Sometimes it takes a single wake-up call to persuade someone to get up and follow their dreams. For me, it was the birth of my first daughter and a health scare that recently changed my outlook on everything. For Rob Markman, head of artist relations at Genius, it was almost being shot at 18-years-old— an experience captured on his unexpected and amazing new EP, Write To Dream.

Rob has spent years meticulously breaking down bars by your fav rapper’s fav rappers, so after he had announced his album earlier this month on Sway, you can imagine that heads had high expectations. To the same degree, you’d like to think that a dentist would have great teeth.

Did Rob deliver?

In a word, yes. This EP is an inspiring celebration of not only Rob — who has turned a dream of putting a project of this caliber together into reality — but also just good music. The production and the bars are on point. Particularly, Rob’s storytelling game is A1.

Obvious standouts for me were “Fredo,” which is a built upon on the relationship between Vito’s children in the iconic Godfather films, and “Jason’s Lyric.” The latter is one of the most creative records I’ve heard in a long time. I was drawn into the song’s storyline, but the climax instantly clued me into the fact that it’s a flipped perspective of The Notorious B.I.G’s “Somebody’s Gotta Die”; the reveal almost felt like the first time I watched Usual Suspects.

Another big tune was “Writer,” which cleverly allowed Rob to remind you of how well respected — and connected — he is, without having any actual (rapping) features. As less of a story, and more of a line for lins joint, the opening bars affirm that drive that has existed all along; he just needed to find the right way to make the jump from media to subject tastefully.

“I don’t know what the fuck you thought, I want the crown too/Couple jewels and plaques, shit that sounds cool/You hear the hunger, growl loud when I’m ’round food/And ’round you I’m like Canibus, round two.”
—Rob Markman (“Writer”)

Rob’s writing is seasoned — as it should be. He’s spent more time than most of us as a disciple of this culture. Write To Dream doesn’t follow any trends or attempt to break any cross-genre barriers. It’s just bars and beats, and it’s a beautiful thing.