Marlon C.
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Marlon C.

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Marlon C.
Ain’t That Da’ Truth
Deep N Soul; 2006

Marlon C., the Richmond-based triple threat producer, singer, songwriter (and spitter of a more than a few ill sixteens – but that disqualifies him from the ‘triple threat’ moniker, so more on that later), who has earned his bones working with such commercial and critical heavyweights as D’Angelo, Joi and Raphael Saadiq has finally put out his debut album, Ain’t That Da’ Truth.
The endearing Marlon C. has been blessed with a unique combination of an old school heart and a new school mentality. This unification of heart and mind results in a believable yet dazzling display of Motown’s vulnerability and hip-hop’s callous promiscuity.
Creativity abounds in songs like the accusatory “Tonya’s Having A Baby” where he raps about a trifling lady (used liberally) who gets her just desserts and in the soulful “Love Is A Garden” where he cautions “If you keep digging up old dirt/ then nature can’t do its work.” And just to prove he can, he goes doo-wop on “You Should Know” as he tells his woman to take just a little more initiative in their relationship.
The only misstep on this refreshing album (besides it being too short) is the production on “Nothing But The Devil” which is okay, but seems rather dull and unpolished when placed in between the airtight, crisp production of every other song. It is also on this song that Marlon C. drops some of the most potent bars spit by ANY rapper, singer or combination of the two (word to Black Ty and 50 Cent). I put my reviewer mantle on that.
Other than that, this album is seamless, new, and classic - all at the same time. With all the watered down, manufactured lies being shoved down your throat as music for you to swallow, it is always a good thing when Truth prevails.
…But seriously, someone needs to come up with a catchier version of ‘triple threat’ for four different talents, because ‘quadruple threat’ is just not cutting it. Webster, get on that. Thanks.
- Rume Kragha
- okayplayer.com


Handle the truth

The first time I met D'angelo was in a nightclub in Richmond's Shockoe Bottom. A promoter was showcasing several local rap acts, among them a group called "Dirty Souls," a rap duo that included Marlon C., who was known around town as D'angelo's cousin. Dirty Souls were heads and shoulders above the average plain brown rapper that night and proved it with a song about masturbation that was based on The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Me and My Bitch." I remember one of Richmond's brighter talents, Danja Mowf, telling me that he wished he had thought of that.

After the show, Marlon talked about his record deal and sitting across the table from Sylvia Rhone as promises were made. Despite his cousin's popularity and pull with the label, the group was dropped without even releasing a single. I kept in touch with Marlon for awhile after the show and I remember him being a little bitter about how things went down.

The next time I heard Marlon C. was on a song called "Talk S**t to Ya," and which was almost good enough to redeem the ill-conceived coming of age movie it supported. It was bluesy and souful with a hip hop edge, without being contrite or predictable, like that song Nas made with his pops. Despite help from his famous cousin on the track, labels didn't take notice. I didn't hear much about Marlon for awhile, until a friend told me he was opening for national acts at a local concert series ... with a guitar. What?

Three weeks ago, I notice a poster for a Marlon C. release as I was leaving my friendly neighborhood record store. I went back and and picked up the last copy of Ain't That Da' Truth Listening to the CD I was reminded of the rumors that Marlon was often an unattributed contributor to D'angelo's early music. Unpolished and raw, maybe this what Richmond's infamous recluse would sound like without a hefty production budget and "help" from seasoned songwriters.

On "Ain't That Da' Truth," Marlon C. manages to establish his own identily with unique phrasing, solid songwriting and a reverence for the spirits of soul music. Despite the tired skits that fill the CD, it's clear he's not just talking shit anymore.
POSTED BY CRAIG BELCHER AT MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2006

- rapliesandvideotape.blogspot.com


Marlon C. / Ain't that da' truth (DeepSoul Entertainment)
urban rap/R&B mix but has strong "oldschool R&B" or "funky blues" influences, interesting male singer from Virginia, well-worth listening
- soul-treasures.com


Discography

Marlon went on to become the ½ lyrical force and producer for the underground Hip-Hop group, Dirty Soulz. Although Dirty Soulz did not gain stardom being signed under the fledgling label D-Lo Productions, the group did gain notoriety and a strong buzz in the Richmond area.

Marlon made his production debut on a collaboration with Angie Stone and Terry Ellis on Call On Me, for the HBO movie Disappearing Act. He furthered his portfolio along with Michael Archer (aka D’Angelo) by co-producing and co-writing, Talk Shit to Ya, for the John Singleton’s BabyBoy soundtrack. After sharpening his teeth on these projects, Marlon went on a musical sojourn where he began to incorporate his Blues/Soul/Gospel influences as he made the transition from Hip-Hopper to a vocalist. Creating his independent label, DeepNSoul, he produced its first record, The Henley Sisters’, He’s Been So Good.

Marlon has since worked on projects with Raphael Saadiq, leading to production work on Joi’s album, Tennessee Slim Is the Bomb, while touring the Mid-Atlantic to promote the songs that would be featured on his debut album, Ain’t That the Truth. Marlon C still performs with Henley Sister’s and will soon begin production on their second album as well as Dirty Soulz.

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Bio

There’s nothing quit like the feeling of song that reaches out and touches deep within- pulling you into its melodic layered themes, abstract images and intrinsic emotions. Marlon C’s debut album, Ain’t That Da Truth, will take on a journey where each song paves a path into the soul of this brilliant artist.

The self-produced, Ain’t That Da Truth, proves to be a rich tapestry woven from influences in Blues, Classic Soul, and Hip-Hop. While the beats and rhythms have the hard-hitting, head-nodding kick of Hip-Hop, the bitter-sweet cry of his guitar brings the unmistakable earthen, yet gritty sounds homegrown in the country churches of Richmond, Virginia. The harmony is memorizing- making you want to close your eyes and open your ears to what this music-man has to say. What is more amazing than Marlon C’s unique sound, are his lyrics.

This singer/songwriter’s subject-matter reaches out trans-culture, genre and age. His word uncannily connects to the universal emotions that bind us all. The audience is left with a sense that he is actually speaking to you personally. Breaking down barriers of bravado and ego a dealing what is truly the heart, desire and vice and man- all man. Not only are his word comforting, but refreshing as he delves into life’s essence. 2 songs that are ‘must listen’ Love is Garden and Hate The Game capture of spirit of Life’s dynamic forces: Love and Hate.

By producing his own music, Marlon C’s delivery is nothing short of spell-bounding. He superbly laces each track, whether ridin’ the pocket or harmonizing over the tune, he creates that channel with the audience which is not overbearing but inviting. And it is with his music that he invites you into to his house- where music soothes the soul.