Marquis man

Xavier Marquis is at a crossroads, about to plunge into the unknown.

Rapper Xavier Marquis performs with Gabrielle Samone and Corey Lawson on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis. Marquis said this may be his last performance as a rapper before switching to indie-rock.

Ichigo Takikawa

Rapper Xavier Marquis performs with Gabrielle Samone and Corey Lawson on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis. Marquis said this may be his last performance as a rapper before switching to indie-rock.

Spencer Doar

When the crowd burst into requests for one more song, Xavier Marquis was only too happy to oblige.

His show at the Triple Rock on Saturday was something all too unique in the world of hip-hop: A tight performance with a seven-piece live accompaniment.

The coordinated tambourine action from his two backups, flurries of frantic djembe, two guitarists — one a Slash-esque caricature minus the hat, who left his sunglasses on — funky bass and a drummer in his own world of syncopated glory were altogether a finely tuned machine. But the most important aspect of a Marquis performance is his charisma.

“I’m physically young but mentally old,” Marquis said.

The other unfortunate aspect of the performance is that it may have been the last appearance of Xavier Marquis’ current musical incarnation.

Marquis was slated to perform this week in St. Paul for the 7th Annual Twin Cities Hip Hop Awards, but the show has been canceled.

Marquis has always had beats in the blood, writing rhymes since the fifth grade. He was the kid in class with two pencils, constantly tapping out beats to the dismay of focused students.

He has finally gotten Adderall for his ADHD, but that was not the case in high school, where Marquis was so distracted that he dropped out in ninth grade.

Now, he has grown dissatisfied with hip-hop as the best means to express himself, lamenting that he wants more options.

That’s too bad. His talent as a rapper and producer is of such a high degree that his sets play like a radio station of popular hip-hop that you’ve somehow not heard.

That point is bolstered by the fact that Marquis was contacted for a private interview by the producers of The Voice, nailing it and getting an invite to Hollywood. He turned it down.

“I didn’t know if that was the direction I wanted to go,” Marquis said.

Mentioning groups like Arcade Fire, Radiohead and Mumford and Sons on his current playlists, his newly formed band, The Archer Noble, will go in a completely different direction. With the aid of friends and relatives, Marquis is about to embark on a genre-defying venture of uncertain results.

“It’s not going to be what you expect from a band with black guys,” Marquis said.

Less than a month ago, Marquis was stunned to find out about the death of a childhood friend with whom he’d lost contact over the years.

“Life is way too short,” Marquis said. “I started wondering if I’m getting what I want out of music.”

He’s also about to embark on a second marriage, this time to an Australian woman whom he met via Facebook and who will be joining him in the Twin Cities next year. She’s giving him the year to focus on his new direction.

Given his production capabilities, the talent of his associates and his charm, Marquis, regardless of direction, will have something worthwhile to show for it — if he can master his guitar.