The title of Mark Steele’s forthcoming project is no joke. Almost Time is an introspective look at the North Carolina native’s life and career as an emerging rapper. He’s experienced a number of highs since his start: a song featured on ESPN’s First Take, another on SportsCenter, and placement of Sumthin for the Wait and Greatness on major hip-hop sites. But even with a few points on the board, his journey is far from over. “[Almost Time is] a story about being so close, yet not quite there yet,” he told STASHED via e-mail.
There’s a transparency in Mark’s newest single that’s hard to ignore. Titled “Big Dreams,” the record is an introspective journey through the past few years of his career. Before mentioning the move back home from New York City, Mark introduces us to a birthday tradition—one that finds the emcee reflecting on the year’s past. Positivity spews out as he mentions his blessing. A more detailed description about his hardships, failures, and life-changing e-mails spring forth in the second verse. “Dreaming beyond my reach isn’t something that I have to force, it’s literally who I am,” he said. “Ask anybody that knows me, from any time period of my life and they’ll probably tell you ‘he was like that when I met him.’”
The video for “Big Dreams” finds Mark Steele walking through the streets of Charlotte, NC. “We rode past the scene and immediately knew this was the shot! The depiction of simplicity was what we wanted, because we felt it complemented the complexity of the sound’s deep messages,” he said.
Mark’s honesty is embedded throughout Almost Time, and holds the 12-track project together. It’s a quality that he already introduced on “Real Ones,” a creative anthem made to bring people together. Though he’s still working his way to the top, there’s no doubt in his mind about the impact he can make, especially seeing the success of other NC artists (J Cole, Rapsody, King Mez). “[A] piece of the ultimate goal should be to cement that legacy in music for our home like so many other regions did in the past. I see that coming, I know it will happen.”
Watch as Mark Steele paints a vivid picture of his come-up on “Big Dreams.”
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