Artist Feature: Marc Stretch

Marc Stretch is a renaissance man based in Oakland, California that we were fortunate enough to meet through producer Wax Roof, a recent Feature Series contributor. Marc has been an important player in the Bay Area music scene for some time, and he’s currently involved with several groups including Foreign Legion, Big Willie Dynamite, Handclap Technicians, and a bunch of other dope projects. In addition to being a masterful craftsman of the art of rhyming, Marc keeps the dance floor crackin’ as a video DJ throughout the Bay, and is expanding his repertoire with more video and photography projects in the future. Marc’s perspective on Reflection centers on the idea of returning equal energy that comes your way, while Response is a more developed and better articulated plan of action. Check below to see how he approaches R & R in his music and Reflects on the evolving nature of his work.

Marc Stretch

Marc Stretch | Photo by Leo Docuyanan

Reflection is returning the same energy to a situation that is aimed at you…Response is what happens when you take the energy of a situation, take a moment to think over the possible repercussions of options that you have, and articulate a plan and put it into action.

– Marc Stretch

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

MS: I’m originally from Ft. Dix, New Jersey (born in Huntsville, Alabama) but I’m currently resting my sneaker collection and bacon addiction in the lovely city of Oakland, California.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

MS: To me, they’re opposite sides of the same coin. Reflection is returning the same energy to a situation that is aimed at you. If somebody directs anger towards you, you respond with anger. If a situation directs peace towards you, you direct peace towards the situation. Response is the other side of that. Response is what happens when you take the energy of a situation, take a moment to think over the possible repercussions of options that you have, and articulate a plan and put it into action. That’s response to me.   

How does your music fit in with that definition?

MS: I feel like all the music I make is the result of inherited reflections and informed responses. I am a result of every thing that has happened to me, every person I’ve met and every word I’ve ever heard. Sometimes, that means that you’re going to get the instinctive Reflection side of me in a song. Those songs tend to speak to where we’ve been or where we are in the moment. Sometimes, I’ll make the Response which is usually focused on where I feel we need to go.

Traditionally I’m known as a goofy rap guy or a battle MC, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve had the opportunity grow and express myself in a more mature and honest way. Not saying that the party MC wasn’t me, because I’ve torn down plenty of stages and wrecked plenty of hotel rooms. It’s just that the older I get, the more I realize that the “goofy rap” box is just way too small for me.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

MS: Man…. Quiet is kept, I’ve been pretty busy. I just released the 2nd album for my group, Big Willie Dynamite along with my brothers Mondo and raysthebar. It’s called Joes vs. Pros and we’ve been rocking shows to support it. We’re currently finishing up our next album (untitled at this time) and working on the visual side of that. I’m also working with Prozack Turner on our next release as Foreign Legion. We’re getting ready to shoot a video that I’ll be co-producing and co-directing. We’re considering releasing a limited edition 45, for all the vinyl heads. Next, I’m working on a solo record with production from myself, Rice4Ever, Unjust, Flight 27, raysthebar and a few other friends. I’ve got some guest appearances from people that I’m close to like Danjres Will Robinson, Ariane Mitchell, Mondo, and Lowbrow The Hypnotic. The record is tentatively being called Marc’d for Def.

Oh… Just for the record, I tend to only work with people I actually know and like. The way music is now, it’s not really to your advantage to work with somebody just cause they are hot. It doesn’t matter. Make good music. Speaking of good music, I’ve got an album done and waiting to be mastered with the indomitable G Koop called Instruction Manual. Together we’re known as Handclap Technicians. Most recently, I’ve started working on a project with my dude Wax Roof and I’m crazy excited to get that done and get that in the hands of the people. He’s a young dude that is super talented and hungry to make great music. He’s definitely one of the best kept secrets in the Bay. He doesn’t know but we’re gonna call the album Paisley Paint Job and the group is going to be called The Corduroy Boys.

In addition to all of the recording that I’ve been doing, I’m also rocking live monthly with the G Koop and O-man Band on the first Friday of every monthI’m also Video DJing for my night on Second Saturdays called #FUTURESHOCK along with Deejay Saurus and DJ Halo as well as some one-off gigs around the Bay. Both of these gigs happen at Prozack’s place, The Legionnaire Saloon.

I also caught the photo bug from my girls Adza Adrienne and Araya Diaz, which is kind of a return to my roots since my Dad was an amateur photographer and I used to work with him. I was in charge of developing the film, back when you actually had to develop film to make pictures. I’ve been refining that in my somewhat spare time.

On top of aaaaalllll that, I’ve been flexing my athletic prowess by playing adult Kickball for WAKA. Yes…. I said kickball. I’ve won more than a couple local championships and even went to the Nationals, in Las Vegas.

What am I working on next?  Well, along with the audio projects, I’m really excited to be working on more video projects. I’ve already done a comedy film with Prozack (shot by Tim Nolan and Dave Medina) called Night Moves and I’ve shot some music videos with the likes of Roy Miles and Behn Fanin. I recently shot my own video for a song called Ready2Fly and that was really when the video bug bit me. I’m working on videos for some songs for my solo record and starting treatments for a Foreign Legion joint and some of the Corduroy Boys songs too. I’ve also been talking to Nightclubber Lang from Boom Bap Project about a cooking variety show. We’re both culinary enthusiasts and feel like we can bring something to a younger generation of viewers.

Who or what inspires you?

MS: Lots of things inspire me. The love of the art of rhyming. The thrill of competition. Mostly life, though. It’s been a couple of up and down years. My Dad passed away after a long battle with Diabetes due to exposure to Agent Orange. But then I got married and became a father. I think my wife and son inspire me as much as anything else. They’re examples of how life can give you so much even after it’s taken away so much. All you have to do is maintain and it will all come around.

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

MS: Just that I’m very honored to still be considered somebody that’s nice with their craft. This music shit is so deeply ingrained in me that I don’t know what I’d be without it, sometimes. It’s an ever-changing landscape that’s tough to navigate. The fact that people will still check for things that I’m affiliated with, is amazing to me. I’m humbled… and hella handsome.

Shout out to…?

MS: My wife, my son, my family (extended and musical as well), my friends, my fans (all 13 of them), my favorite food truck (The Jesus Truck), all my kickballers, Asa Akira (my second favorite porn star) and all the people that help everyone else get through the day.

Check out more of Marc’s work at the following links:

Reflection and Response.


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