Saucetown recently caught up with rapper, media mogul, underground icon and horrorcore pioneer, Mars. Based in the Bay Area, this hard-working emcee had an extensive phone chat with Saucetown while in his Midwest-based recording studio.
Saucetown: You’re an award-winning horrorcore rapper. Our staff has had Creatures Of The Night stuck in our head for weeks, it’s a perfect Halloween theme song and features heavyweights Tech N9ne and Twiztid. But, in addition to the horror, you also have a lot of controversial humor intertwined in your music. What’s your stance on the current state of comedy?
Mars: I got friends of many races, I’m from the hood, I’m Mexican...but, I like the shock factor of a good joke. I don’t care if it’s racist or if someone says something about somebody I love, if a good joke is a good joke and a good joke has a punchline, it’s a good joke. With a good joke, in my opinion, the word "punch" hits you right in the side of the head. If you take that value out of life, then it’s just boring. I wanna punch you right in the side of the head, the whole time, with my jokes—I have a great sense of humor.
Saucetown: So, you don’t exactly like living in a watered-down world?
Mars: Well, the more gentrified the world gets...I dunno—a "good," gentrified world may be a great place for the rest of folks, but for me personally, I don’t want the world to be perfect. I don’t want people to totally be at peace. I don’t want people to just eat veggies and fish, I don’t want girls to make me use protection...I like the dirtiness of the world and people are fu*#ng that up.
Saucetown: Now, on to a more controversial topic, what are your feelings on the whole "pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza" debate? They serve it in our own Mars Cafe...would they serve it in yours?
Mars: It’s fu*#in’ amazing! Are you kidding me?! On like, combination pizzas, there’s a bunch of sh*t that don’t belong together. There’s sausage, pepperoni, onion, mushrooms, olive...it’s amazing! The right combination of anything is. If you get chicken, pineapple and BBQ sauce, you can’t go wrong. If you don’t like pineapple on pizza, you hate Filipinos and I think you’re a racist bastard. Print that.
illustration by Sean Simmans
Saucetown: Tell us about Mad Insanity Records, your old label. Wasn’t Kung Fu Vampire on that?
Mars: The idea was that me and Kung Fu Vampire would be on the same label, but he’s such an independent powerhouse that he didn’t really wanna be under an umbrella. But, Mad Insanity was more of a movement, and Kung Fu Vampire and I are sill like best friends, but he has his own sh*t and we fully support each other. My booking agent from Mad Insanity is my manager now, and our old merch guy is our current merch guy. So, we still get the freedom of representing our movement. But, I got so much faith in the new label, Force 5 Records. We got Saint Dog from Kottonmouth Kings, Big Hoss, Chucky Chuck, Insane Poetry, me and a whole roster of talent.
Saucetown: It sounds like you’re doing business with a bunch of your friends. How does that feel?
Mars: It’s such a dope thing, ’cause we all like each other and f*#k with each other. I could be like, "Dude, that’s stupid, don’t do that, take that off of there," you know what I mean?
Saucetown: Yeah, we have to remind our artist, Sean Simmans, about not putting genitalia on cartoon pigs and such.
Mars: I would never, as an artist, take a back seat to something. Maybe it’s ego, or maybe my brain thinks different, I just want to have a certain amount of control over shit. But, with Force 5 Records, it’s such a tight-knit group of friends that when I came on as an artist, I also got to have a certain amount of administrative say-so. I’m at the warehouse back and forth. So, I get a comradery because my friends are doing it, and I get to be honest with ’em, and it’s also, like, a business thing. Sometimes we get mad at each other, but since it’s such an impersonal fun thing, and a very good business, it’s fun—to politic with friends and such.
Saucetown: Is working with friends profitable?
Mars: What people don’t realize, is if it was all about the money, I’d spend the time to become a doctor or something. But, the freedom of doing music, being with your friends and being a broke—but sometimes well-paid artist—back and forth, and having the freedom to see the world with your friends, is just something normal people don’t get to do. Plus, I get to sleep with girls that people like me shouldn’t get to sleep with.
Saucetown: You’ve done business with CBS Radio and made friends with Mena Suvari. What’s it like being famous, while at the same time, being, as you say, often broke?
Mars: People don’t realize, I could be broke as f*#k, and still be sleeping with hot chicks, getting free clothes and going to restaurants to eat free food. Or, getting pizza with a ball player, having twenty bucks on me and living like the guys who pick me up. Because, when you create interest among your peers, it doesn’t mater what your rivals think or what your fly-by-night fans think; networking is money. I could be broke and still eating lobster, somehow. If you’re good at what you do, you don’t need money, you just need an angle.