Black Collar Biz
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Black Collar Biz

Trenton, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF | AFTRA

Trenton, New Jersey, United States | SELF | AFTRA
Established on Jan, 2011
Solo Hip Hop Soul

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Music

Press


"Must-hear N.J.: From Trenton with love, Black Collar Biz sparks his city"

TRENTON -At Art All Night, a 24-hour event dedicated to Trenton's local creators and innovators, there is much to see.

Local bands perform around the clock on indoor and outdoor stages, but simultaneously there are drum circles, belly dancers, master classes and more in different locations around the city's historic Roebling Wire Works property. With all that hubbub, keeping a patron's attention can be challenging.

But local rapper Black Collar Biz's zealous, community-conscious style commanded the crowd -- around 2,000 onlookers -- for nearly an hour last summer, affirming his spot as one of the capital city's budding hip-hop talents.

A lifelong church-goer who credits his spiritual mother for keeping him off the violent Trenton streets, Biz strives to inject soul, gospel and R&B into his sound, and hopes his music can arrest and inspire much like a powerful church choir might.

"I want to be remembered as someone like a James Brown," he says.

The Trenton native born Byron Marshall also acts as the hip-hop extension of SAGE Coalition, a city-based cultural collective. The group of musicians, fabricators and visual artists plan urban renewal and beautification projects that incorporate city youth.

"Anything that gets them interested and keeps them off the streets," he says.

Biz released his latest LP, the lengthy and poignant "High Grade Artistry," in June, and has since been trying to make music his full-time endeavor. He's performed from Boston to Atlanta and hopes to expand his brand.

WHAT HE SOUNDS LIKE
It's inaccurate to describe Biz's latest album in singular terms. Yes, his name is on the cover, but "High Grade Artistry" was truly a team effort between him and more than a dozen hip-hop artists and singers from around the state. His delivery isn't especially crisp, but his sharply penned lines rise and fall easily over his slick flow. Biz is more keenly invested in the soul of his music, which samples everything from traditional rap beats to funk to old news audio clips.

"I try to find music that people wouldn't usually rap on, and try to make a great song that's be totally unexpected."

Lyrically, Biz and his crew toggle between tracks touching on the plight of the Trenton and more universal terms. "Broken Homes" follows a drug-addicted father robbing a liquor store to provide for his family, but "Eyes Come Down," written for Biz's grandmother, spits a tale of depression and triumphantly chants "you don't gotta give up yet."



WHO HE SOUNDS LIKE
Mos Def, Nas, Kendrick Lamar

WHY HE MATTERS
Biz grew up in Trenton. Then he moved away for a while, to surrounding suburbs. Then he came back. He returned to the city stricken with poverty and violence, and has made a point to not only launch a career from his hometown, but to improve his city in the process. If he were to hit it big with hip-hop, he knows he would likely leave again, but he hopes his local legacy will remain.

"I'm always going to have a home here," he says. "I'll always be able to say I started here, and before I left the people knew who I was. I built something with people in the community. Not just for them, but with them."

His passion for progress would be admirable, even if he wasn't a gifted rapper and songwriter who could likely make a dent in a larger market if he so chose to relocate. But for now, his heart is in the right place.

WHERE YOU CAN SEE HIM
Black Collar Biz is currently in the studio recording an EP due out this summer. He assures that more live shows will follow. Stay tuned and follow him on Twitter. - Bobby Oliver


"The Black Collar Biz Experience"

Basically, Black Collar Biz is the type of growth that Trenton needs. A homegrown story that should be told, primarily because at its core is a man who is accepting of a number of different sounds, isn’t afraid to experiment, and is unafraid of what others might think, because he’s just going to continue to make good music.... - Khris Davenport


"35 N.J. Bands We’re Excited About in 2015"

8. Black Collar Biz [Trenton]

He’s a our homeboy. I go way back with Black Collar. I watched him grow as rapper; from doing open mics at Rider to leading an entire scene in a city as part of Sage Coalition. Black Collar is someone the world needs to hear about!

This guy… He works so damn hard and stays so damn positive without glossing over the shitty situation Trenton is in in terms of poverty, heroin, crime, and homicide. He put out “High Grade Artistry” when he headlined Trenton Art All Night this past summer (with a huge live band behind him) and there was a sea of people with his t-shirt on. That record has 19 tracks and every – single – one – is on point. I know he’s always in the studio working so I’m antsy anticipating anything he releases this year. - Conor Meara


"God's Influence In HipHop"

"Wise Intelligent sees promise in the unity and uplifting lyrical content of artists affiliated with Atlanta’s God-Hop movement originated by DJ SOL MESSIAH and headlined by the brilliantly creative emcee Sa-Roc. Artists like Jasiri X, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Black Collar Biz, TahirRBG and Narubi Selah (MUSIC) consistently deliver thought provoking, “politically oriented content” to counter the formulaic, oft-times vulgar and repetitive gibberish played on the radio, he said." - ASHAHED M. MUHAMMAD


"Black Collar Biz"

I had the opportunity to go to the album release party of Forever Black, locked and loaded with three rolls of film. I've known Collar for a year now and it has been an incredible experience watching this album develop. I hope you enjoy the photographs and the interview. Black Collar's music can be found here on itunes. - Jon Gordon


Discography

-Black Friday Mixtape 2011
-Forever Black 2012
-Black Friday2 2013

Photos

Bio

“Conquer your Dreams and Dream to Conquer”, is the motto that Byron “Black Collar Biz” Marshall has grew up to a very diverse array of music from Gospel, Soul, Funk and Blues to Hip Hop and R&B. His new project, High Grade Artistry, Biz says “It was my way of showing that artistry is still important in today’s scene, by selecting beats with different moods, and making sure each song had a true message.” Be sure to check it out here first. @blackcollarbiz