Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, C.K. Marion is an American composer, producer, songwriter, and actress. She attended Miriam & Valerie’s School of Dance Arts at the age of 3, and Lisa Maile Acting and Modeling school at 9 years old. During this time she landed the role of Kayla on television series “Dooley and Pals” appearing on Star Search, Jerry Lewis Telethon, and the Macy’s Day Parade. By the time she was 9, Marion had recorded her first single “Gonna Make U Dance”. Self-taught in piano, guitar, mixing and video editing, Marion took a break from the entertainment industry to focus on her academic and personal growth. She is now seriously back, and makes a major statement with her brand new EP, “Boot Camp”, out the 2nd of July 2018.
She’s brash, brazen, ambitious and delivers it all with a proud attitude of someone doing things her way. It’s hard to think of a female artist in hip-hop who is destined to rise to the ranks quicker than she will. None of which would matter if she didn’t have the talent to back it up: She’s a powerful rapper with a forceful and distinctive flow and clever, piercingly focused lyrics.
The challenge of course, as always, is not letting the hype crush her very promising musical career. But I get the feeling C.K. Marion is aware of that, as she compensates with musical diversity, razor-sharp hooks and a solidifying musical production.
C.K. Marion proves herself over and over again on this EP, which is, probably not coincidentally, one of the “Boot Camp’s” overarching themes. She wants her presence known and to be felt, so from the first second of the opening track, “Come and Get Me”, the dark hypnotic beat captivates you, which is produced by DarK Wolve$, who also took care of the EP’s first single “Boot Camp”.
The rest of the tracks were produced by C.K. Marion herself. There is an undeniable expression and potent energy spewing from the Orlando based artist that can be felt as she takes you out of your element and paints the picture of her world, where there is no containing her rapping, to the lyrics of “So many Games”.
The aforementioned “Boot Camp”, is where C.K. Marion manages to achieve vulnerability and brashness in a perfect effortless balance. She means to carve a name for herself with this recording, and she’s making sure you know who she is from bar one.
The more you listen to her excitingly nuanced flow and lyricism, the more there seems to be no way she can possibly fail to impress. “Critical Music” is peppered with impressive collaborations from Snap & AAD. Female rappers are easily underestimated, and even if C.K. Marion dares you to, you shouldn’t, because she’s a bad bitch on the mic.
The one track on “Boot Camp”, that made me step back and take a deep breath, was “Know Your Worth”. This is – technically and musically – quite easily the best C.K. Marion tune I’ve ever heard up until now. It showcases all her lyrical, rhyming and production skills in just four minutes. The song is atmospheric, emotional, melodic…and just fucking awesome in every possible way a rap song can be.
With 40 years of hip-hop history since its birth in the Bronx, you could be forgiven for thinking that rappers might run out of things to say or new ways to say it. C.K. Marion absolutely annihilates any of those thoughts with on this track. She sounds like no one else, and her voice rings with a gritty pride that’s as distinctive as it is affecting.
By the time she closes the show down with “I Don’t Belong Here”, C.K. Marion would have commanded your attention with a measure of gravity worthy of the best in the game. In other words, she makes music that you cannot look away from, no matter what your appraisal quotient of her may be. She’s confident, empowering and not afraid to be herself. And she won’t be stopping anytime soon!