This is part of The Shadow League’s Hispanic Heritage Month In Focus series celebrating Latino excellence in sports and culture.
Rob Markman isn’t your typical media veteran. With stints on TV and bylines in print, over the course of a decade, the respect he’s earned as a journalist deemed him as one of the “most important voices in hip-hop journalism.” This reputation has placed him in the same OG conversations as an Elliott Wilson or even Angie Martinez. Markman’s accolades and hip-hop passion bridges the gap between having an old-school mentality within a new school Internet space.
Chicago rapper Chance The Rapper surprised fans by releasing four singles earlier this summer, touching on everything from his decision to purchase the ‘Chicagoist’ website to a popular local platform for rising artists. On “65th & Ingleside,” the MC discusses life with his fiance and the mother of his child.
As a Brooklyn, NY native of Puerto Rican and Jewish descent, Markman has worked with many reputable music media companies throughout his career. He was previously a senior hip-hop editor at MTV News, where he managed all of the hip-hop content for both Television and online, and a deputy editor for XXL from 2007-2011. He’s also written cover stories for platforms like Complex, The Source, and Vibe.
In his recent position as Manager of Artist Relations, Markman oversees the growth of Genius‘ verified artist content, working with established and emerging acts and producers to annotate and discuss their most recent work. The impact of his work and connections helped to introduce new content and activations for Genius, such as IQ/BBQ, For the Record and live sit-downs.
His passion for hip-hop has not only molded the current culture but pushed him to pursue his dream as both a journalist and rapper. In 2017, Markman released his debut album, ‘Write to Dream,’ surprising many fans, artists and even media. Since dropping the project, he’s consistently put out singles such as “Talk to Me,” “Believe Me,” and “I Think We Lost the Culture.”
I rarely entertain the bullshit, but there’s a lesson here, so I’m posting it for anyone who needs this message. If you’re out here working, chasing your dreams there will ALWAYS be someone who will try and belittle you. Getting my record played on @Hot97 was always a dream of mine and I worked hard to make that dream come true. I used to work in a mailroom across the street and hand out CDs in front of the station on my lunch break. I don’t care if they play my shit at 2pm or 2am. I’m grateful. I don’t look down on any opportunity. You have a #WriteToDream don’t let no hater get in your way. Thank you @hiphopmike @djenuff @meganryte @therealdjstacks @oldmanebro @nessnitty @laurastylez @tttorrez @rosenbergradio .. that whole iconic ass station been good to me. #writetodream
797 Likes, 159 Comments – Rob Markman (@robmarkman) on Instagram: “I rarely entertain the bullshit, but there’s a lesson here, so I’m posting it for anyone who needs…”
The courageous move to pursue a rap and journalism career earned Markman both praises and criticism for his newfound professional duality. But, he utilizes his experience and platform to inspire a younger generation of journalists, rappers and fans to ultimately chase their dreams, no matter what obstacles are placed in front of them.
People like Rob Markman are hard to come by in this industry. His genuine approach, hard work and true love for the culture has opened up both lanes and opportunities for himself and latinx who follow in his steps. Keep inspiring, keep moving and keep shining Rob, we’ll just forget the fact that you’re a hardcore Knicks fan.