From law books to lyrics 

M-Eighty plays Spin for birthday bash

Matthew "M-Eighty" Markoff made his mark on the Indianapolis music scene in 2000 with his first commercial CD, The Expert Explosive. He grew into a highly accomplished rapper, leaving Indy to pursue law school in San Francisco, and joining New York's Think Differently Music Group in 2004 with Dreddy Kruger. The Managing Director/A&R Administrator of the company, M-Eighty juggles law school with the music industry. He's worked closely with the Wu-Tang Clan and will take the bar exam next year. But first, M-Eighty will drop by Spin Nightclub to celebrate his birthday and his new album, Hymns, Psalms & Street Songs, released in June 2007. NUVO spoke with the rapper recently about his upcoming show and his time spent in California.

NUVO: How has your time in California affected your music and outlook on life?

M-Eighty: It's not easy when you spend so much time in your hometown building a fan base and making a name for yourself. When you move, you have to start over. You'd like to believe in another locale that you'd be recognized, but that's never the case. It seemed to be the logical thing to do, leaving Indianapolis and going to San Francisco. ... There [were] a lot of Wu-Tang shows coming, and I was fortunate enough to get opening slots on all those shows. So a lot of people took notice real quick, and I made a name. That kind of enticed me to want to make new music. It seemed like, "OK, with law school nearing completion, if I'm going to do another album, now is the best time to do it."

NUVO: What kind of audience reaction has the new album garnered?

M-Eighty: It's funny. Wu-Tang fans, from what I've seen, do not like it. Hip-hop fans love it. I personally think it's my best work.

NUVO: What has your work in the business side of music and your time in A&R taught you?

M-Eighty: As M-Eighty, the artist, I spent years gaining knowledge of what it takes to be a successful emcee. Wu-Tang laid the foundation for the entire music world to witness firsthand the wisdom behind the power moves The RZA had set forth for the entire Clan. Analyzing how Wu-Tang changed the face of the game, how important it is for every artist to understand that the word "music" is only one-half of the term "music business," and being able to realize one's own potential and self-worth is what brought me to what will continue to promulgate Think Differently, myself and the essence of hip-hop into the forefront for many years to come.

NUVO: What can people expect from your concert this weekend?

M-Eighty: It's about giving something to my hometown. I love Indianapolis; I love the people. It'll always be a home to me no matter where I'm at.

WHAT: M-Eighty, Killah Priest (Wu-Tang Clan), C Rayz Walz, Mudkids and more

WHERE: Spin Nightclub

WHEN: Friday, Nov. 2, 9 p.m., $7, 21+, free CD to every attendee


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