Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to email@example.com.
A snap judgment is the best. It's just great. A snap judgment is like love: We love making it [slow eye-wink to the ladies]. Which is why when an email showed up in our inbox a couple of months ago proclaiming that Marcel Francoeur should be featured as Rock's Off's Artist of the Week, we brushed it off, responding with something about how "this is 'Artist of the Week,' not 'French Revolution Painter of the Week.'" But alas, a few more emails trickled in with his name in the subject line this past month, so we checked him out. And, as luck would have it, it turns out that he's good; damn good, even (relative to the kind of music he's trying to make, of course).
He's very much from the Trey Songz/2010 Lil' Wayne school of music, opting mostly for synthesized backings for vocals and/or references to being an alien in the radio-ready punchlines of his raps. If you know the words to "Say Ahh" or "Bed Rock" you're going to like this guy; that's really all there is to it. Hit the jump to see why his wonderfully bubbly "Her Invitation" isn't being played on the radio, his backwards insult of Trey Songz and whether or not we should just forget R. Kelly's little sex tape with a minor thing.
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Rocks Off: In your song "Rubbers," which was far more catchy and fun to listen to than we were expecting, you rhymed "smile" with "raw." That's just a little too cavalier, sir. What's up with that? Who do you think you are? Ace Hood? Plies? Marcel: [laughs] Naw, I'm just me. I've been compared to Wayne, Drake, and Kanye because they do the same thing, but at the end of the day I'm just me. I mean, I rhymed "smile" with "raw" because they seemed to work for me at that time [laughs]. RO: You're an R&B-ish dude. Did you see the latest cover of XXL with Trey Songz? It proclaims him the "hardest in R&B"? Isn't that like being labeled the meanest guy at a Kid Cudi concert? It doesn't seem like something you'd brag about, you know. M: Okay, well personally speaking, Trey Songz is cool, but I'd kill him any day [laughs]. There are a lot of people in the industry that would kill him. He makes one good album and all of a sudden he's the best? [laughs] He has to do about 10 more of those for me to proclaim him "the hardest."
RO: Why isn't "Her Invitation" getting major airplay on The Box right now? Did you call N'Nete fat too? M: [laughs] Naw, I didn't call her fat and personally speaking, whether a woman is fat or not, I think that all women are beautiful. "Her Invitation" is not on the radio because 97.9 won't play it if it's not in the clubs hard, which is fucked up for a lot of independent artists. I mean, people who get their shit played in clubs and flood the street with it are people who have money to do that. But what about the independent artist with no money? Just because you don't have cash doesn't mean you shouldn't have a shot at the radio. And I agree, "Her Invitation" should be on the radio, as well as "Rubberz." RO: Why haven't you started a Twitter war with anyone yet? That seems to be the thing to do these days. Might I suggest starting one with Patrick Sims or AJ the Prince of R&B? M: [laughs] Internet beef ain't my thing. I mean, for some artists it might be, but for me it ain't. If someone gets at me disrespectfully, I'll kill their career. But til' then, I'm good just tryna do me. I actually know Patrick from Lamar high school. We both went there. He's a cool dude. I don't see a reason to beef with him. And AJ? never heard of him, but I'm sure he's doin' his thing as well, so ima let them do them. But like I said, come after me, I have no problem killing anyone's career [laughs].
RO: Was R. Kelly really that good of an artist that we all could just ignore that whole sex with a kid thing? We vote yes, by the way. Have you listened to 12 Play? It's amazing. M: [laughs] Naw, I have a daughter and I think that people should remember that he did what he did, but not hold it against him for the rest of his life. I mean, people fuck up and he fucked up, but im pretty sure he's learned his lesson. And yes, I do jam 12 play. And every other album he has [laughs]. Keep up with the modest Marcel at www.myspace.com/marcelmusik and on Twitter at @darealmarcel.