Black Cobain
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Black Cobain

Alexandria, Virginia, United States | INDIE

Alexandria, Virginia, United States | INDIE
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Nov
04
Black Cobain @ Sneaker Pimps 2010 @ DC Star

Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Washington, District of Columbia, USA

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By David Malitz

Clear out some room on your iPod because local rappers have decided that Aug. 31 is the day to inundate you with new tunes. Four local MCs have released new mixtapes today. All are linked below.

RAtheMC - "Heart of a Champion"

Kingpen Slim - "The Beam Up 2"

Black Cobain - "Now"

Fat Trel - "No Secrets" - The Washington Post


I can’t call him what some would label a conscious rapper, but you can tell that Black Cobain is definitely a thinker; a brother who has his own philosophy about life. On his Board Administration release, ‘Now’, Co-Bizzy takes listeners to an existentialism 101 class, hip hop style, as he shares his views on the present we all have in the present (get it?) and each individuals need to take advantage of their own ‘now’. This is a project that should satisfy even the most discriminating hip hop palettes.

For starters, Black Cobain uses metaphors better than a samurai uses a sword. And while he’s got some songs on this project that are just about having fun, as a whole, even down to the cover art work, he makes it clear that he is indeed making one big statement. He starts the album with the simple yet powerfully tone setting words:”Today is a good day for greatness people”. Short and Sweet; thematic set up at it’s finest.

Mark Henry and B. Diggs shine on the production. Mark Henry, who is also best known for tracks like Phil Ade’s ‘Hollywood’ and Kingpen Slim’s ‘The Win’ is the king of the anthem track. He did it again for Black Cobain with his work on ‘Cobizzy’. His reworking of the classic ‘Juicy Fruit’ also gets major props. Tre of UCB and Wale, fellow Board Administration affiliates join Cobain on Chris Wright’s reworking of Will’s Farrell ‘Love Me Sexy’ entitled ‘Will Farell’; in my opinion, one of the hottest and the most radio friendly song on the album. ‘Now’ has all of the elements that I look for a good solid hip hop album to have. Hardcore beats, thought provoking lyrics, and artistic finesse of the delivery. - The Washington Examiner


There aren't a lot of rappers coming out of Alexandria, Va., (let alone rappers who take their names from Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain). Enter Board Administration artist Black Cobain.

“There aren't really rappers from Alexandria, because they’re afraid to be themselves, nobody is authentic," Cobain says. "They rap about what they see on TV instead of being who they are. A lot of VA artists I’ve come across have this whole façade, or other persona, and that’s gonna catch up with you end of day.”

None of that posturing is on Cobain's Now. "Blacks’ album is showing you that there are people form the 'hood, from the ghetto... that chose not to go that route," says Fat Trel, Cobain's fellow Board Administration artist. "If he and I had come up in the same hood, he would've been the one who knew what was going on, but was just smart, and could avoid certain things."

Yesterday, at around 7:30 p.m., Cobain was in Northeast, D.C., for a model call for his upcoming video. He'd just received word that rap legend (and friend of Wale) Bun B has given him a shout-out on Twitter. Everyone around immediately started teasing him that he was already changing — even as he expressed gratitude for the attention the mixtape was receiving and took the time to retweet or respond to every single mention of him on Twitter.

He also made time to talk to TBD about a few of the tracks on the Now.

“Afraid“: “That’s the number one track, I feel that's my favorite. It was inspired from the YouTube video Will’s Wisdom, where he just talks about chasing your dreams and not being afraid to do it. I was working a 9 to 5, at a Boys & Girls Club, and I quit to do music. If you can’t give what you love 100%, and not be the best…”

“Juicy Fruit“ (which samples Mtume's "Juicy Fruit," which was famously used for Biggie Smalls’ “Juicy.”): “I had to consider the fact that those are two amazing songs,” Cobain says. “It was scary at first, but I talked to a couple of people around me and they were like, ‘Do what you feel.’ When you hear the instrumentals, the beats, they seem to take you somewhere. And I really, really started to understand rap when I heard Biggie’s track, so…”

“Lust,” featuring J. Holiday: " I started off with the line, 'I don’t make love no more baby, I make lust.' The concept was a direct message to my ex-girlfriend, to the fact that I do have relations with other girls, but there’s not feelings. I like you a lot, but I don’t love you. That’s a big thing with our generation, those from 18-26, you don’t see long marriages anymore. Relationships are here and there, off and on.”
- Channel 7 & 8 News (tbd.com)


Article Courtesy of The Washington Post

Fat Trel and Black Cobain : 2 rappers rushing to the head of the local hip-hop class
Kindred spirits: Wale, Lupe Fiasco, Gucci Mane

PERFORMING: Oct. 29. Both will perform at Howard University‘s Yard Fest. Free.

Full Article Available Here

It’s about time to stop worrying about the lack of a true breakout star from the local hip-hop scene and to simply appreciate the abundance of up-and-coming talent that calls the DMV home. At this point it’s a matter of when, not if, a young rapper becomes a crossover success.

Odds-on favorite Wale didn’t quite reach that level with his major-label debut, “Attention Deficit,” but he certainly succeeded in bringing increased attention to the area. Now a couple of MCs he has taken under his wing, Black Cobain and Fat Trel, may reap the benefits.Both are part of local label/collective The Board of Administration that has been gaining steam in the past few months with Wale’s presence adding serious cachet. It’s easy to hear why he has become such a hearty backer for the pair: Both boast distinct, complementary styles that come fully formed on their respective recent mixtapes.

