"As the dove flew out the glove of the magician, it was just as I predicted - reality is prescripted". -Flash Gordon

For those of you still unfamiliar, meet Roc Marciano, government name Rakeem Calief Myer, one of New York's most promising underground producers and wordsmiths. Roc grew up on Terrace Avenue in Hempstead, Long Island in the midst of the crack epidemic, a place he describes as "one of the worst blocks in America". The struggle is reflected in his verses, but there's also an underlying perseverance. In an era of hard body Saabs and Beamer wagons, when you could still post up in front of the Apollo with a forty and a spliff, he started running with an older crew at a young age, and quickly came to learn the ways of the street. It was a time soundtracked by DJ Dirty Harry, SNS, Ron G, Kid Kapree and Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito.

Fast-forward later into the '90s, and Roc joined Busta Rhymes' Flipmode Squad. Busta's inner circle afforded him great opportunities - he met and chilled with J Dilla, for example. But he didn't put out much material of his own. After a few slow years, he left Flipmode and formed The U.N., a group comprised of himself and emcees Mic Raw, Dino Brave and Laku. They released an album (UN Or U Out) through Carson Daly's 456 Entertainment in 2004, but it didn't see much commercial success, and we haven't heard much from the group since.

Marciano's career didn't start to take off until the release of his debut album Marcberg in May of 2010, which he followed with his sophomore project Reloaded in November of 2012. Both were critically acclaimed. He's since signed to independent New York record label Decon, which has backed artists such as Aceyalone, Jay Electronica, RJD2, Pusha T, Evidence, Freddie Gibbs, Jurassic 5, Black Milk and Goapele.

This is Roc Marciano, round two. He's successfully reinvented himself over the past three years and has been gaining steady recognition for it. Read on for a breakdown of what the he's doing right.