Dreams are what we base our reality on when we’re growing up. As a kid you were taught to dream as big as you could whether it was a teacher or a parent telling you to do it. If you have kids then you’re giving them this same knowledge in hopes that they get to do something they enjoy every day of their life. Some parents force their own dreams on your existence, hoping to live vicariously through you while they clock in at a job that brings them little or no satisfaction. But a dream is just that, unless you put the hard work, time, and dedication into making it your reality. I can’t tell you how many nights I spent in my college and hometown radio stations, working until 3am for free because I was chasing a dream. In order to turn your dream into a reality it requires patience and perseverance; you literally start with nothing but the dream, working your way to this metaphorical mountain of success.
Rob Markman is a respected music journalist who has done an excellent job documenting Hip-Hop over his career. He’s currently creating amazing content for Genius and before that you could catch him as an editor at MTV. Markman, just like everyone, has other passions. You can love what you do but there will always be something else pining for your attention. For Markman it was to pursue the same genre of music that he has covered for many years and platforms. It was announced by dropping his Kirby Maurier featured ‘I Don’t Wanna Wait’ that Markman would be releasing a solo project at the end of July. It shocked many in the industry which turned into comedic or encouraging calls throughout the eight track Write To Dream EP.
“They saying that you rappin now. I said that can’t be true, I said ‘Rob breaks DOWN raps. He breaks down the bars…’” -DJ Khaled, Billion Dollar Voice.
Being a writer gives you the ability to create visual stories, a gift that many artists have translated to music. It starts with a simple idea and can be expounded to create a full movie in less than four minutes. Markman excels with his lyrics and writing, capturing his past in tracks like ‘Fredo’ , ‘Jason’s Lyric’, and ‘Writer’. His delivery and flow are skills he needs to better develop but what he’s able to do lyrically paints a picture so big it feels like the writing for a major movie. While listening to ‘Jason’s Lyric’ you can’t help but see all of this play in your head as he vividly describes getting set up and waiting on his payback after a Lil’ Wayne concert.
“I just need you to understand that you can’t be the guy who’s breaking down everybody’s verses on Rap Genius and not really comin’ for it yourself line for line.” – Royce 5’9”
Write To Dream is a fantastic introduction to Markman as an artist. He doesn’t sacrifice integrity in order to make trendy music, shown with songs like the aforementioned ‘I Don’t Wanna Wait’ and ‘Benz 4 My Bday’. The latter will get you hyped but it does so without rapid fire hi-hats and thunderous 808 drums. In the current landscape of music, it’s hard to not fold to the trends in order to make a popular song. Write To Dream sounds more like a writer who wanted to prove to himself that he could make a project, one better than the artists and underachievers he mentions on ‘I Don’t Wanna Wait’.
Stepping out and presenting your passion publicly is a nerve wracking experience. You don’t know how people are going to accept it. Will everyone hate it? Will it change your life? For Markman the transition seems easy as he’s been in the spotlight as a writer for several years now. Fans will try to box you into only doing one thing and that’s not fair. We live in a society that allows us to be great at multiple things and to tell a person to not pursue their passion is an incredible disservice. Rob Markman isn’t the first writer to create music, just as JAY-Z isn’t the first artist to create a “grown up” rap album. The thing they have in common? They have both used their platforms to make their respective topics heard by the masses and inspire others to make those changes or pursue their dreams.
Repeatable: ‘I Don’t Wanna Wait’ feat. Kirby Maurier, ‘Fredo’, ‘Writer’
By Joe Coad