Share |

Vashon Intuitive Arts welcomes Rap Artist Marcus Jones-Moore

With lyrics inspired by Speak on the Mic’s experiences growing up in Tacoma, Washington’s tumultuous Hilltop district, an infectious hybrid of Rap, Hip Hop and R&B melodies are smoothly delivered on soul-infused, urban backbeats. Themes of determination, unapologetic fun and irreverence, grief and breakthroughs resonate in S.O.T.M.’s compositions.  

Speak on the Mic, also known as Marcus Jones-Moore, has lived a life filled with endless material for his lyrics. Until the age of seven, born in 1982 to a biological father he never knew and a mother who struggled with drug addiction (since recovered), he was effectively a ward of the system, in and out of foster homes until he was formally adopted. Although his home became permanent, its Hilltop locale in Tacoma (now called “Upper Tacoma”) then served as the center of drug activity and gang violence; he witnessed a lifetime of neighborhood fallout through his formative years in the 1980s and ‘90s.

Immersing himself in music at a very young age, Speak’s adoptive father Johny Moore was a soul-singing talent in his own right. Church influenced singing and Speak started recording melodies on his family’s old school organ as soon as he called Hilltop home.  “I can vividly remember playing my songs at the dinner table for parents on very low volume--because of all curse words—when I was maybe eight years old,” he said “It’s been on ever since then.”

After his cousin, Andre Moore, was murdered in Tacoma on July 4, 1995, Speak took up boxing at age 12 as a healthy outlet for his angst and for self-defense. Fueled by his experiences, he prolifically recorded original raps on a tape player and played his music everywhere, even at boxing practice.  “My lyrics explore being goal-driven to get what you want in life, the dark sides of drugs and addiction, weed-smoking, love, sex and--after witnessing the murders of many of my friends—loss and grief,” he said.

Stylistically, S.O.T. M. evokes an old school vibe, where bits of his wide-ranging influences come through (Criminal Nation, The Gap Band, Grand Master Flash and Curtis Blow); fans often compare his music to Nipsey Hussle, 2 Pac, Biggie Smalls, and occasionally Snoop Dog. Expect a good dose of bass, soulful and acoustic rhythms with a touch of pop, and relatively uncomplicated beats that allow his powerful lyrics to deliver a memorable punch. Catch a view from the Hilltop, Speak style.