Local independent label looks to make some noise

Kristen Kotz

Sex, drugs, violence — these are all stereotypes of rap music and are something Marcus Woods doesn’t want his hip-hop record label, Blowin’ Up Entertainment, to be associated with.

Founded by Woods in 2000, Blowin’ Up Entertainment is an independent hip-hop label based in Kent.

In addition to owning the label and recording other artists, Woods creates his own tracks and plays the keyboard.

Woods said he first began producing tracks when he was 17.

“My friends and I would get together and lay down instrumentals in the tape deck and rap over that,” he said.

Originally, Woods said he became interested in music because his brothers and sisters played their stereos around the house when he was growing up.

One of the challenges Woods ran into while starting his label is that others can be self-centered and discouraging.

“People say you can’t do this, can’t do that, or you’re good but I’m better,” he said.

Blowin’ Up Entertainment’s philosophy of hard work is one of the things Woods attributes to the label’s success.

“Sometimes you don’t feel like doing music, but you still have to do it anyways,” he said.

Woods’ current album, Talkin’ to Hip-Hop, has sold more than 5,000 copies in the area, he said.

When searching for an artist to work with, Woods said that he looks for someone who has a good attitude.

“I need somebody that’s going to come to the studio, sit down and work,” he said.

He also added that it is important to know how to handle artists’ egos to get a fluid track from them.

Local artists Woods has worked with include Nuff-Sed, a hip-hop artist who won the Battle of the Beats in Kent last year.

While other hip-hop artists write about drugs and violence, Woods said his music isn’t about that.

“A lot of rap nowadays is about people saying ‘I’m gonna shoot everybody’ or ‘I’m gonna sell drugs,'” he said. “That’s exactly what I don’t do.”

As his popularity grows, Woods eventually hopes to get a deal with a larger recording company like Sony or Jive, but said he has to sell more records first.

“They want you to sell 20 or 30 thousand albums independently in a year and then usually they’ll come knocking,” Woods said.

Woods sets the music Blowin’ Up Entertainment makes apart from stereotypical hip-hop by adhering to the label’s motto — “Art defined as anything creative.” To Woods, that means creating music people can admire.

“You want somebody to come see it, like it and enjoy it,” he said.

Contact ALL Correspondent Kristen Kotz at [email protected].