Marco Pave is a true native to Memphis. Born in the city, he grew up surrounded by family and friends who loved the deep musical veins that beat through the city. However, despite growing up in Memphis Marco did feel like a bit of an outsider as a Muslim in a largely Christian backdrop. He has gone on to use this influence to create a truly unique style of southern rap and R&B. Pulling from his upbringing and connection with Memphis music, Marco Pave has quickly become one of the most sought after performers in the city.

Marco Pave

Photo: NPR

Launching his musical career

From a young age Marco worked on fine-tuning his craft. His love for both Memphis and rap helped him create and mold a new style of Southern rap that had not yet been heard. In 2012, he put out his very first freestyle rap videos. These videos helped Marco garnish some local praise, which allowed him to begin performing at clubs and throughout the Memphis hip hop scene.

In 2014, Marco Pave went on to open for hip hop artists like Waka Focka Flame, Mobb Deep and Young Dolph. In 2015, he released his Perception EP with a handful of tracks, and then two years later he released his first full-length album titled “Welcome to Grc Lnd.”

More than a musician

Marco isn’t just a musician though. He has a passion for helping others in the community. A year after he started putting out his freestyle rap videos he hosted a benefit called “Books on Beale,” which was designed to help promote literary and reading in the Memphis black community. The concert ended up raising over $20,000 as well as 500 new books.

Beyond Memphis

Pave has become a hip-hop cultural ambassador and will travel to Bolivia to help spread the gift and magic of music and inspire others to follow their passions. As a child growing up in Northern Memphis, Pave often turned to music to help get him through tough times. By working as a cultural ambassador, he hopes to spread this feeling to other children. 

The trip is made possible by a fellowship from Next Level in conjunction with the University of North Carolina, the U.S. State Department and Meridian International. Cultural ambassadors will travel to six different nations, including Jordan and Mongolia. Pave said he applied for the fellowship some time ago but was only recently accepted into the program. 

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