MARC KEMPF CEO of Silent Records/Real Too Real Design and Duplication/Long Range Distribution/Underground Soundz Magazine INTERVIEW By. D.Raida Pack
FIRST OFF WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR TAKING TIME OUT TO BLAZE UP THIZ RAIDA PACK INTERVIEW!
WHY DONT YOU GIVE PEOPLE A LITTLE HISTORY ABOUT YOUR CAREER SO FAR, FOR THOSE THAT DONT KNOW... WHEN AND WHAT MADE YOU GET INTO THIZ MUZIC THING-THING?
MK: I've been in love with hip hop for a very long time... and eventually me and 2 or 3 friends started picking up Detroit rapper's like Rap Mafia, Awesome Dre, Kaos & Maestro, Dice, Esham, Kid Rock, etc. that '89-90 era stuff...and we were just feeling what our region's hip hop scene had to offer. We thought it was real f---ed up that none of the regional papers were covering this stuff and the radio was only showing it the smallest amount of love (peace to Billy T.) So we came up with the idea to do our own hip hop magazine. We called it Underground Soundz and put together the logo, did a gang of reviews, interviewed Esham for the first issue, put out 5,000... and got a pretty good response... and we showed more love to local rappers than ever before... we hustled hard, the mag grew, i handled most of the work, other cats joined on, we put out a few more strictly local issues, then started getting national distribution. Thet went good and we were like full color, glossy, a bunch of pages. Putting myself thru college the whole time... graphics major, minored in marketing on a whim... and the marketing thing ended up coming in real handy with all my work. So I started getting hit up for graphics by some of the artists around here that needed graphics and saw the mag's graphics. This ended up keeping me real busy... then I met Eminem and Bizarre and Proof and Head at Eboni Showcase and Hip hop shop and eventually Bizarre and Eminem started asking me to set up some meetings for them on a trip to NY. I knew alot of cats at labels, so i set up a few meetings for em and bizzy. They walked up in labels and got love... came back to the D and were like good looking out. Soon after Em called me up and was like will you manage me. I loved his shit.... slept on it... talked over the money issues... and was like cool. No contract, just my and his word. months later we put some shit on paper. Anyway i linked up with a couple other cats to do Federation Records... put out Infinite, Bizarre, Da Ruckus, and more, threw shows, put out mags, did graphics, promoted Em, got his shit to a bunch of people... each connecting closer to a deal. These connections led directly to Eminem's record deal. I formed Silent Records (www.the-s.com), put out Paradime, SUN, Artfull Dodgers, etc. Some current projects include Uncle Ill (Da Ruckus), SUN, Defiant, DJ Heavy, DJ Payperkutt, etc. I also run Long Range Distribution, a independent music distributor. Plus I run Real Too Real Design & Duplication, a company that presses CDs, Cass, 12" Posters, Flyers, Stickers, t-shirts, backstage passes, glossys, programming/hosting website, etc. We design logos sites, and album covers...do photo shoots. We've done work for Dice, Eminem, Bizarre, Paradime, SUN, Artfull Dodgers, Frontline, Shysta, North Park Drive, Segura, Mersonary Killaz, Lael, Struggle, Blaq Buttaphly and so many more.
WHAT WOULD YOU FEEL INSPIREZ YOUR PROJECTZ WHEN YOU SIT DOWN TO BLAZE NEW ISH?
MK: When I work on graphics for an artist's cover or logo or t-shirt or poster or whatever... I first find out where they are coming from musically... there are so many different styles within hip hop today. in '86, you pretty much had one style of hip hop that cats were doing. Now you got positive, battle rap, conscious, gangsta, reality, acid rap, rock rap, club stuff, southern, etc. you get the point, and Detroit and my graphics/manufacturing customers include artists that fall into all those styles and then some. So my callenge is to keep artists looking unique, professional, major label looking and in tune with their style of music. So I sometime come up with the whole idea, or collaborate with the artist, or just create what the artist has in mind. I try to stay away from styles that are going to be out of date in a few years, but then some want pen and pixel style stuff, so we got that, and we don't charge 5,000 for it either. We work with a big or small budget and always make the artist look professional. I've been brought photos that have not possible reason to be on the cover of a CD, but that what they are set on and I make a 100% professional looking CD out of it. I've helped artists come up with concepts, album titles, even group names. What really kills me is when an artist comes out and doesn't do any type of research about their rap name. Imagine if a rapper came out calling themselves Big Daddy Kane, or Dana Dane... you even got local rap groups trying to come out with established rock artist's names. So do some reseach, or ask somebody with some insight.
WHAT IZ YOUR LATEST PROJECT? AND HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE PROJECT AS FAR AS PRODUCTION, FLOW AND TEXT? AND WHAT IS YOUR FAV. TRACK ON IT?
MK: Uncle Ill is our latest release. Formerly of Da Ruckus, he is back better than ever, and is blowing up. Last night he rocked 4,000 heads opening for Busta Rhymes. The production is hot NY club type style, way differnent than alot of Detroit producers. My favorite track is Keep On... a bouncey club banger., just raw. SUN's new 12" "Black Economics" will be out very soon too. Sick conscious rapper that could easily hold his weight in between Mos Def and KRS One. Look for his third CD soon.
HOW CAN OUR READERZ GET A COPY OF YOUR PROJECTZ OUT?
MK: log on to www.the-s.com
email: firstname.lastname@example.org send a request for info to:
Marc Kempf at:
780 Spencer St. Detroit, MI 48220
or give me a ring (business only) at 248-582-0555
WHAT ARE YOUR 5 FAVORITE HIP HOP PROJECTz OF ALL TIME?
MK: 1. THE ROOTS "Do You Want More"
2. Eminem "Slim Shady EP"
3. Public Enemy "It Takes A Nation of..."
4. KRS One "BEst of..."
5. S.U.N. "The Art Of S.U.N."
WHAT WOULD BE YA DREAM SHOW AS FAR AS GUEST, PRODUCTION, ETC.?
MK: 20 minute sets from
(I Know Strange mix huh?)
WHAT EMCEEZ DO YOU BUMP?
MK: almost all of em. Alot of underground Detroit shit, and shit from all over.
*RAIDA PACK NOTE: I just wanted to add on this view. That when it comes to Detroit business from Awesome Dre and the Hardcore Committee who landed a deal with Priority Records back in the "Killer On Wax" days to Eminem-Double Diamond, Kid Rock-Multi Platinum, etc. it all started with this man here! Marc Kempf is a work horse and a helluva business catt on the Detroit underground. From the start to when he callz it quitz, all I can say is Marc you got my respect for what you've done and what ya doing bro and Roc'On! Period! ONE!