Who Is Hopsin? The Child Actor Who Grew Into a Rapper and Entrepreneur

Updated on January 10, 2018

Marcus Jamal Hopson A.K.A. Hopsin

Born on July 18, 1985, he grew up in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles County. Here are a few facts about the man known as "Hopsin."

  • He is a songwriter, producer, director, and once an actor.
  • Hop explains on Tech N9ne's hit "Am I a Psycho?" that he fell on his head and severed his brain as a toddler. Marcus was in Special Education classes throughout most of school.
  • Eventually sick of the system he could not find his place in, Hop dropped out of school to pursue a career in entertainment.
  • Hopsin states that his two most influential inspirations are Michael Jackson & Eminem.

16 Year Old Hopsin On "That's So Raven"

The Evolution Of Hopsin

Hopsin was an actor as a youth, long before he was recognized as a talented Hip Hop artist.

He was a paid extra/actor on a variety of television shows and a movie or two. Hop even made an appearance as an extra in a pornography for a brief . He was never paid for the work, as he hopped the fence and fled the scene - describing the enviorment "satanic".

Apparently while Marcus stayed in his parents basement he rarely left for an entire year. Studying his favorite rappers technique, style, sound, and other aspects of an MC. He watched and noted different ways artists came up.

Take a year of practice and studying, throw in a pair of white contacts from Hot Topic, and you've got the new and improved Hopsin.

Why white contacts? Well, in the original "Ill Mind of Hopsin" Hopsin explains that in a simple way:

"White contacts so you mother f**kers remember me!"

Any possible way to stand out from the crowd can give an aspiring artist the edge over his competition.

"Back when I was on malcom in the middle haha. Before the rappin popped off" - Marcus Hopsin
"Back when I was on malcom in the middle haha. Before the rappin popped off" - Marcus Hopsin | Source

Ruthless Records Signs Hopsin

Hop's first record deal was one he signed with Ruthless Records, blatantly ignoring advice from people around his neighborhood who knew her. They all tried to explain to him that it was sketchy business dealing with her, asking "You remember what she did to Bone Thugz?"

People remember the empire of Eazy-E and feel nostalgia, but Hopsin and Strange Music artist Stevie Stone will both tell you, it is not the same Ruthless Records. Either way, you can't blame a starving artist for hearing what he wants to hear when it comes to a real label making an offer.

Hopsin wants to bring attention to the worthless ruin that is now Ruthless Records.

Funk Volume

After being shelved for two years, Hopsin found a way out of his contract and came up with the idea for a label when discovering that his high school friend and label mate SwizZz was experiencing frustrations of his own. On top of that, SwizZz's older brother was laid off from a corporate position.

The recession of 2008 ended up benefiting the three motivated young men. They started to create their own independent record label.

They would call it Funk Volume, Hopsin being the owner of half of the label, the rest owned by his friend Dame Ritter - SwizZz's older brother.

Finally. Hopsin would find significant success after years of hard work.

Hopsin - Raw [2010]



Hopsin's second studio album, and the first released with the help of his newly founded label, Funk Volume.

At this point he was finally beginning to build a solid foundation of fans, and also starting to perfect his style.

The release of Raw was a huge shock to Hopsin, who had spent so long being broke that making $12,000 in a day was a serious event.

Recommended Listening: Hopsin - Raw

"Nocturnal Rainbows"

The first single Hopsin released from his Raw LP. The track finds Hopsin interrogating the listener. He urges us to take a look at ourselves in the mirror, ask ourselves "Am I wasting my life away?"

He comments on the ills of society, and sincerely questions many of our decisions to use alcohol or drugs when our brain is naturally 'A f**king powerhouse' according to Hop.

An official music video was never created for "Nocturnal Rainbows" due to the tight budget he was on at the time. Hop also mentions that he did not craft any visuals to go with the track because he could not afford the video he imagined. Unfortunately for the fans, his visions were too expensive, when at the same time he was much too broke.

"Kill Her"

A sinister beat begins as Hop immediately begins releasing the built up anger he has towards Tomica Wright, owner of Ruthless Records.

His rapid-fire delivery and passion filled aggression makes for a song that will get your blood pumping.

"Sag My Pants"

Nothing more than a verbal assault on Ruthless Records along with the rest of the music industry. Hopsin brutally called out specific rappers such as Drake, Lil' Wayne, Soulja Boy, and even Lupe Fiasco for being a so called "skateboard rapper."

According to Hop, Lupe isn't a real skater, claiming Lupe "Can't even Ollie."

