Motor City Rides 

Marvwon's calm demeanor masks a mind that works overtime. And anyone who has witnessed this eastside emcee and producer battle on the mic (like with Eminem on the DVD extras of 8 Mile) knows you better have your game hittin' before you take him on.

Quick history lesson: Marvwon (aka Marvin O'Neal) rose back around 2000 at Lush's Wednesday open mic nights in Hamtramck, where he learned the ropes with his sensei Proof, Obie, D12 and Slum Village. Since, he's become a staple of freestyle battles. He teamed up with Quest M.C.O.D.Y., and together they show the world you'd better not fuck with the D. Marv is probably best known for his work with King Gordy, Fatt Father and Shim-E Bango in the larger-than-life Fat Killahz.

Lately Marvwon's been dropping tracks like taunts at an open mic. There's the mixtape Jumpoff a Bridge with Quest M.C.O.D.Y., and his Fat Beats EP, The Way of the Won (with help from Black Milk, Denaun Porter of D12 and Miz Korona), will be out soon. He's also working with the Fat Killahz on the follow-up to 2005's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? and he's about to start work on an album with Motown exile DJ House Shoes (who, you'll note, has been producing some amazing tracks lately).

To get from his eastside crib to the studio, big Marv drives around in a black 2007 Chevrolet Impala. Marv's on to the good gas mileage but most importantly, "It fits me, I'm a big dude and I feel comfortable in it. And [Slum Village's] Elzhi has one, so I'm in good company."

More by Doug Coombe

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