MARCO PAVÉ RELEASES “DIRTY BENZ”
GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY’S Hip-Hop Artist
ANNOUNCES OCTOBER 30 RELEASE OF CROSSROADS EP
+ ‘SOUNDTRACK FOR LIFE’ VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE
AND SYNC LICENSING CONVERSATION
MEMPHIS RAPPER & INTERNATIONAL ARTS ADVOCATE
IS GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY’S FIRST HIP-HOP ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
New York, NY — Since 2013, Memphis Hip-Hop artist Marco Pavé has forged a twin identity as a champion of independent Southern hip hop and as an educator and arts advocate working to stimulate community activism and entrepreneurship through the lens of hip hop music and culture. On October 30, Pavé will release Crossroads EP through his independent label Radio Rahim Music. To mark the release, he’ll deliver a virtual performance and host a sync licensing conversation live from Georgetown.
Today he released the video for the high-octane opening track “Dirty Benz,” a celebration of unwavering work ethic that operates on multiple levels. “‘Dirty Benz‘ is a metaphor of the rat race,” says Pavé. “A metaphor for trying to prove someone wrong or trying to prove society wrong. Without your why identified it’s hard to get to how. The Benz is Dirty until you know your purpose.”
Crossroads EP solidifies Pavé’s place in the league of rappers like Big K.R.I.T. and Isaiah Rashad who synthesize the sprawling and iconic Southern Hip-Hop tradition. Every Southern city has its own distinctive hip hop flavor that has evolved out of its local history, culture, scenes, and slang, as well as the way it incorporated hip hop with blues, soul, funk, and other styles. Defined by Pavé’s uncompromising blend of Tennessee grit, swagger, and substance, which lands somewhere between Kendrick Lamar and Memphis legend Project Pat, Crossroads should appeal to any true Southern rap aficionado.
The EP follows his debut album Welcome to Grc Lnd, an innovative concept album inspired by police brutality protests that he was commissioned to turn into Memphis’s first-ever rap opera. Unlike Welcome to Grc Lnd, which rose to meet the political moment of Memphis’s 2017 protests, Crossroads is a deeply introspective and unflinching expression of Pavé’s struggle to succeed while upholding his values as an independent artist.
Recorded during his time at Georgetown, the EP charts his struggles in the last decade, which include the need for validation by fans and gatekeepers, the persistently low bank account balance, a regular diet of leftover McDonald’s, and the sheer exhaustion of orchestrating entire tours alone. It is a remarkable document of anxiety, depression, and desperation—and the resolve to continue, in spite of the emotional toll. The project’s thematic coherence speaks to Pavé’s ability to maintain a consistent tone across different production styles, including greasy, deep-fried Southern beats (his favorite kind), weepy, orchestral beats, and atmospheric beats that invite reflection.
Earlier this year, Georgetown University’s hip-hop artist Pavé’s songs “One Hunnid” and “Sell” appeared in Uncorked, the Prentice Penny-directed Netflix film about Memphis barbecue. He’s also become an in-demand public speaker and workshop leader at schools and community events. In 2015, he lectured on arts patronage and entrepreneurship at the inaugural TEDx Memphis and worked with high schoolers as a Memphis Music Initiative Teaching Fellow. In 2019, he was selected as a Next Level Fellow to be a United States Hip Hop Cultural Ambassador to Bolivia. That same year, he became Georgetown University’s first-ever Hip-Hop Artist-In-Residence.
In his first year as Georgetown University’s Hip Hop Artist-In-Residence, Pavé hosted a series of events through the African American studies department entitled “Critical Frequencies: Live from the Southern Hip Hop Stage.” Highlights from the year included a conversation with Southern music scholar Dr. Charles Hughes, a panel on arts and entrepreneurship, and a panel on sneaker culture sponsored by Foot Locker.
The October 30th event, Soundtrack for Life: An evening for Sync Licensing, Music Supervision, & Film Composing, will explore the world of film but through the lens of music. Sponsored by Georgetown University and Critical Frequencies, the event will shine a light on the world of film supervision, and discuss how impactful sync licensing can be for artists. Music supervisors, Kier Lehman and Morgan Rhodes will discuss their careers and how they chose the perfect music for films and composer Carlos Simon will expand on his role as a film composer and how it works with supervision. The event will close with performances from DC Native Beau Young Prince and Pavé, two hip-hop artists who have had huge placements in recent films, Into the Spiderverse for Beau and Uncorked for Pavé. The event is free with a suggested donation and will take place at 6pm ET on Twitch. More info and RSVP at Eventbrite.