Mark Guglielmo was an accomplished rapper and a producer in hip-hop, working with Eminem and other stars, before becoming a visual artist — and he discusses that time with Producer Dave Fraser in this digital exclusive. 

Learn about Mark Guglielmo’s second act as a visual artist in our full feature profile of the artist.

Read the full transcript:

Mark Guglielmo, Visual Artist: Done now to two others. Hit the streets, trying to escape, feeling cursed by the heat.

I was in New York. You know, we live right outside the city. I would see break dancing on the corner and be like — my eyes would pop out.

And so, for me, hip hop was like, grabbed me right away. And the music, forget it.

I made a demo in high school. It was very basic and rudimentary, but it was magic again, that same kind of magic, just like the photography — from — from nothingness. Same with this music.

From silence, all of a sudden, out of the box radio, it wasn’t Grandmaster Flash, it was me. And it was like, “Holy cow!”

We’re getting justice for all the innocent souls who fell.

And so, I put me on a path of discovering, “Okay, how can I use my voice to make something that’s pleasing to me as it comes out the speaker?”

And then turning to the music side, how can I make music as a bed for my voice so that I can speak my truth and kind of explore who am I as a as a male growing up? And it also put me in a community that was very unexpected for me.

Like, you know, you are the one getting stared at — at the club. Like, “What are you doing here?”

And then when you step on the stage, “What? You want the microphone now?”

And I look back at that young part of me, and I’m just in awe of him because of his courage. It’s powerful.