Over the past thirteen years I have had the honor and privilege of performing countless shows with some of the most talented and unique hip hop artists Florida has to offer! Some of these acts have included: Solillaquists of Sound, ArtOfficial, Sevenstar, Cyne, S.K.I.P., DJ Dirty Digits, Tough Junkie, MayDay, X144, Double Helix, Rubox, DJ SPS, Blak Lungz, Simple Complexity, The AB's (formerly known as Asamov), Dillion Maurer (formerly known as Intellekt), Madd Illz, Astronautalis, and many others. For a number of years I was a member of the Gainesville-based hip hop & funk fusion band Voice of the People and spent most of my time submerged in the both the Gainesville and Florida music scene. From about 1999-2005 I saw many artists pass through Gainesville, and I spent a lot of time traveling to neighboring music communities. From live shows to studio sessions, my experiences as a performer in the southeast have exposed me to a diverse community of producers, performers, and artists of all types.It was these experiences that first lead to my original concept for the show I now call Verbalize with The Messenger.
The first official episode of Verbalize was an audio podcast that aired on URBAN SYNTHESIS RADIO (Jacksvonille, FL) on Sunday, March 1st, 2009. I had just made the move from Gainesville to the Orlando area, and it was only fitting that I interview one of the many artists from Orlando that I had great respect for. The interview featured Orlando emcee Greg "G-Ro" Rollet of the hip hop group STUMPP. It felt great to sit down with G-Ro and discuss not only his band, but the Florida music scene in general. I found our interview refreshing and I knew that this was only the beginning. Over the next few years I slowly began collecting more interviews and video footage, but it wasn't until 2010 that I decided to expand the show into a interview-style documentary series that included video.
In November of 2010, I interviewed Orlando emcee S.K.I.P. just as he was finishing up an album he was producing with Swamburger of Solillaquists of Sound. Both artists are deeply rooted in the Florida hip hop scene, and it was an enjoyable first episode in this new format! It was during the filming of this interview that I more fully realized what I wanted to accomplish with this series; I wanted to tell the story of not only these artists, but of the communities that they are a part of. Upon completion of my edits, I decided to implement three practices with my interviews: 1) Each interview will be aired in three parts; the second launching one week after the first, and the third episode, a week later. 2) With exception to the Verbalize Theme (played only during the opening credits of part 1 of 3 of each interview) each episode shall be scored with the artist's music only. 3) The third and final episode of each interview will end with a live performance from the artist that was filmed during the making of the interview.
S.K.I.P. - Orlando, Florida - November 2010
One year later I found myself interviewing Gainesville emcee D.P. I already knew a lot about D.P., growing up in the same city; While I was playing shows on one side of town, he was throwing battles on the other. There's a lot I didn't know about him before the interview though, and once again I was inspired to bring more to the show. For this interview, I collaborated with photographer Maria Zeiesche. She not only took some amazing photos of the interview, but also provided stunning video that helped bring another dimension to the show; and it was exactly what I was looking for. It was during this interview that I realized that I would need at least a small film crew to accomplish what I wanted to achieve with Verbalize.
D.P. - Gainesville, Florida - March 2011
In 2012, many ideas, shows, and bands later, I found myself living back in Gainesville; the same city that first shaped my desire to grab the mic and share my message. The city where I began my journey had called me back. Since returning, I have met with and interview many artists, some from the area, others who were passing through while on tour. Currently I am preparing to launch a new season of Verbalize which will also spotlight events, organizations, and communities. Look for new episodes in 2016.
Thanks for reading
PEACE, UNITY, LOVE, & HAVING FUN!!! - MARLEY THE MESSENGER