Rob Markman is a dreamer. As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, Rob always envisioned a life centered around hip-hop music. Like most of us, Rob started out as a fan of the music, but he quickly immersed himself in the culture trying his hand at DJing, making beats, and rapping before building a career as one of the greatest hip-hop journalists in the game.
"I never had aspirations to do anything else," Markman said. "While all the other kids wanted to be lawyers or doctors or astronauts; I always wanted to be in the music business."
Markman, who worked for XXL, MTV, and currently stands as the Head of Artist Relations at Genius, has interviewed everyone. Artists like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, JAY-Z, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, Wiz Khalifa and DJ Khaled have all sat down and opened up to the esteemed journalist. But now, Markman looks to make all of the game's top MCs his peers with the release of his debut EP Write To Dream.
"I started writing rhymes when I was 12 and used to go around school battling other kids in the lunchroom and would hit the studio whenever I could," he said.
Making music was a passion, but after a friend hired Markman to write a Jadakiss album review for Complex, Rob quit his mailroom job and added journalism to his repertoire. "After getting paid for my first assignment, I realized I could make a living in hip-hop and fell in love with writing," he said.
While Rob was making a name for himself in the publishing world, his fellow journalists weren't too fond of the concept of a writer who also raps. "I almost lost my job when the Editor-in-Chief found out I rapped, so I would record in my basement and only share songs with my closest friends," he recalls. "The truth is my raps weren't paying my bills and my kids were depending on those XXL checks."
Things would change after Rob rapped a few bars during a 2016 interview with Power 105's Breakfast Club morning show. "I didn't think it was a big deal, but the video went viral and all of a sudden I started getting texts from rappers and calls from labels," Markman said.
Get to know Rob in his own words:
My sound in five words or less: Heartfelt and cinematic.
Best part of making this video: The best part of making this video was seeing my words come to life. I'm very visual when I write, but those scenes usually just stay in my head.
What inspires your art: I get inspired by the possibilities that music creates. Each song is an opportunity to say something that hasn't been said, or to touch the listener in a way they've never been touched before.
Explain the concept of the song in one sentence: "I Don't Wanna Wait" is about how street life, hip-hop and God influenced my generation to elevate our circumstance.
IG, Twitter, or Snapchat? I'm most active on Twitter. I'm @RobMarkman, follow me.
What goes down in my DMs: A lot of artists who send their music.
Watch his video on REVOLT TV the week of July 31st, and let us know your thoughts by tweeting @RevoltTV and using the hashtag #SpotlightOnREVOLT