Rasmussen: New Music Release – ‘Burn The Boats’ by MarKaus


Columnist Olivia Rasmussen talks with local music artist Marquas “MarKaus” Ashworth about his latest EP “Burn The Boats.”

Olivia Rasmussen

When people think of Iowa, a few things generally come to mind – corn, farmland and the Iowa State Fair, but what about music? Local artist and rapper MarKaus is taking the music scene by storm with his latest EP “Burn The Boats.” The EP is a delicious blend of raw lyrics spitfired over hip-hop beats, retro soul-filled loops crossed with elements of melodic jazz and a dash of electric guitar shredded on top.

“In some ways, it’s a story about the highs and lows that come with living — battling ego, low self-esteem, arrogance, pain, love all in one,” MarKaus said while reflecting on the origin of the EP.

“Burn The Boats” is comprised of seven songs that take you through an emotional journey. “Essence,” which is track two, is about overcoming the sorrows of self-doubt and pain. “An open mind is the essence of intellect” is the opener and beginning of the repeating chorus throughout the song, which conveys a thoughtful and clear explanation of processing personal issues with an open mind. “Essencehas been made into a music video with a creamy color palette, crisp video composition and an all-around simplistic nighttime aesthetic.

Prior to signing onto his label, Media Fresh Records, MarKaus said hip-hop, soul and jazz were essential parts of his life. As far as his sound, he said he has never wanted to limit himself or “become prisoner to any one sound,” which is apparent in “Burn The Boats.” MarKaus blends many elements from different genres into his music. Additionally, MarKaus also has DJ Episode and King Wylde featured on the EP with him.

Not only is “Burn The Boats” an epic new music release, but there’s an entirely different element attached with it: whiskey. MarKaus has paired a rye whiskey, called Ziyad, to go with the release of his album. The 100-year-old recipe has morphed into a specialty whiskey that can be purchased online or in stores at Hy-Vee. You can pour yourself a drink while bumping to his latest release.

“The music industry began to shift in a way where even if your project was successful, it didn’t mean it could sustain another release and especially couldn’t make a real living from it,” MarKaus said. “I wanted to find a way to make music ‘live’ longer than it does within the streaming world. With this, long after the EP is released, people will find this bottle and hear songs that are timeless. The music I make isn’t for the ‘moment’ so connecting it to something that’s treasured for its age is incredible. The idea that someone could find or collect a ‘Burn The Boats’ bottle 10 to 15 years from now and get a capsule of my emotion is something I think most musicians would kill for.”

MarKaus said to be on the lookout for vinyl bundles that are coming soon. To stay updated, follow the hashtag #BurnTheBoats on Facebook. MarKaus and “Burn The Boats” can be found on Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Google Play and Apple Music.

Olivia Rasmussen, junior in public relations.