Indie hip-hop artist Marqus Anthony is a passionate believer in spreading the gospel via hip-hop and others medium. He serves with Crossover Church ATL and City Takers in Atlanta, Georgia, doing urban missionary work, such as high school, homeless, and prison ministry. Marqus has released more than 40 songs in his growing career in Christian music. He's also a new contributor for NewReleaseToday, covering everything Christian Hip-Hop (CHH). I connected with Marqus to talk about his music, life in quarantine, creative influences, and his new role with NewReleaseToday.
You’ve been producing a lot of content for years. Where does that drive come from?
Well, I believe the Lord has called me to this arena. Not just as an artist, but also as a writer, manager, marketer, and promoter. I left a promising career as a research scientist in 2015 to pursue music and ministry. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Sacrificing a career like that pushes me to succeed by all means. Success to me is fulfilling my God-given purpose, touching as many lives as possible.
What’s it like being part of the Christian Hip-Hop underground? There’s such a huge network of hard-working artists in this space that work together and collaborate.
I love being a part of this community. Starting in Detroit, I made several friends that I consider to be true brothers today, six to seven years later. I love that we push each other and hold one another accountable. There are so many talented artists in this genre. It's fun to make songs and rock shows with friends. It's dope to be around so many positive and thriving young people.
What are some of your creative influences?
I grew up as an atheist until 2013, so my musical influences are all secular artists. Tupac, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Lauryn Hill, Kanye West, Outlast, Ice Cube, Drake, J. Cole, and Kendrick Lamar would be a few. I started writing Christian Hip-Hop, or CHH, before I even knew it was a genre. Once I got into CHH, I looked up to Lecrae, Andy Mineo, Trip Lee, Derek Minor, and KB to name a few. I also love soul and R&B, but I'm not the best singer, so that influence doesn't show as much.
Tell us about your latest single, “Can’t Get Enough.”
"Can't Get Enough" was an awesome opportunity to collaborate with my fellow Atlanta resident, Dzyne by God. He's truly an amazing artist, dancer, singer, father, and leader who I look up to. It's an honor to create with him. I love the mixture of his R&B vibes with my rapping to create a fun song we can all sing along to with ease. It's the perfect summer anthem to express your unabated adoration for Jesus. We cannot get enough of God's love.
What’s been the best and worst part of quarantine for you as an artist?
To be honest, I've struggled to find inspiration and motivation to write a lot. I live alone so this quarantine has been tough for a social person like me. The best part has been operating in my manager role. I am super blessed to be partnered with legendary Detroit CHH icon Brotha Dre. We have released several singles leading up to his new album Trials & Tribulations, which will be dropping soon.
You’re now part of the editorial staff at NewReleaseToday as you focus on expanding the reach of CHH within the site. What are some of your goals and what you’re wanting to accomplish with this new gig?
I'm humbled and honored to join the team. It was an unexpected opportunity that I couldn't pass up. Shout out to Joshua Galla, he does an amazing job covering CHH. I'm thrilled to bolster the depth. My main goal will be to support indie CHH artists that may not get exposure on NRT or elsewhere. I also look forward to sharing my taste and giving opinions from an avid hip-hop fan on the best in CHH today.
My EP Portrait is dropping very soon. This is my best music to date, and I'm thrilled to share it with everyone. Each and every one of us was created in God's image, attributing tremendous value and worth to us all. I want everyone to be able to experience the overwhelming comfort of knowing you are an image-bearer of the most high God. This will be the start of something special.
How can we be praying for you?
Please pray for my mental health and guidance from the Lord.
Kevin McNeese started NRT in 2002 and has worked in the industry since 1999 in one form or another. He has been a fan of Christian music since 1991.
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