One of hip-hop’s first (and finest) Radio dj/Superproducers, Marley Marl was an early innovator in the art developing new techniques that resulted in some of the sharpest beats and hooks in rap’s Golden Era. As the co founder of the juice crew, Marl assembled a roster filled with some of the finest hip-hop talent in New York: MC Shan, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Roxanne Shanté, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, and Masta Ace. His production work for those and many other artists generally boasted a bright, booming, and robust sound that — along with his ear for a catchy sample — helped move street-level hip-hop’s sonic blueprint into more accessible territory. Most important, though, were his skills as a beatmaker; Marl was among the first to mine James Brown records for grooves and also learned how to craft his own drum loops through sampling, which decreased hip-hop’s reliance on tinny-sounding drum machines and gave his ’80s productions a fresh, modern flavor.
Marl was born Marlon Williams on September 30, and grew up in the Queensbridge housing project in Queens, NY. He became interested in music through local talent shows and neighborhood parties and became an accomplished DJ during rap’s early days. He did mixing work on a number of singles for the old-school hip-hop/electro music seen and started up his own studio, which he initially ran out of his sister’s apartment in Queensbridge. Marl set about recruiting for what became one of rap’s first talent collectives, the Juice Crew. He caught his first big break in 1984 when he produced Roxanne Shanté’s “Roxanne’s Revenge,” one of many answer singles inspired by U.T.F.O.’s underground smash “Roxanne, Roxanne”; luckily, “Roxanne’s Revenge” was the biggest and it put artist, and producer on the map.Workin as in inturn on DR Bob lees WBLS juice moble he was introduced to Sir Juice MR MAGIC by DR BOB LEE .Then as the dj on the Rap Attack show on WBLS he was the man. Folks old enough will recall what it meant to record a Mr Magic Rap Attack show. Those cassette tapes got passed all around the world.
We also recall the role that Mr Magic and Marley played in sparking the infamous bridge wars between the Bronx via KRS and BDP and Queens via the Juice Crew. They where so important that if they didn’t play your record or publicly rejected you as hey did BDP, it wasn’t a thing to easily shake off. The attention they garnered help heighten the position of than rival DJ Red Alert and DJ Chuck Chillout who was on Kiss FM while Magic backed Marley Marl who was his official deejay along with the Juice Crew as we know them today on WBLS…Also on a side note lets stress the fact that the battle was more like a battle of the bands and not the type of vicious beefs where folks get shot or beaten up. It was competitive, theatrical and captivating Marl trumped it by helming “The Bridge,” an ode to Queensbridge by his cousin MC Shan that became the unofficial Queens rap anthem, which he did with the monumental Eric B. & Rakim single “Eric B. Is President,” as well as full-length albums by Heavy D & the Boyz.
The end of the ’80s is often referred to as hip-hop’s Golden Era, a time when the form’s creativity was expanding by leaps and bounds. Marl was an important force in ushering in this era thanks to its advances in lyrical technique and the distinctive personalities of emerging stars like Biz Markie and Big Daddy Kane. Marl scored his greatest crossover success in 1990 by helming LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out; bolstered by Marl’s state-of-the-art production, the album restored LL’s street cred while becoming his biggest seller ever, making Marl an in-demand producer/remixer.After working with TLC on their 1992 debut, Marl returned to his radio roots by starting a radio show on NYC’s HOT 97 called Future Flavas with Dj Pete Rock.Future flavas rocked till the late 90s. In 1994 Marley Marl was referenced on Biggie Smalls track “Juicy” as being one of his early influences. He still works today and his music has had influences on RZA, DJ Premier as well as Pete Rock, who is also a longtime friend.Remaining quiet for a year; 2001 NYCs POWER 105 was born where Marley and Dj Pete Rock would bring there Future Flavas brand on air Friday and Saturday nights.Marl’s status as a high-profile International Dj/Producer/Remixer was restored thanks to his work with artists like BBD,Jay Z,Fat Joe, Rakim, Krs 1, and Queensbridge’s own Nas and Capone-N-Noreaga. On June 5, 2007, Marley Marl suffered a heart attack. According to an interview in The Source, he blamed the heart attack on stress brought on by his worries about being a good father. Then in Oct 2009, Dj Marley Marl returned back to where it all started for him NYCs 107.5 WBLS – Mon-Friday evenings 6PM TO 7PM. with a new weekly coast to coast syndacated party call GOLDEN ERA RADIO Saturday Nights 9 pm to 11pm.
Saturday nights will never be the same!!!