Hailing from Georgia, it should come to no surprise that Dallas Austin’s new favorite group is state native Da Backwudz.And to prove his devotion, the mega music and film producer re-launched the previously defunct Rowdy Records to work with them.Made up of cousins Sho-Nuff and Big Marc, the two burst onto the rap scene in 2005 with the Jennifer Holiday sampled “You Gonna Luv Me.” Geared up to release their debut Wood Work, the duo hope to spread some socially conscious hip-hop and make listeners love them along the way.
Big Marc: Sho Nuff and Big Marc. We’re cousins. We started off in 1997 as a group. We worked a regular and used that money to pay for studio time. We met up with Milwaukee Black. He produced our first single “You Gonna Luv Me.” We eventually found a home at Rowdy Records with Dallas Austin.
Sho Nuff: My background is poetry. [I] came up on different genres of music - from classic R&B [to] old school hip-hop, and I also sing.
Big Marc: [I] also grew up on old-school. We fused all of those together and came up with our hip-hop sound.
Did growing up in the south help you with your music?
Big Marc: Yes. The south has had a big movement. It gave us a big boost and a great opportunity. 10 years ago nobody wanted to hear anything from the south.
Who all did you work with on this album?
Big Marc: Nas, Slim Thug, George Clinton, Killer Mike
Who came up with the name Da Back Wudz?
Big Marc: Both of us did. It has a couple of meanings. It was another name we had for Decatur. Sho Nuff would call me and I might be at my grandmother’s house so I would say, “I’m in the woods.” It also connects us with our ancestors from Africa.
Did you think “You Gonna Luv Me” would be a hit?
Big Marc: I had that feeling. It just felt so good and it was something different at the time. You know how when you hear a song and say, “Ooh that’s my song.” The Jennifer Holiday sample felt good rapping over it and the beat just felt good. I knew people were going to like it because the way it felt when we finished it.
What’s one of your favorite songs on the album?
Big Marc: “Mama Always Told Me.” My mom is like the backbone of my life. She was very instrumental in me becoming a man. She kept me morally and spiritually grounded.
What was your motivation when making the album?
Big Marc: We were holding each other up. We were motivation for each other. We got a passion for making music. Not in it just for the benefits. The benefits will come. We claim it. We’re just being patient and waiting to receive it. We love to make music and that keeps us motivated. We love to do it.
What does your family think about your career choice?
Big Marc: They definitely love it. Most of them sing, play instruments, piano, etc. They are definitely behind us 100 percent.
Have your friends changed?
Big Marc: A couple of people maybe. You really find out who your true friends are when you’re doing this thing.
When does the album drop?
Big Marc: [It] comes out in April…Check us out on myspace myspace.com/daBackWudzmusic...Thanks to everyone for showing their support. Check out the videos on MTV, 106 & Park, RapCity.
Shelia M Goss is a freelance writer and the Essence Magazine Best Selling author of "My Invisible Husband" and "Roses are Thorns, Violets are True." Find out more about Shelia at