Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Jan 10th 2008 5:00PM by Tracey Ford
Can you describe your sound for those unfamiliar with Spank Rock?
Yeah, that's difficult. One, I'm a rapper. I choose words that rhyme and then I say them with authority. I think what makes it interesting is the producers I decide to use. I got [Armani] XXXchange; he used to be in this punk band called Zero Zero. His influences are, like, Quincy Jones and Phil Spector. We like really old, good music, you know? Stuff like our moms and grandmas used to listen to. But then we mix it all with a lot of new stuff. I don't know if you can imagine the Ronettes being mixed with Baltimore club music, but that happens sometimes -- with Spank Rock, anyway.
In a recent interview you had mentioned that you skipped school to buy the Black Star album. It's safe to say your sound is a bit removed from the conscious hip-hop movement. How did you get from there to where you are now?
The way I write raps, I still pull a lot from that conscious, wordy-rappy sort of place. But a lot of the people I looked up to, a lot of people who could have been leaders, really let me down. And so I started wandering off on my own. I got some bad influences, some good influences. It changed 'cause I started seeing different things. I didn't think that the culture that I was first introduced to was the end-all, be-all of everything. I saw that there was other music out there, other people doing very interesting, awesome things, so I started pulling from everywhere.
Do you feel like they let you down because what they were doing wasn't as exciting and upbeat as the Baltimore-rap party music you create these days?
No, not really. I just thought that it got stagnant. It got very predictable. I felt like they weren't developing their sound. So I feel like they got comfortable 'cause they realized people like them.
You don't seem to take things too serious. Is that intentional?
I'm a pretty lighthearted guy, you know? I want people to have fun around me. I never want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. I want people to enjoy my company, and for that to happen you have to let your ego go, you know? You got to pay attention to other people sometimes. You got to let other people talk. I think that's what you're getting at when you say I don't take things seriously, because I'm not trying to force anything down anybody's throat.
Do you feel that people expect a certain sound from you?
If you look at legends, they have these long careers, these ten to fifteen albums, because they're doing different things on each one. They're not just trying to do what people expect them to do. That's not exciting. I don't want to buy a record that I know what's going to be on that record. I'm trying to advance my life, and trying to get better this year, you know? And I want to get better next year. I want to get more experiences.
On your "Top Ten Songs to Do It To" on MySpace, you didn't throw in any Spank Rock songs. Could you pick one or two songs of your own that you would recommend?
I can barely listen to my own songs driving in the car. After I spend all this time making and performing them, I don't want to hear that s--- when trying to get all intimate [laughs]. If I was you, I would definitely start off some foreplay to 'Backyard Betty.'