Marquis Filthy is a self-made musician who is anything but basic. You can say the same for his music. “There’s a lot of messages, inspiration and emotion,” he says. “I’m a little more conscious in my music, I get bored with shallow stuff fast.”

The 21-year old rap artist thrives in authenticity, and is on a mission to create art that has the power to influence listeners to capture their passions, and to preserve the culture of hip hop.

But the odds are long that that kind of ambition came overnight. Marquis grew up in an artistic household -- his father a former local rapper, his mother a former dance company owner -- and he’s been at it for as long as he can remember. It was his first concert that cemented the decision to pursue rapping. “It was Kanye West’s Yeezus tour,” he tells us. “I saw Kendrick open, and this might sound basic, but I saw him performing and I was like yeah, I’m going to do this at some point in my life.”

Javon Martin

He continues to make it a priority to surround himself with people who inspire and support his choice to make music. “In the ninth grade I quit rapping and my Aunt Tangie wasn’t having it so she got me in the studio and found me a talent show,” he says. “ It was at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester and I was sick, but I still killed it. ”

Having that kind of support contributed to Marquis’ choice to skip college and focus on music, a path—and project—he’s pleased to call “Plan A.” The initiative is led by Marquis, and is comprised of other like-minded, creative individuals who share the same vision and values as he does.

Marquis is proud to be a part of all of the different sounds coming out of Boston right now. But that kind of impetus requires hustle. “Anybody coming from here is going to sound like a underdog in their music,” he says. “Gotta work hard being from Boston.”

And sure enough, he’s currently working on a new EP to be released later this year. We can’t wait to hear it.

The Boston Music Awards recently selected Marquis Filthy to be a part of the 617Sessions, a program that recognizes Boston-based artists who are making great contributions to the local scene, and rewards them with a day of studio recording.

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