Black Cobain (a.k.a. Marcus Gloster, 25) is an Alexandria native with a relaxed approach. He’s a thoughtful lyricist whose nimble wordplay and refreshing honesty shine through on “Now.” “I’m not afraid to fail/But I’m afraid of jail/I’m afraid of heaven/Because we living in hell,” he raps on “Afraid,” offering a sentiment not often heard in the genre.

So why did he name himself after Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain? The inspiration came from an uncle who listened to rock music – “the weirdest guy,” Black Cobain remembers thinking. But he eventually started listening himself, and later in college, when he would go to clubs and spend the night “partying like a rock star,” he called it his “Cobain lifestyle.” (Even if that wasn’t exactly how the Nirvana frontman lived.) Still, the inspiration is real.

“He was not afraid to be himself and tell it how it was,” Black Cobain says.
For now, that means taking pride in being a part of the burgeoning DMV rap scene but also focusing on his own projects.

“It feels like I’m a part of a movement, but it’s a movement within a movement for me. And that’s Board of Administration. Because at the end of the day, it’s a competition,” he says.

One of his main partners in that competition is Fat Trel (a.k.a. Martrel Reeves, 20). Black Cobain’s songs might be best appreciated with headphones; Fat Trel’s are meant to be heard out of the most booming sound system you can find.

When asked what defines his sound, he quickly replies, “Street wise, never hold anything back.” With the assistance of his production team, the Bass Headz, his “No Secrets” mixtape is a constant barrage of club-ready bangers featuring fierce and passionate storytelling.

"I give everything,” he says. “Tomorrow ain’t promised for none of us, so I want to leave it all out on the table when I can.”

That sentiment may be a touch fatalistic, but Trel is serious about putting himself out there. Soon after “No Secrets” hit the Internet (the same day in late summer as Black Cobain’s “Now”) he released all the tracks that didn’t make the final cut. He also does regular freestyles on WKYS 93.9 and WPGC 95.5 and guest verses on other rappers’ songs.

“Practice makes perfect,” he says matter-of-factly. That intense desire to be heard never comes across as needy in his songs; in fact that hungriness is his greatest attribute.

Both rappers got plenty of practice at local open-mike nights, where they honed their craft the past couple of years. “On big stages, you can mess up and they’ll laugh and still cheer,” Black Cobain says. “But if you’re in front of a small crowd and you mess up one little line it’s like, how do I bounce back from that? It’s harder to keep 100 people’s attention than 8,000 screaming fans.”

“It was 30 people in the crowd and 20 of those people were rappers, singers or poets,” Trel said of his experience, mostly at U Street club Pure Lounge. “That’s what made me the artist I am today. “

And it’s what could make both of them stars of tomorrow.

- The Washington Post


Black Cobain – “Now Or Never”-This area rapper has both incredible poise and exigent student debt. On “Now Or Never” he rhymes, “Went to school and finished that/ Got a job ain’t feeling that/ Fifty-thousand in loans/ You know I gotta pay it back.” Bonus points for honesty — and for not sampling “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

- The Washington Post


Discography

Young, Gifted, & Black (2011

1. Young Gifted and Black (Intro)
2.Busy Now ft Wale (Streaming)
3. Curious ft. Laura Song
4. Don't Stop
5. Cook Up ft. Wale, Stalley, Tone P (Streaming)
6. Personal
7. Tell Me Why ft. Laura Song
8. Sweet Her ft. Magazeen (Streaming)
9. It's My Party
10. Crucified
11. 4 AM ft. Wale (Streaming)
12. Intoxicated ft. Tiara Thomas
13. Who is Yall
14. City is Mine (Outro)
*Bonus* Salutations ft Tre

Now (2010)

1. Pin Drop Featuring Young Chris (Streaming)
2. It's Cobizzy
3. Juicy Fruit
4. Air Force Featuring Fat Trel & Tre' (Streaming)
5. Perception
6. Afraid
7. Tune In
8. Administration Featuring Tiara Thomas
9. The Closer
10. Bottles on Me
11. Will Farrell Featuring Wale & Tre' (Streaming)
12. South Beach
13. Sincerely Yours
14. The Board
15. Mary Jane
16. Lust Featuring J. Holiday (Streaming)
17. Now

More About Nothing (Wale|2010): The Posse Cut (Streaming)

Photos

Bio

Northern Virginia Emcee Black Cobain aims to be legendary and has ambitions to leave an imprint in hip hop and music history like his namesake predecessor Kurt Cobain; an imprint that resonates long after he drops the mic he calls life.

Signed to Independent Label, The Board Administration™ (Greg Harrison), Black released debut mixtape “Now or Never” (2009); a catalog of epic proportions that discusses his transition from adolescence to adulthood, the dynamics of male camaraderie and rivalry in the inner city, and his overall plight into manhood.

For Black, Hip-Hop serves as a muse that enables him to tell stories that speak to his growth and development as an individual, professional, and man. His artistry is more about wordplay and storytelling and less about current trends and popular culture adoption, values core to the foundation of lyricism and true Hip-Hop.

Black Cobain is no ordinary Rapper, his unique flow and signature sound embody the true essence of Emceeing and are indicative of his true passion to keep it alive during a time where Emcees are no longer respected as the champions and true pioneers of rap and Hip-Hop culture.

Black’s Mixtape, “Now” released August 30, 2010 features Board Administration™ label mates Fat Trel and Ms. Sasha and features from Raheem Devaughn, Tre (UCB), Wale, and Young Chris. Black’s classic style is reminiscent of old school flow despite the infectious demand and trend in Hip-Hop culture for melodies drowned by beats and dance worthy beats coupled with punch line rhymes and catch phrases.

His non conforming sound, passion, and quest for musical nirvana, if such a place exists, will land him at the legendary status he seeks. “And they say he who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life”-Black Cobain