When you think music from Oklahoma, the artists who pop into your mind will, more often than not, have some connection to the country scene; Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood etc. The last kind of artist on your mind will be a representative of the hip hop community. But today we have a talented upstart who is out to turn these tables. Marshall Sinclaire hails from Tulsa and is deeply proud of his hometown. One of his chief goals as one of the few rappers from this Arkansas River town is to, in his own words, “…make it known that there are real emcees from here. People with something to say.”
Growing up in a racially divided locality, Marshall had to deal with his share of discrimination. He sought solace in the works of idols such as Nas, Jay Z and Mos Def, filling up his hard drive with album upon album. Having been so inspired, the introverted hip hop head decided to put his own thoughts down into rhymes. Seeking to emulate his heroes through practice, Marshall even developed a habit of always scribbling down his ideas and observations. “I write down everything. On a napkin, on an old receipt, in my phone. I still carry my journal on my person.”
In kickstarting his rap career, Sinclaire recorded a couple of mixtapes that would serve as the preamble to his debut album. ‘noth(K)ing’, you will agree, is an unusual name for an LP, but there’s a lot of depth behind it: “noth(K)ing is defined as someone that gets caught up in either celebrating things that don’t really matter, or praising worthy causes, but doing it for ‘Likes’. I’ve been guilty of this several times, so it’s a reminder to myself not to become the ‘King of Nothing,” Marshall explains. When it comes out in February next year, you will be treated to 10 precision-cut gems, as cleverly written as they are passionately delivered.
You will be tempted to call Marshall a conscious rapper after giving noth(K)ing a listen for the way he calls out bling-flossing rap stars and gives props to barbers giving free cuts to less fortunate kids. On the hook of the album’s first single, ‘William Martin [In It]’, he explains his ethos: “I ain’t been home in a minute/ cooking on a stove in a minute/no, I ain’t talking bout crack I’m just talking about raps/and I push a little soul while I’m in it.” As he navigates through the trap beat, you sense Marshall may have also been inspired by UK’s grime scene.
Enjoy the song’s visual below and keep tabs on that album here.
Miami Based, Internationally Known