What's up Leafers? Welcome to the latest edition of On the Rise where we interview upcoming hip hop talent. Today's guest is rapper, Mari the 5th. Mari the 5th is an artist coming from a little town next to Sacramento called Davis, CA. A suburban, hippy, college aesthetic that provided a safe haven for families coming out of worse circumstances. Mother being from East Oakland, while his father from L.A. His family moved often when he was a child, which allowed for a broader understanding of not just his surroundings, but self. Living in either Sacramento or Davis, Mari began cultivating himself as an athlete. Soon he moved to the Bay where he attended the College of San Mateo to play football in hopes of earning a scholarship to a four year university. The 5th accomplished this goal, earning a scholarship to play for the University of Illinois. Here is where Mari the 5th, Sunny Ture, and YAN Tre first met one another and began establishing the roots to their independent collective/label Push Soul. Mari's been been on our radar for a while so we had to tap in with him! Check out the interview below.
Westleaf Staff: What's up, Mari? Your sound is dope. When did you start making music?
Mari the 5th: I started officially making and dropping music in 2017, but I’ve been writing lyrics, short. stories, poetry, my entire life.
Westleaf Staff: That's dope! So how did your early life shape your interest in music?
Mari the 5th: My childhood and the people who have guided me such as family, friends, and the circumstances I came from. My mother and father were very encouraging when it came
to not just being active but being creative as well. Music always kept me intrigued,
noticing the emotions it brought out of people, so I started writing my own and would
perform them to my family members from ages 6-10, before sports became the main
Westleaf Staff: That's a dope introduction to music. So who is your biggest Musical influence?
Mari the 5th: My biggest musical influence I would have to say easily is Bob Marley. Nesta was able to transcend music I feel, giving his entire being into the frequency. No lie, I could cry
tears of joy, pain, and redemption with any Bob Marley song if I really just shut up and
Westleaf Staff: Dope! Bob is a legend. What was the inspiration behind your new track?
Mari the 5th: Transparent was a piece dedicated to searching for higher self. Being transparent and honest about where I’m placing my path among this life. The pain is inevitable, how you react is what’s important, and where your faith rests will dictate the outcome. So be strong and stay with the most high.
Westleaf Staff: I respect that. Can you talk a little more about the process of making the song?
Mari the 5th: There wasn’t anything particularly special with this one. I typically save my more
complex concepts for my projects. But writing it took me a few weeks. I allow all
moments of time to serve as inspiration for my next bar when it comes to writing. I guess
the thing that stuck out the most was reading about all these other rappers either dying,
RICO cases, giving up, or going broke. It’s been sad for the mainstream unfortunately.
Westleaf Staff: Dang. We can only hope it gets better. So what excites you most about this. song?
Mari the 5th: I feel this track was getting back to a deeper more personal side of me. I plan on
expanding these types of narratives and really begin introducing where I come from and
how I was raised to even begin having these sorts of thoughts.
Westleaf Staff: That's deep! How did you create the name of the song?
Mari the 5th: Coming into it while I was writing the song I already had kept reminding myself of the concept I wanted to express. Eventually I just thought of a fluid, one word title that could
easily sum up the main concept of being honest and open with self among these life
Westleaf Staff: Super dope, brother. What's been happening since the drop?
Mari the 5th: All I could ask for, people interacting with the music. It seems people are enjoying it so I hope it continues to get some spins across the world.
Westleaf Staff: As they should! Congrats brother. Do you have any new projects on the way?
Mari the 5th: I’m happy you ask actually, I do have another new single coming to all streaming
platforms next month titled ‘Forgetful.’ The visual is actually already out on YouTube so
go check that out!
Westleaf Staff: Dope. Where do you see your music career going over the next few years?
Mari the 5th: Mannnn only direction is up. Us at Push Soul move with the most high. This will be a Push Soul year, decade, century, etc. We plan on really establishing ourselves as a real
Independent label, collective, movement, way of thinking, whatever the fuck you want to
call it. Push Soul will be part of those leading the fight for the SOUL and to keep the
SOUL. Manifest what we’ve been working for, allow our beings to transcend the music.
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