“We want everybody to be excited about getting some good Hip Hop first and foremost.”
Marq Beyond of Rosewood 2055
Don’t sleep on the opening act! Admittedly, the first time I came upon Rosewood 2055, formally The Action Figures, was this past weekend when I stumble upon the latest joint by Slum Village, E(I)GO. After a little research, I discovered that the duo have been touring the world with the Detroit-bred institution (that originally counted Dilla as part of their roster) and have worked with the likes of Guilty Simpson and Statik Selecktah (amongst others). What was even more surprising, was that their upcoming Top Ramen is their debut mix-tape (sans some singles).
They have a journey ahead of them, but their current team and show dates have them primed to make some serious noise this year. I reached out to Marq Beyond, on half of Rosewood, to learn a little more about the duo.
Who are Rosewood 2055?
Kysean and Marq Beyond. Two kids from Grand Rapids, MI.
How did you come together – and what prompted your name change?
We met in High School, I had a crew I ran with and was known for being the rapper. Ky and I were cool, but I didnt get to know him til later and I was blown away by how passionate and knowledgeable he was on Hip Hop and the culture. We just clicked. The Action Figures grew to be bigger than both of us and it’s more of an ideal and way of life. So TAF is Wu Tang and Rosewood 2055 is Rae and Ghost. 2055 Rosewood Ave is the address of the High School we went to.
Who were/are some of your influences?
The culture in general is what influences us most. What it means and stands for. Everyone who’s contributed to the culture included.
How do you define your sound?
I wouldn’t say there’s any definitive sound. We both have our own ideas for songs and music and we bring the best of what we have and meet in the middle. The only thing we never, ever compromise is lyricism. So as long as we’re free to say what we like, how we like, its a 20’s record.
Who are some of the artists you’ve worked with?
We’ve worked with Lee Bannon, Chuck Strangers, Rapper Big Pooh, Guilty Simpson, Statik Selektah, Illmind, Earlly Mac etc. We like to work with a variety of different artists, to pull from different avenues of inspiration and creativity. We got a few surprises coming soon as well.
How did you connect with Slum Village?
Our management has had a close relationship with them for awhile. We sent them some music and they asked us to come out. We all ended up clicking, and they’re like our big brothers now.
How has working with them helped to shape you as artists?
It definitely changed the way we work. They work so fast and move even faster, so it was either keep up or get left behind. They made us rededicate ourselves to the craft too! We’ve spent days at a time locked in the studio. The shortest session was probably 10 hours. We know now, that its work and you get back what you put in.
How’s the tour life?
Touring is dope as hell man. Thats the part we’ve always wanted most. Being in a new city, connecting. Its can be hectic, with schedules to keep but its worth the early hours. For sure.
What was your fave show so far?
New York cause it was the very first night, or Milan, Italy.
It’s astounding that you haven’t even released your debut yet! What can we expect from Top Ramen?
Just expect good Hip Hop lol. We want everybody to be excited about getting some good Hip Hop first and foremost.
What are your goals?
The goal is to keep growing, and keep moving as a unit. With that in mind, we hope to get to a Slum Status one day.
Think quick: top 3 albums – go!
Any last words for our readers?
Thank you for having us. Catch us @ rosewood2055.com and on select dates of the Slum Village/ Pete Rock tour. Top Ramen and Yes! Coming soon.
Peer their latest single!