Denver rapper Plat Maravich: "In 2014, you can't be worried about labels."

In his song "CTW (Change the World)," from the just-released Force of Nature Vol. 1, local rapper Plat Maravich questions the stereotypical rapping paradigm. "Got money, got girls, but can you change the world?" he raps.

It's a lofty goal for any artist, but one that Maravich hopes to work toward with positivity, self-confidence and honesty. "The best thing you can do is be the kind of person who's proud of what he's doing day in and day out," he says. "Do something to make the world a better place for yourself and those around you."

He saw the path to hip-hop success for people like himself open up with Kanye West. "People used to ask me, 'What are you going to rap about if you've never sold drugs and shit?' Like that's the only thing you could ever rap about," he says. "And I swear to God, that's why Kanye's that important, I think -- because he cleared the way for people to be more personality-based instead of being street-credibility-based."

Maravich tries to indulge as many facets of his personality as he can on Force of Nature, and there are plenty. No more than two songs are alike, thanks in large part to masterful track production from disparate sources: Johnny Rocketz and BLKHRTS' Yonnas Abraham. "Johnny's like a pop artist," notes Maravich, "whereas Yonnas is kind of like a mad scientist. They both have good taste, but it's just different." Force of Nature also displays a different Yonnas than his BLKHRTS fans are accustomed to. Here he operates in Maravich's wheelhouse. "Yonnas is so talented as a producer," says the rapper. "He knows music, period, so all you really have to do is come to him with an idea."

For his part, Maravich had no shortage of ideas going into the recording. "I consider myself a multi-dimensional motherfucker," he says. "I want to cover all walks of life. I want to cover all the different emotions.... I'm going to keep it real constantly, be as honest as possible in the music, and try to make it distinct. I don't think I sound like anybody out here rapping." On a local scale, it's hard to argue with that. And even if he sounds like somebody on one song, he's likely to sound quite different on the next. But underpinning most of the album is a desire for broad appeal.

"I'm trying to make hits," Maravich says flatly. "I'm trying to be as big as I can fucking be.... I don't make obscure music; [mine is] for the masses." When asked if he's afraid of being labeled pop, he doesn't mince words. "I'm not afraid of being labeled anything. I just want people to say, 'That motherfucker's dope. I love the album.' That's all I want. In 2014, you can't be worried about labels. As long as you know who you are, who gives a fuck?"

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Noah Hubbell