At The Hollywood Shuffle we take pride not only in ourselves as a writing team and collective crew but also in our esteemed colleagues and friends around the industry of entertainment. In our new series, “It Was Written” we will be doing just that!
We sat down with one of our faves recently to give you an opportunity to get to know the guy we know. Please enjoy our discussion with Genius frontman extraordinaire and artist Rob Markman.
THS: Rob your career has taken you on so many different trajectories within the music realm…is there anything that you haven’t attempted yet that you would like to take a stab at and will you?
Rob Markman: I’ve been blessed to have a lot of different opportunities in music; from documenting artists to releasing my own music, to doing all the behind the scenes business stuff. I believe I’ll eventually write a book, and music will be the focus. There are projects outside of music that I hope to bring to reality too. The people who really know me, know that I’m a big comic book fan. I hope to do some comic book writing in the near future. I once wrote a short Flash story for DC Comics a while back and they published it too. I’d like to get back into that. For me it’s really just making all of my childhood dreams become a reality. It’s really the coolest feeling ever.
THS: A few years back, you did the ultra-unthinkable and switched your chair to the other side of the proverbial desk by becoming the interviewee or artist after so many years of successfully being the interviewer on the journalism side. What changed within you that allowed you to take the forbidden leap? Would you encourage fellow journalists who put that dream on the shelf to do the same?
Rob Markman: I’ve always made music. All of my friends that I grew up with could attest to that. I was writing raps in junior high school, going around New York to battle other rappers while I was in high school and college. And all through my journalism career, I was making music, mostly in secret. Part of that was because the jobs where I worked really looked down on writers being artists, and there was a part of me that was fearful of what others would think. It just got to a point in 2016-2017 when I just got tired of hiding it. It felt ridiculous not to do this thing that I loved to do. I started looking at my life and career and saw that accomplished way more than I thought I would. There were people who told me early in my career that I wouldn’t make it as a journalist, or I couldn’t be on camera, and I realized I surpassed all of those expectations— I do way more than journalism now that I’m the Head of Artist Relations at Genius. I’m so much more than a journalist. I just realized that there will always be people who say you can’t do something, so what made music any different? I didn’t listen to the naysayers in regard to my journalist career, so why would I listen to them when it came to my art? I didn’t want to sit back at the end and look on my life with regret, wishing that I would’ve taken a real shot at music.
I encourage all people to do that thing that you always wanted to do— as long as you’re not hurting anybody. If you truly love something, and want to do it, go for it. But make sure you’re following your dream and not someone else’s. You have to make sure that you’re doing it for you and not the approval of others. If it’s what you truly want to do, go for it. Remember when everybody turned their nose up because Cardi B was a former stripper who wanted to be a rapper? Look at her now. Fuck what anybody says; most of the time the criticism comes from people too scared to follow their own dreams, so they put their fears off and judge others.
THS: Your new project has an intimate look into your thoughts regarding the Hip Hop genre. As a writer and sometimes critic, was it hard for you to speak on the game or were you just ready to chime in?
THS: What would your fans be surprised to learn about you?
Rob Markman: When I meet my supporters, they’ll usually remark on how down to Earth I may be. If you show me genuine love and support, I’m going to stop to shake your hand, to take that picture, to listen to your ideas, to answer that DM, to even listen to music if I have the time. I’m just big on human interaction. I’ve seen people in my field —journalists and musicians— treat their supporters like dirt. I knew one rapper who didn’t want to shake hands with his fans because their palms where sweaty. I didn’t understand that, because he was actually just starting out. He was still new and not cemented. I just couldn’t understand not wanting to shake a hand. I get wanting to not expose yourself to wild germs, but just carry some hand-sanitizer with you and use it on the low. But I’m shake those hands and take those pictures. Fans today have so many options, they have a million artists they can be listening to. “Oh, you’re listening to Rob Markman?” I’m FUCKIN’ WITH YOU!
THS: We all have our own ideas of what a good day looks like in our own respective worlds. But what is a regular day in the life of Rob Markman like? Do you have hobbies and interests besides entertainment and music?
Rob Markman: I don’t have a ton of hobbies that aren’t music related. I’ve been blessed to turn my childhood hobbies into something that I can make a living out of. When I’m not working at Genius or on my music, I love spending time with my sons: going to the movies, the arcade, the park— today we’re heading to an archery place and we’re gonna shoot bow and arrows. I’m also in the comic book store about once a week, I’m big into sneakers — but that’s a about it. Most days I spend the majority of my time at Genius, working with our team there to put out all the great things that we do. The team over at Genius is awesome, so though it takes up most of my time, it never feels like work. I want to be in that office everyday grinding it out.
THS: Lastly, If you had to pick a classic TV Show Title to describe your life right now what would it be?
Rob Markman: Damn that’s a tough question. If I had to pick one, I don’t know, “The Wonder Years” is the first thing that comes to mind.
Thanks for you time Rob we enjoyed getting to know a bit more about you! Where can people find your music and socials?