ML was so taken by the beat-downs and property destruction in Marco Polo & Ruste Juxx’s video for “Nobody” that we called up Marco to get the scoop. He explains the inspiration for the video and dishes on his future projects.
ML: The two major themes I noticed in the video were wanton destruction and just walking around town being assholes. How did you guys come up with this?
MP: It’s almost like we took some inspiration from the original Redman promo from… was it 95? Google that shit. That was definitely the inspiration for this video. We just wanted to do something different. Ruste is a street dude. He’s not in this new hipster rapper circle, he’s from Crown Heights, Brooklyn. He has a story. It was something I thought made sense for him. We wanted to do something unique, because there’s so many videos that come out, it’s like what’s gonna make your shit stand out and set yourself apart.
ML: Did you picture any of this when you actually made the song?
MP: A little bit of it. Definitely the shoving and stuff, like when he’s knocking people over and stuff like that. I could never have pictured how all the effects would come out. Todd [Angkasuwan], the director, really went it in on the effects and took a lot of time making shit explode and all the people getting thrown around and smashing windows. I kind of thought it would look like that, but the final product was just great.
ML: I think what makes the video so funny is that you’re not really being rap tough guys, you’re just walking around town being assholes, kind of like the part of Fight Club where Brad Pitt tells them to go start a fight with a stranger.
MP: That’s exactly what it is, ’cause I’m not a tough guy. This is straight entertainment for me. People that know me know I’m not a tough guy, I’m not gonna hurt a fly, but we were trying to do some entertaining shit.
ML: I remember when we were trying to get you on our April Fool’s joke, you said, ‘No one would believe I’d harm anyone,’ but here you are tossing grenades around and slapping people in the face.
MP: I think that’s the funny shit. People know I’m not like that. Everyone loves a slap. People fucking love me slapping that dude in the video. That shit is hilarious.
ML: Whose idea was it to make the kids cheer when you slapped that guy?
MP: Kids get excited when they see someone get slapped. It’s the message of life.
ML: You worked with Todd before on the “Double Barrel” video. How did you originally decide to work with him?
MP: 100% Duck Down. They set up the “Double Barrel” video. Me and Torae had a little bit of a Los Angeles California run with shows, so while we were going down there, Duck Down was like ‘You have this off day and we have this director and he wants to shoot the video.” We were like, “Cool.” After Todd did that video and how we did that video and how dope it came out, he has won me over as my go-to guy. So when it was time to do the Ruste album, I was like, ‘We’re using Todd, we have to.’ And I plan on using him for whatever my next videos are as well.
ML: The special effects are pretty impressive. I imagine as an indie artist you have a relatively smaller budget for videos. Your videos are always pretty polished. Is there a secret to making great videos with a budget or do other indie rappers just suck at it?
MP: Put it this way, Todd pulled that video out of his ass. We have the same type of small budget that we’ve always had. So Todd is just a master of stretching things out and making it work. It’s just ultimate, ultimate respect for Todd for making that happen.
ML: The Stupendous Adventures of Marco Polo is your next release, but that’s a compilation. So what are you actually working on at the moment?
MP: Port Authority 2.
ML: All your efforts are going toward that right now.
MP: Hell yeah. Right now what I’m working on is that album, I’m working with Pharoahe [Monch] on his album, and I’m working with Scarface on his album. PA2 all day and it’s going to take a minute, but it’s going to be my pride and joy. It’s going to be my underground Detox.
Marco Polo & Ruste Juxx – The eXXecution is out now