When South Carolina’s Mark Carson stepped into the scene, I have to admit I wasn’t sure what I was going to get. However, when he sent me the visuals for “Taxi” I was hooked immediately. The visuals were clean, he harkened back to the vintage days, where music videos had the squad out partying AND Carson has a bit of swagger that pulls you in. However despite “Taxi”’s success, I was wondering what a project from the South Carolina native would sound like. A couple weeks ago, I got just that with Mark Carson’s “Night Owl” EP. Let’s jump in and see what his debut sounds like.
Now, I have to admit you can hear the Mac Miller influence in Mark Carson’s music and that’s not a bad thing. It’s easy to dismiss Mark Carson as a stereotype, but if you slow down and take the time to listen to what he’s actually saying, there’s more going on. Just like with Mac Miller, sure you’re going to get your turn-up tunes, however you’re also getting an emcee talking about tough subject matter like depression. “Grapevine” is a perfect example where Mark Carson includes talk on his anxieties and lost love. You may want to put Mark Carson in a box, but he’s breaking out of it with vigor and honesty every single time.
I’m a sucker for one emcee, one producer albums and I was surprised and impressed that Carson picked up LEANBWOY to produce the entire EP. LEAN creates the tempo and vibe for “Night Owl” and he gives Carson a trippy, dark canvas to spill his guts on. While the EP is short with only four tracks, I do feel like we get a big enough dose of Mark Carson to understand the potential and impact he can have if he continues to grow as an emcee and an artist. His music combines the summertime, party music we’re looking for, while also weaving in some personal themes. The “Night Owl” EP is a proper introduction to the South Carolina emcee and who knows what the future has in store for him.