, you have a supporter to the end. He’s a great artist and a greater friend.

Do you remember how you came to be invited into his Flipmode Squad?
I think around the time in the neighborhood people knew songs I was doing and word was just getting around. I went to school with his brother — we from Long Island, eventually we’ll cross paths. He liked the music and what I was doing, so it just happened organically. He asked me to come along with what he was doing and I was young and hungry and wanted to be heard so we did a deal. Busta put me on the map and brought me in the game.

You mentioned you’re listening to Sean Price’s new album a lot.

Sean! [Laughs] He’s back on that dropping-the-most-craziest-shit-you-could-probably-say vibe, like smoking angel dust and getting high and killing this kid! It’s that Brownsville, Brooklyn shit, just that dumb-out shit, that’s what I love about Sean. And the beats are crazy. Sean Price is just an ill dude, I’ve been a fan.

Do you have a secret recipe for weed brownies?
Nah, I don’t have a secret recipe, I didn’t make ’em. The homegirl made them. I don’t know how to bake brownies. I couldn’t bake brownies with weed or without!

How did they taste?
They tasted good. They put me on my ass! ‘Cause I’m not like really a weed edible kinda dude, it just so happened that the brownies tasted so good that I was trying to eat the brownies just for their own sake. They caught up to me though! [Laughs]

What’s the picture of Earl Sweatshirt you want to buy?
Ha, it was his avi picture! It was a picture somebody drew of his face. I thought it was cool.

What do you think of Earl Sweatshirt’s music?
Earl’s dope! Earl can rhyme, man. When I first heard him I thought he sounded older than he is, which is a good thing. He’s just a good writer — you can tell when people have good writing skills. He says interesting shit, he doesn’t just say the normal stuff you would expect to come out of a teenager’s mouth. I think he’s definitely interesting.

And Sheila E?
Sheila E’s bad, I always wanted to get with her! I can’t remember how old I was when I first saw her, but I think it was around “The Glamorous Life”! It was just how she looks, she’s got a bad attitude, her sexy attitude, and she can drum, man. What more can you want in a woman? She’s artistic and she’s sexy as hell. Sheila E, man!

What’s the story behind the message board with the kids’ lettering?
That was for a video shoot we were doing for a song called “Sweet Nothings.” That will be out soon.

Is that a reference to Riesling on the board?
Yeah, we was shooting inside of a nice high-end winery. They were kind enough to let us switch the letterings on the board. It was like the restroom stop, where you use the bathroom. I don’t drink too much wine though, just every once in a while I’ll have a glass of wine.

And the picture of the meat gun?
A friend texted me a picture of it so I thought I’d share it. He was just like, “Yo, check out this meat gun!” So I thought it was something I should Instagram.

Who’s the most entertaining person you follow on Twitter?
That would be Action Bronson by far!

What did you think when you first heard the “Pouches of Tuna” beat?
I thought it was very elegant. I thought it was straight-up elegant, word. It was my style of making music – nice and quiet but it had a lot of heart.

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