As 2019 wraps up I had the opportunity to sit down and chop it up with one of the busiest Detroit artists of the year. Mark Cooper, has continued to etch his path in powerful ways from releasing the critically acclaimed album “The Allspark” to taking to the road for his first national tour. On top of that he recently performed at Youmacon Detroit helping further cement his status as the cities king of Nerdcore Rap.
As a nerdcore rapper, Mark Cooper gets to rhyme around nostalgia that would warm the souls of any kid who grew up in the 90’s. From a mixtape series about Saturday morning cartoons to his travels as Player One, his raps traverse a plethora of memories for those reflecting. Just recently he continued his quest with “Ranger Raps” an ep packed with six raps for six rangers, each color specific, & with segments voiced by the actual actors who played the rangers in real life. It’s a mighty morphing EP if you ask me!
Let’s not forget his greatest accomplishment of 2019 and one of the most stellar hip-hop concept albums I’ve come across in recent times. For emcees who dare venture into the world of concept albums this sequel in a series of more to come not only tells its story authentically, but it engages you as you listen in order following Player One on his journey. It’s a depth that allows you to climb in, and pick out new things with each listening session.
To learn more about, or follow along with Player One aka Mark Cooper’s journies yourself be sure to hit up the link below & find him on social:
Behind the Scenes with “KILLZ” (Big Proof Story)
I’ve been struggling while deciding what to let you guys read as my first write up here with Detroitrap.com. I’ve decided that I will share a story about myself first to let the readers understand a little more about who I am and the life I have lived in Detroit HipHop. I know so many people in the industry and most are like family so these are some personal memories of my life. This one is featuring one of Detroit’s top emcees @tyfarris.
In 2005 we were both signed to Iron Fist records with our group the Purple Gang and were blessed to tour with the legendary D12 and Slum Village. The tour was packed with Detroit people and we all knew each other and rolled as family as we crossed the country performing every night literally living our dreams. When we hit the streets we were deep and we always made sure everyone was good and nobody would fuck with us cause we were from Detroit and you could just tell we didn’t play that shit.
One day in Rhode Island, out of all places, we get into one of the craziest fights ever and for no reason at all besides defending Detroit. Let me explain Rhode Island to you for the folks who never been. It’s a small state that is the size of most big cities. We had a great show and the whole city was buzzing because the tour was in town. This was the last leg of tour and most of the people who traveled with us were tired or fell back to fuck with some chics, so we weren’t deep when we hit the scene that night.
There was only 4 of us with no security cause we were in Rhode Island, and there is no way we are getting into shit in this town. As soon as we hit downtown people were everywhere because of some black empowerment summit festival and we thought that this was perfect for us to go to. It was me, Proof, Ty, and Dj Salaam Wreck. Salaam had a few chics meet us and they were cold so we like bet we drinking tonight. We hit one bar and got shit popping but if anybody knows Proof, they know we not sitting in one place for too long, so off we go to another bar. As soon as we exited the bar shit went left. There was a group of guys outside maybe 12 of them and they knew the girls we were with. On some shit out of D12 song, one of them runs up but he was on some fan shit. He says I can’t believe it y’all it’s Obie Trice. I’m ctfu instantly cause I know how Proof feels about shit like this. Proof was the fucking man before Eminem blew up and everyone from the city still respected him as such, but out of town was a different story. D12 was triple platinum at the time but there were 6 members of the group and unless you were Bizarre or Em people would mess your name up all the time unless you were their favorite. Proof actually handled this one cool and laughed as well and said naw that ain’t me and we kept going. Dude starts yelling screaming fuck Obie Trice and you a bitch for not signing the autograph. Proof had been in all types of trouble and he didn’t want us to do shit and said let’s go. I looked at Ty and he couldn’t believe it either. Then I thought about it and the chics Salaam had were cold as fuck and losing out on them was not an option.🤣😂😭🤣😂 Ty had this look on his face though like he wasn’t with the giggles this day and said did you hear that Proof…HE CALLED YOU A BITCH. Proof hated being called a bitch and would scrap every time if that shit was said but today he was like let’s go. The next shit sounded like slow motion. FUCK YOU AND ALL THEM DETROIT NIGGAS . Proof looked over and said fuck it go ahead and that’s exactly what we did. I dropped one to the left and Ty dropped two on the right, I saw another guy confused like he didn’t know how we dropped 3 so fast so I clocked his thinking ass and he was down. Ty drops another guy and I see the remnants of Salaam as he had dropped 2 and was sliding another guy across some product table. These niggas couldn’t believe that 3 people had whipped on 8 people So fast and the other 4 started playing peace keeper.
Proof didn’t do a thing in this scrap cause of legal trouble like I told you before so he was with the peace keeping shit as well. Y’all fucked up when y’all said that shit about Detroit. Ty had did this one nigga bad and he was still salt that he was leaking and he grabbed a box cutter and tried to run up again. This shit had Ty heated and he was trying to kill this nigga after that shit. I was laughing so hard cause he so mad and I never seen him go completely crazy like that. He was ready to murder that guy until one of the peace keepers said Obie Trice and them beat y’all ass. Man we were dying laughing as we left.
