Marz was born Zlatko Hukic in a little village in Croatia to a Bosnian Muslim father and a Croatian Catholic mother. They moved to the south side of Chicago when he was 8 years old. Marz quickly took to the street life and embraced the gang culture that is still prevalent in Chicago. "I was around 12 years old when I got jumped into the Black Hawk Park Assassins. It just seemed normal to me," says Marz.
The first book he ever read was the satanic bible, which led him to pursuing witchcraft. "Chicago is full of witchcraft, like Santeria. There are botanicas all over the city. You can go and have someone put spells on people or you can buy the things necessary to do it yourself." Besides the gang banging and witchcraft, a lust for money and power led to dealing drugs, but through it all, his love of music and ability to write songs was a positive spot in his negative youth.
Marz' talent got him noticed and swept up in the music industry. He played guitar in the legendary industrial band Ministry, which propelled him to platinum-selling artist status and exposed him to world tours and the rockstar lifestyle. After signing a few independent record deals and touring with Insane Clown Posse, Marz landed a deal with Geffen Interscope Records and a stadium tour with rock band Korn. "It was everything I ever dreamed of — I worked day and night to get to this spot and it was the most miserable time of my life," Marz says of the Korn tour. "I was involved in so many negative things and negative relationships. It was one of the lowest points in my life, but to the outside observer, I had it all." Marz says at this time in his life, he realized the only true gang color was cash-green and his hunt for power, money, fame and lust had just begun.
Coming back to Chicago from Korn's Pop Sux tour, Marz found himself thrown even deeper into the Chicago lifestyle he had known from his youth. Porn stars, strippers, drug dealers and gang bangers were the norm. "I love porn stars and gangbangers! It's just that now I love them because I know they are made in the image of God and I trust and believe He will finish the work He has started in all of us," Marz says.
After starting his own record label named Billion Dollar Ballers and doing nation-wide tours with the likes of Tech N9ne and Paul Wall, Marz found himself at a crossroads of sorts when he got into a spiritual war with some practitioners of Santeria. "There are some crazy things that I've got to see. If I told you, you either wouldn't believe me or you'd think I'm crazy. The enemy of our soul is real. There was a time when I barely spelt for almost a year. As I was talking to a friend about my spiritual situation, I told him that there had to be a stronger witchcraft I could use against those that were doing witchcraft to me. He told me there is something stronger and His name is Jesus; He is the King of kings and Lord of lords and every knee will bow to Him. At that time, I definitely did not believe in Jesus and I wasn't fond of Christians after a pastor told me that I would burn in hell, but my friend planted a seed. And that seed, along with many other seeds that were planted throughout the years, started to grow. Until one day, at a broken-down ghetto church, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and all hell broke loose in my life. The spiritual warfare was real and intense. Looking back, it was training me to trust that nothing and no one could pluck me out of Gods' hands."
Directly after Marz accepted Jesus, he went on tour with Paul Wall. "It was like blinders fell off of my eyes. I was seeing for the first time what my lyrics were — how I was speaking poison into the hearts and minds of the crowds at the shows." After the tour, Marz went to visit his family in Croatia. He brought with him a Bible that a stripper had given him and he read it everyday for the three weeks he was there. "I used to take these two to three-hour long walks and just talk to God and as I would walk through the hills and forests, I would see parts of my life playing back. This time, seeing the things I did with new eyes and a new heart. And each time, I would repent and wonder how I didn't see that those things I was involved in only brought death and pain to everyone around me, including myself. I left Croatia feeling brand new — like a little boy. I was so dirty and carrying so much sin that I didn't even notice how much it weighed me down until the weight was removed. I was forgiven and it's one of the greatest experiences in this life."
Marz came back to Chicago and quit the music industry. "I went to a Christian rap concert and thought to myself, please Lord don't make me do corny Christian music!" Marz got a job as a security guard and after a year of walking with the Lord, he started writing his first Christian album, Revelation. "I wasn't sure if my music qualified as Christian rap — I didn't cuss or talk about drugs or booty, but some of my songs are very bold."
A chance encounter with a South African visitor at church solidified Marz' calling to continue to do music. "A random guy walked up to me one Sunday morning after church service and told me God gave him a word for me. I generally don't like when people tell me things like that— I feel like God has already gave me the word of the Bible and if He wants to say something else, He can say it to me. Hesitantly I said, 'Ok, what did God say to you?' The man said, 'God says stop doubting what you're doing. I chose you because you are aggressive. Finish the album.' I'm not ashamed to say that that brought me to tears."
Marz finished and released his first Christian album, Revelation, a breakthrough CD that's filled with powerful, honest and thought-provoking songs about our journey on this planet. When we told Marz we thought he created a masterpiece, he half jokingly said, "Thank you! Of course it is! I'm the greatest rapper alive!" and broke out into his signature child-like laughter.
The future is looking bright for Marz. He had three releases in 2017 and is currently working on a new album. "I feel blessed and I am grateful for every breath. I want to love God and do His will and I want to love my wife and our boys. I pray the music we are releasing blesses and uplifts people, but most of all, I pray it brings them to Jesus so they can experience what it means to be truly alive. Believe the Gospel!"