MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis rapper will soon be taking his talents all the way to South America.
Marco Pave beat out hundreds of other artists to become one of fewer than 40 people chosen to travel abroad to teach as a hip-hop cultural ambassador through an international fellowship.
"My main medium is music, so I record, release music, but I also public speak, use hip-hop as a platform,” he said while taking a break from making music at his Midtown home.
You can also add entrepreneur to his list of titles, since Pave has his own record label. Those are the credentials that got him a very unique opportunity.
The Next Level fellowship is an international ambassador fellowship through University of North Carolina, the U.S. State Department and Meridian International, based in Washington D.C. They send groups of hip-hop artists to different countries to teach hip-hop culture.
They’ll travel to six different countries in all, including Mongolia and Jordan. Pave is headed to Bolivia, somewhere where he says he can identify with the people.
"Bolivia is the poorest nation in South America. That’s something I’m thinking about going into it," he said. "Utilizing hip-hop will help them fight back about things happening on a socioeconomic level.”
And then there’s the sound Ambassador Pave says he hopes his wisdom and lessons inspire.
"Memphis hip-hop, how influential it is, from Three-6 Mafia to Yo Gotti. The sound that has developed in Memphis from Stax up to now,” he said.
And along the way, he says the inspiration he brings back will, in turn, help enrich Memphis.
Pave says he first applied to the fellowship four years ago but it took until now for him to get in.
He goes next week to Washington to meet the other fellows, and his trip to Bolivia will be early next year.