In an interview, Hopsin named Yelawolf as the only other real skateboard rapper.

The "Ill Mind Of Hopsin" Series

"The Ill Mind Of Hopsin" 1-7

The "Ill Mind Of Hopsin" series is a collection of songs that have been released annually, typically on Marcus' birthday.

While not an actual LP, EP, or even mix-tape, these videos were the absolute most significant factor in Hopsin's rapid rise to internet stardom, the fourth and fifth installment specifically propelling his career the furthest.

"The Ill Mind of Hopsin"

The first home made video was basically a raw rap song with no real topic. He spits out fire which calling out the simplest of mainstream rappers. It mixes comedy, disses, and clever word play.

"The Ill Mind of Hopsin 2"

The second installment was not a rap song, but a tutorial by Hopsin. He explains how to make a mobile tripod using a stolen shopping cart. Crafty, Marcus.

"The Ill Mind of Hopsin 3"

In the third episode of the series, you can witness the growth and development of Marcus as a lyricist. On this track he expresses his frustrations from putting in so much work and not being shown any recognition. This rap is filled with lyrical madness and more clever lines that we already had expected from him.

"The Ill Mind of Hopsin 4"

The video that brought Hopsin into the spotlight, actually a super clever move by him, not just coincidence.

You see, at the time the record titled "Yonkers" by Tyler the Creator was becoming very famous and was gaining Youtube views at an exceptional rate.

In the Ill Mind 4, Hopsin disses Tyler. People searching for Yonkers were then suggested to view a Tyler diss by a nearly unknown rapper. So he took some of the massive traffic that Tyler was receiving, and funneled it into his own pool of viewers.

"The Ill Mind of Hopsin 5"

Marcus' most popular song to date, now sporting nearly 48 million views on Youtube.

The song was extremely popular, which is unusual only because the message of the song is the opposite of the message expressed through most popular rap songs these days.

Hopsin takes aim at three different demographics (Young suburban males, young women, and young black men.)

He exposes them for the frauds that they are and offers advice at the end of each verse. This song is incredible and continues to inspire people to better their lives.

This is still the most significant song in his entire catalog.

"The Ill Mind of Hopsin 6"

Episode number six has Hop himself admitting that the sixth installment of the "Ill Mind" series was a song was not originally intended to be part of the series.

He most likely didn't have time or inspiration to write a new song for the series, so he replaced it with a track from his album.

The problem was that song didn't really match the other four entries, not in any way at all.

This was the first and only "Ill Mind" record with a chorus, usually being a lengthy verse, or regular verses with no hook in between them.

Which "Ill Mind" Video Is Your Favorite?

See results

"The Ill Mind Of Hopsin Seven"

Part Seven is the most recent installment and maybe even his final.

Hopsin finds himself questioning his faith, the various religions of the world, and where he stands with his own beliefs.

Seven sound like much more of a piece that fits into the "Ill Mind" collection, but since he reached such a phenomenal peak with Five, I don't see him beating that one.

Hopsin - Knock Madness [2013]

Knock Madness

The third studio album by Hopsin was released on November 24, 2013 by Funk Volume. It was highly anticipated and was well received by both fans and critics.

"Hop is Back"

The first single released to promote Knock Madness. Hopsin takes shots at both Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West.

He later stated that he only spoke on Kendrick because of his recent controversy with the "Control" verse, and that he dissed Kanye because he simply thought Yeezus was garbage.

"I Need Help"

Hop frantically vents his struggle dealing with his new found fame. He is confused about the direction of his life, who he is, what he believes, and so much more.

Are you going to help him or are you just going to sit there?!


Best Hopsin Cyphers & Freestyles

"Tim Westwood Crib Session 1"

Another incredible Funk Volume Cypher, this time minus SwizZz.

"Tim Westwood Crib Session 2"

Hop travles back to London to meet up with Tim Westwood and deliver another fire verse.

This time rolling solo, he spits a dope verse over A$AP Ferg's "Shabba".

"TeamBackPack / Funk Volume Cypher 3"

Oh my, this is one of the sickest cypher videos I have ever seen. Seriously, all four of these talented MC's destroy the smooth Primo instrumental.

Thank You For Reading!

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    • Sharp Points profile image

      Sharp Points 3 years ago from Big Bear Lake, California


      Freshly Published ^

      Thank you for the support appreciate it

    • Cassidy Kakin profile image

      Cassidy Michael Kakin 3 years ago from San Jose, California

      Sadly this now needs an addendum, as the man just retied. Great post though, highlights some of his best stuff and is a great jumping off point for new listeners.

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