INTERVIEW: B. MARTIN
by Tiffini Willliams
B. Martin is a 23 year-old, college grad with a 4.0 GPA who also happens to have a promising rap career based out of Albany, NY. He signed to Phase One Network in 2011 which is a label distributed through Sony/RED. B. Martin got his big break at this year’s SXSW music festival in Austin, TX and his appearance on Hot 97’s Summer Jam stage NY/NJ. Following those well-received performances, B. Martin tackled the next step on the road to becoming a household name in the rap world… his mixtape release. On June 11, 2012, the newly popular W.I.P. (for Work In Progress) nightclub in the basement beneath Greenhouse hosted B. Martin’s mixtape release party for Music, Love, Enemies. Before the rookie rocked the stage, he sat down with The Couch Sessions to talk about his big break at Hot 97’s Summer Jam, SXSW, his musical influences and the Music, Love, Enemies mixtape.
Couch Sessions: So your mixtape Music Love Enemies drops tonight at midnight. How would you describe your sound, the sound of this mixtape?
B. Martin: Yeah, the mixtape drops tonight at midnight. My mixtape is an introduction to me. I’m really, really proud of it. I’ve been working on it for awhile now and I’m just really excited about it. It’s definitely got some upbeat tempos. It’s got some smooth stuff. I really feel like it has a little something for everybody. The title’s called Music Love Enemies. Music’s obviously my passion. It’s my 9 to midnight. Everybody has their passion, that thing they’re trying to achieve. And that’s the reason I wake up everyday. Love is obviously related to my family. I have a real appreciation for the fact that I have strong family relationships. That also kinda stems into girls. It also stems into the love I have for music. And then enemies… you know, most people are probably thinking that’s about haters but it’s more about the things that get in the way of the process, common day stresses. This mixtape gives my underground story with a mainstream feel.
Couch Sessions: How did Summer Jam come about and how was that for you as an unknown artist to most people?
B. Martin: Summer Jam… whew (smiling)! So basically, I won Who’s Next through Hot 97. It’s a competition with a lot of talented artists from New York. So I won the New York portion. After my performance at SOBs with Prodigy, Mobb Deep, and the other artists who got second, third, and fourth at Who’s Next, I went out to SXSW and did my thing there. There was also a portion going on out in LA. So if you won in New York, you got to fly to Texas, open for J. Cole at SXSW and battle the kid from LA. So I went out to Texas, battled the kid from LA, and won that. I think Hot 97 just felt that I deserved the Summer Jam stage.
Couch Sessions: Describe the feeling of being apart of one the largest hip hop events performing in front of the largest hip hop audience?
B. Martin: Summer Jam to me was like a dream come true. There’s probably very few times in someone’s life where you feel like you’re living a dream or maybe you’re in a dream and you know you’re there and you can accomplish whatever you want. Right before I went on stage, I was like “this is a dream”. The minute I went on stage, it started pouring. I just rocked the crowd in the rain. I feel like the crowd was receptive. I did my thing and it went as planned. I loved it man. It was the best day of my life.
Couch Sessions: So what’s the future of B. Martin?
B. Martin: Right now, we’re dropping this mixtape. That’s the future. I take everything one project at a time. I did the Who’s Next Hot 97 New York, SXSW in Texas, Summer Jam, now the mixtape.
Couch Sessions: To dig a little deeper, who are some of your musical influences and is your family supportive of your career choice considering how well you did in college?
B. Martin: In hip hop, Eminem is definitely a big one for me. Big L is a big influence. I love Wu-Tang, Biggie. I love Bone Thugs N Harmony. As far as outside of that genre, I do love Billy Joel, The Beatles, Neil Young and bunch of different types of artists. But those are some of the artists my dad got me into and I fell in love with them at a young age. And regarding my family, they’re so supportive. I went to college and obviously did well so they’re kinda at this point feeling good about that. They know I have a strong back up. So at this point you know, with the success I’ve had in a year and a half out of college, it’s been sufficient for them. I’m just excited man. I’m doing something I love everyday of my life. And I can’t wait to reap the benefits but honestly, I’m already reaping the benefits cause I’m waking up and making music.
Couch Sessions: I know you’re pressed for time. It was a pleasure speaking with you and getting to know a little bit about you. I’m gonna pop in your CD tonight and also check out your performance tonight as well. I haven’t heard you. I’ll be honest. But I’m looking forward to it. You give off such positive energy like you really appreciate the art and the culture. Have a good show.
B. Martin: Thank you so much!
Take a listen to Hurricane off B. Martin’s Music, Love, Enemies mixtape below: