The singer sits down with Popdust to talk about his latest album and newfound indepedence
Pop crooner Marc E. Bassy has been on a never-ending rollercoaster since his solo breakout four years ago.
The singer's platinum-certified bop "You & Me" with G-Eazy garnered a massive amount of praise and reestablished Bassy as one of pop music's untapped commercial tastemakers. As the former lead singer of 2010's pop sextet 2AM Club, Bassy had been stardom bound for years, but it hasn't been without its low points. "It's hard to stay consistent because this life brings so many new and fun experiences," the singer told me. "I am currently a month sober and looking to take it through my tour. I am no way perfect in finding the balance, but it's something I've been working on." Bassy cleaned up his act, left his major label, and now as an independent artist he's felt more motivated than ever to reach the heights of pop stardom that have been seemingly at his fingertips for years. "It's fun being on the other side now and being fully in control," he said. Bassy's deluxe re-release of PMD at the end of last month sports heavy-hitting features from Tory Lanez, Mozzy, and 070 Shake and is a laser focused R&B record. His latest single, "Just My Luck" paints a perfect picture of Bassy's newfound identity: a veteran artist, hardened by his experiences, who hopes and believes the best is yet to come.
What has PMD meant to you, and how does it differ from your past work?
"The deluxe version is me giving back to my fans. Being independent has gotten me in touch with my fans more than ever, and when I was at a major label, I wasn't really in tune with the business side of music. I just created and turned in music. Not that it was a bad thing, but I was never in control of when and what came out. It's fun being on the other side now and being fully in control. In the past, I've gone a while without releasing music because I would overthink everything. This PMD (Deluxe) is about me starting the year with three new songs and tying it back to my album."
On "Just My Luck," you seem to be frustrated by love a little bit.
"Sometimes life sucks, but sometimes when one door shuts the next door opens, and it's a beautiful thing! It's about me reflecting on my life and past relationships."
Have you worked with blackbear before? What was the experience like creating this song?
"This was my first time working with Bear. I've been a fan of his music for a few years, and we've been running the same circles in LA for a while now, so it was a long time coming for us to get one. I was in the studio with my guys NGHTxNGHT right at crunch time of turning in my album and I posted a snippet on IG, then next thing you know I have blackbear on it."
What is your relationship to partying and fame at this moment? It seems to be a double-edged sword at times.
"It's all a rollercoaster ride. I like to indulge...to find inspiration and content for my music. It all goes in waves, and me and my camp do a pretty good job at checking each other when something is becoming toxic. I am no way perfect in finding the balance, but it's something I've been working on since I got my first record deal."
You've collaborated with so many artists on both your work and theirs. I'm curious what your philosophy is like going into collaborations. What do you think makes a really good collaboration, and how does your creative approach with others contrast the creative approach you take solo?
"I'm just a fan of music in general and enjoy so many different styles, so that's what inspires my range musically. Whenever I make a song, I can just hear what artist would complement the track. I've been blessed to be able to work with so many different artists in the past, and sometimes it's easier than others, but there's always something to learn. Everybody has their own story/past that makes their creative process unique to themselves, so it's cool to see differences and sometimes we're all the same."
I see there's a tour in the works. What else is next for you?
"I'm looking forward to making and releasing more music to give to my fans. I want to keep releasing music and stay on the road as much as possible this year, but nothing specific yet."
Stream the deluxe edition of PMD below
Production on the end of the world has been a mess since day one
With June of 2020 nearly here and no sign of the final cataclysm we've been promised, it's beginning to seem like The End Times will forever be near, without ever being upon us.
While the early phases of civilization's collapse into a burning hellscape were promising, progress on the more dramatic culmination of armageddon has been repeatedly stalled by restructuring, miscommunication, and the high rate of turnover within the ranks of the Great Old Ones' loyal subjects.
"The slow burn is great and all," said John Knӕlgghyrt, née Phillips, who was briefly the high priest of Cthulhu's Dark Order—prior to being scooped unceremoniously into his lord's tentacled maw—"but trying to get the big stuff done has been a real challenge." The main struggle he points to is the lack of cohesion and structural order among the death cult working haplessly to hasten Earth's return to a state of desolation and chaos. "It's like herding cats sometimes. Insane, death-obsessed cats."
