"Hip Hop and Comic Books... That's what I do" Feel free to email me Plex@PlexHop.com anytime!
The Origin of Calmplex
The sound of Hip Hop emerged from an unlikely origin when Marshall (Calmplex) entered the scene. Growing up in the various suburbs of Connecticut this young man often found himself rummaging through the debris of a shifting family life and perpetual re-location. Not unlike many with an unsettled youth he tended to look outside of his environment for signs of confidence and affirmation. It's not surprising that his path lead him to radical escapism through the input and eventual output of reachable forms of art such as Comic Books and later Hip Hop.
New England towns are often characterized by a sense of early American History, elite college societies and relaxed autumn scenery but being on the outskirts of the metropolis of NYC and harboring its own versions of challenging city landscapes CT has never failed to overcast Calmplex with a certain raining feeling of conflict and un manageable change.
The Influence Calmplex's first experiences of Hip Hop were highly commercialized specimens of manufactured dancer/rappers in parachute pants that hinted at an street attitude but contained no edge of true reality based in a life he could relate to. Similarly the only Comic Books he had access to were silver age kid friendly mush that was good for a few laughs but fell short in lasting impact. It was an odd introduction but somehow Marshall knew there had to be more depth hidden beneath the surface of this plastic pop filter of entertainment.
The entrance of adolescence stumbled in with more than an average amount of seismic rumblings. A second divorce again instigated an ocean of movement uprooting Marshall to two or three different high school/housing combinations before settling midway through his freshman year in the town that he would finish out his teenage years.
Catching The Virus These were the years when Marshall really began to find his passion. Starting with an introduction of "Gangster Rap" from west coast trend setters Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg and working his way all the way back to the East Coast influences of KRS-ONE, Gangstarr and A Tribe Called Quest to name a few. Marshall was finally beginning to find the depth he had been looking for in Hip Hop. The emergence of renegade comic book artists like Todd McFarlane and Rob Liefeld who helped to form Image Comics also was capturing this young man's imagination in a time when escapism was never more needed as an alternate form of therapy for a tumultuous family life.
It was at this time when Marshall tried his hand at lunch table rap rituals, crew formations, demo tapes and unfinished comic pages. Also it was at this time that these two art forms would penetrate and weld to his bones like adamantium metal on Wolverines skeletal structure. Marshall also found an even deeper connection with Faith in God that would propel more substantial meaning and light to feed these passions further in the critical years of adolescence.
The Road Plex Traveled Through the years since High School Marshall never stopped fallowing these passions even with his disjointed past and equally in cohesive present. It took many false starts, name changes, and sketchbooks to get to his accomplishments and Shadow of the Locust affiliation that he is now building a ministry and career on. It seems only fitting that he would finally settle on the moniker Calmplex reflecting his background, faith and personality.
As a 10 year Shadow of the Locust member he has released 2 full length album's performed in various shows and, better late than never, created his first Graffiti inspired Mini Comic among other things. Look for much more in the world of Art and Music in the coming years from this Calmplex brother from the suburbs.