Moral of the story is , don’t fuck with people from Detroit and never pull a blade on Ty Farris, his face that day still floors me every time. Peace y’all, the anks for looking at a little Detroit history with me.
THE HIP HOP LOCKER ROOM WITH LAZARUS.
Welcome to The Hip Hop Locker Room, our new monthly interview series at DetroitRap.com. Starting the year off right we’ve got our first special guest LAZARUS. It’s been quite the year for the Detroit bred lyricist, who’s been repping for the 313 all across the world alongside the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. Accolades include his viral hit “Decapitation Chamber” feat. Ghostface Killah which has garnered over five million downloads worldwide, as well as performing with Wu-Tang at at the legendary Sydney Opera House in Australia. The #LazArmy movement has seen a tremendous amount of growth & as it continues it’s momentum it felt like the perfect time to dig deeper with one of Detroit’s most gifted lyricists.
THE Q & A.
COMMi$$ION: You’ve garnered quite the accolades across your hip hop career ranging from a Discovery channel documentary to unleashing bars in front of an audience inside Russell Simmons own home. Now you’ve got a brand new music video alongside Ghostface Killah for “Decapitation Chamber”. Is there anything still left on your rap career bucket list?
LAZARUS: I just want to keep making good music. It’s been a long journey and I’ve met a lot of my idols along the way, but at the end of it all I want to lay down a legacy and have a catalog of quality work that I can be proud of.
COMMi$$ION: Speaking of “Decapitation Chamber” in the beginning of the video Ghostface Killah is shown handing over the “keys”. What did that moment signify to you & how was the experience of working alongside the legendary Wu-Tung Clan member like?
LAZARUS: Ghostface Killah is one of my favorite emcees of all time and he is without question the most aggressive presence on the mic in Hip Hop. To have him say that to me is worth more to me than getting 10 Grammy awards.
COMMi$$ION: You’re not only a rapper but a doctor as well. How have you been able to manage two careers successfully for so long & has there ever been moments you’ve considered abandoning one for the other?
LAZARUS: Doubt has lingered throughout both careers. Because this standard has never been set before, it’s been met with resistance from almost everyone. I had to challenge myself every single day to make this a reality.
COMMi$$ION: As a lyricist in a world of auto tune what drives you to stay true to substance over “dumbing” down and how do you see the industry taking shape in the coming years?
LAZARUS: The current rap scene is trash to me. The standards have lowered so much that subpar emcees are getting praised nowadays. I still sharpen my blades listening to rap music that came out in previous eras. I need substance in my rap.
COMMi$$ION: You’ve been a part of Detroit hip hop scene since the early 00’s championing rap battles over local airwaves all the way to current times collaborating alongside the likes of Royce Da 5’9, Obie Trice, & Swifty Mcvay among others. Though you currently reside in Las Vegas, Nevada you have always stayed true to the 313. How has Detroit influenced you personally & musically throughout your life?
LAZARUS: Growing up in Detroit and the Detroit Hip Hop scene has molded me to who I am as en emcee. Just as you learn your first language in your early childhood, Detroit was and forever is my stomping ground. Detroit is where I learned to rap, learned to battle and where I honed my skills as an emcee. Being mentored by Royce and D12 has enabled me to be the lyricist I am today.
COMMi$$ION: You’ve been hard at work crafting your next album “Music Is My Medicine”. Outside of a mixtape in 2010 your last album debuted in 2007 with “Chapter One: The Prince Who Would Be King”. As time has passed & anticipation builds for your new project was there anything in particular you told yourself you wanted to accomplish going into this release?
LAZARUS: I want to release this album when the momentum is absolutely right for it. In the current climate of music, albums are released and then disposed of within 24 to 48 hours. Attention spans are so short nowadays and great music is overlooked because of it. The most effective approach I see now is to release one song at a time with a video and promote it heavy so that it gets the proper promotion and recognition.
COMMi$$ION: You’ve recently taken to the road touring across the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand alongside the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. What have been some of the challenges & triumphs during this new journey?
LAZARUS: It’s been a monumental dream-like experience to tour the world with my idols. For them to show me respect and give me guidance on this journey is an indescribable feeling.
COMMi$$ION: Not too long ago you shared a photo from the tour with you rocking a stage in front of 10,000 people. How would you describe what was your going through your head at the moment as you graced the stage?
LAZARUS: It was the biggest rush I’ve ever felt in my life. And the second I got the crowd rocking with me, I knew it was my time.
COMMi$$ION: Thank you for taking the time out to answer some questions for the readers here at DetroitRap.com. In closing if you could leave fans with only line from any of your records to be etched in their memories which would it be?
LAZARUS: “I’m the sickest, wickedist boogie man like America made of Osama/ Wrap the heads of rap gods around my neck like Anacondas/ Come to take the throne despite your willingness, with honor/ Like Killmonger came to Wakanda to take it from T’Challa/“
So not only did Lazarus get to rock the United States, Canada, & Australia alongside Wu-Tang Clan. He was also a part of a extremely special New Zealand tour date the celebrated the 25th Anniversary of “Enter 36 Chambers“. A new year is among us, & brand new developments are surely coming from the #LazArmy camp. Until next time, this has been The Hip Hop Locker Room powered by DetroitRap.com.
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