Real hot girl sh*t.
Many people outside of the hot girl tribe are confused about the actual definition of the now popular mantra.
The term went viral after being rapped at the beginning of Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion's single "Cash Sh*t" featuring the equally charismatic and bubbly rapper Da Baby. Megan has turned her carefree, fun-filled lifestyle into a blueprint for forward activism for the Gen Z generation and has made it look so effortless in the process.
The 24-year-old rapper has exemplified what it means to be a hot girl in her day-to-day social media antics and sightings in various cities. The hot girl lifestyle has very little to do with sexual exploration (while that can be up to each hot girl's prerogative) and more to do with a continuous upward trajectory of positive energy and growth. The mantra boils down to a concise concept: having fun and living your best life.
A Real #HotGirlSemester
While the Houston-native climbs up the music charts, she still wants to have as much fun as possible while doing so; but Megan makes it apparent that it's not always playtime. With Generation X and Generation Y (AKA Millennials) understanding student debt all too well, Generation Z (including Megan) are also feeling the blunt force of debt more than ever. Currently, the student loan debt now stands at a staggering $1.41 trillion, according to Investopedia.
As a college student herself, the Gen Z artist understands the weight of getting classwork done at all costs. Megan empathizes with what it's like to cram those final papers and exams in at 11:59 PM on their due date, doing the same in between photo shoots and after parties. She majors in Health Administration at Texas Southern University, where Meg Thee Stallion has been transparent about simultaneously being a student and a nation-wide superstar. In an interview with Billboard late last year, she humbly discussed one of her professors pointing out "The Stallion" alter ego.
"Only one of my professors right now knows that I'm like a whole rapper. She followed me on Instagram, and when I came to class she was like, 'Megan, so you got a little alter ego!' I was like, 'Oh my god. Don't follow me!'"
The Vegan Lifestyle
Since she's been in the spotlight, Megan has spoken openly about her dietary choices. She initially transitioned to vegetarianism but became a vegan after researching the treatment of factory-farmed chickens and cows.
In an official report released July 2019, the Plant-Based Food Association (PBFA) and the Good Food Institute reported that plant-based vegan foods have increased in popularity over 11% in the last year, turning veganism into a $4.5 billion industry. "The plant-based meat category alone is worth more than $800 million, with sales up 10 percent in the past year," the report reads. "Plant-based meat now accounts for 2% of retail packaged meat sales."
This increase can be partially attributed to Millennials and Gen Zers being more health conscious of the environmental benefits of veganism and plant-based diets than their predecessors. Megan, along with many other vegans, are doing their best to get others to join in on the movement. She even tried to convince fellow rapper, Chance The Rapper, to make the change by challenging him to eat more broccoli (which he struggled to do) after losing a bet.
Eco-friendly Hottie Movement
Following her veganism movement, Megan began to advocate for a more holistic, environmentally-friendly lifestyle. She often tweets tips, helping her followers become "eco-friendly hotties" with simple life hacks, including using recyclable bags, reusing water bottles and food containers, and pushing followers to stop eating meat (or at least less of it).
Last June, the "Sex Talk" rapper put her words into action and hosted a beach clean-up in California with fans. She posted a now-deleted Instagram live urging fans to "come in y'alls bikinis and we gonna go clean up some sh*t, you know what I'm saying?"
Hundreds of fans attended the beach clean up at the Santa Monica Pier. This event was a powerful use of platform and display of community that more celebrities should embrace, especially because causes such as climate change and environmental destruction will affect our Earth for years to come. While these events may seem minuscule in the face of mass, corporate-level disasters we're facing, it's hopeful to see the next generation (including the popular celebrities) caring enough to do something about it.
Respect Thee Stallion
Megan is still new and is already becoming a recognizable name in music, standing her ground alongside other male and female artists in her genre. With her infectious smile and joyful approach to life, Megan noticeably gets along with everyone from fellow rappers and Hip-Hop moguls to political voices.
Artists who stand for their causes and understand the intersectionalities of their platforms will be able to influence the next generations much more significantly than politicians who are talking "at" them and not "to" them. The fact that artists such as Cardi B, Beyonce, and Megan Thee Stallion are standing by important, generation-shifting causes will motivate young adults and politicians alike to pay attention to societal issues which can hopefully spark greater change.
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