BET Hip Hop Awards handed a unique I Am Hip Hop Award to legendary producer Marley Marl. In a montage shown at the ceremony, iconic rappers testify to his talent and impact.
The biggest names in the game, from Roxanne Shante, for whom he produced his first hit, “Roxanne’s Revenge”, to Eminem, sang praise of Marley Marl’s talent and defining influence on the culture. Interestingly, most speakers in this video are producers, which makes sense. Who knows the actual scale of a producer’s talent better than people who do the same thing for a living? So, we might say that Marshall was wearing his producer’s hat when talking about Marl’s contribution. But also always as a fan and diligent student of hip hop.
Eminem, filmed in his record studio wearing a T-shirt with the Marl’s “In Control, Volume 1” cover, said on camera:
He has produced some of the greatest hip hop beats of all time.
Discussing “The Symphony” featuring Kool G Rap, Craig G, Masta Ace & Big Daddy Kane, the first posse cut in hip hop history released on “In Control, Volume 1” in 1988, Marshall pointed out how acutely Marley Marl felt the pulse of time:
He composed it and caught that moment. They were about to explode.
But the record that holds a special meaning for Em is LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out”:
The energy that LL had mixed with Marley’s production lit a fire under LL to make the album what it was.
Em absolutely agrees with a chorus of voices saying that Marley Marl has united hip hop and become a crucial part of the culture:
Marley is one of the greatest. What can I say? He deserves the award because he’s Marley Marl. So what are you gonna do about it?
And this concludes the video.
See it in full on the Hip Hop Awards official account.