Messay Marv

Messy Marv is a prolific Bay Area rapper and label founder who has been active since the mid-'90s. Born Marvin Watson, he grew up in the Eddy Street housing projects in the Fillmore District of San Francisco. He made his commercial recording debut in 1996 with the full-length album Messy Situationz. A couple years later he released the West Coast underground classic Explosive Mode (1998), a collaboration with his cousin, rapper San Quinn, with guest features from some of the Bay Area's most prominent rap artists of the time: rappers E-40, Rappin' 4-Tay, and Celly Cel, along with producers Mike Mosley and Tone Capone. A steady stream of albums followed -- Death on a Bitch (1999), Still Explosive (2001), Turf Politics (2002), Turf Thuggin' (2002), Bonnie & Clyde (2003) -- though none was particularly popular or as well received as Explosive Mode had been. Moreover, Messy Marv struggled with personal issues during this period; for instance, he was confined to a wheelchair for half a year after breaking both of his legs in a fall from a fourth-floor window in 2001.

He reached Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for the first time with Disobayish (2004), a mainstream breakthrough featuring guest features by West Coast superstars E-40, Keak da Sneak, Too $hort, and Nate Dogg. The follow-up album Bandannas, Tattoos & Tongue Rings (2005) was similarly popular and spawned the regional hit "Get on My Hype." A subsequent prison stint didn't affect Messy Marv's musical output much. Well into the latter half of the 2010s, he continued releasing multiple projects each year, including solo efforts, collaborations, and mixtapes. Among his charting releases were Messy Slick (with Mitchy Slick, released in 2007), four volumes in his Draped Up and Chipped Out series (2006-2009), a pair of Berner collaborations (both in 2010), and Millionaire Gangsta (also 2010). ~ Jason Birchmeier

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