“It was April 12th, 2013, an artist by the name of Mark U released an album called Soul Odyssey, and that summer I would have booked him on my then annual Bowery-Houston festival after becoming a major fan of his work. Soul Odyssey was something I had never heard before; poetry, a prognosis of ego, rhythm, an experimental sound, it expanded my idea of what Hip Hop could be.
Two years later and Mark U has finally debuted some new material under the short batch of songs titled, Context Through Colors August 17th, 2015. If you haven’t heard his last record or his current, you’re in for an incredible treat. Waiting for Mark U’s next records are like waiting for books; filled with context, characters, and arch. Mark U’s sound is somewhere between the overlap of Hip Hop and Reggae in a starship, and on his new material, there are even more subtle electronica embellishes that give a futuristic, “year 3000” sound, like something out of the sound track of Ex Machina. “Step Into The Grey” is really the punctuation mark on this EP, playing off the theme of the batch of songs—knowing what Mark is capable of with the breadth of a record—the EP is like a parlor trick for what’s coming next. When we hosted our festival, we began our popup podcast series, I got to know Mark U personally a bit, learning about his upbringing as a rising artist from the Flatbush area of Brooklyn. His skill of destroying the pocket of a song, aesthetically blending elements of contemporary Reggae/Hip Hop/legacy, and his tact at a diagnosis of the realities he’s lived, are what make his music special for lyrical artists; they catalogue truth through the clarity. Mark U’s side-effect is a pure levitation above indoctrination that has the audacity to cut through the noise.”