Marz Explains How Gangs & Witchcraft's Hold on Chicago Nearly Destroyed His Life

Christian Hip-Hop artist Marz has seen and experienced a lot of things in his life. He has been witness to the utter depravity of sin, the darkness caused by evil, and the fortunes and misfortunes of fame. He has also felt the healing touch of God, the breaking free of addiction, and a complete 180-degree life change of himself. What started as a long road down to destruction, has turned into beautiful conversion story.

This is his story…

Marz’s story starts in 1970 in a country that was previously called Yugoslavia. He was born to a Croatian Catholic mother and a Bosnian Muslim father. Since then, the country has become a series of smaller countries after war tore it apart. A young Zlatko Hukic (Marz), along with his family left the country when he was eight and they became immigrants living in Chicago, Illinois. From that early age, he was exposed to a lot of the perils of the city. It was the late 70s, early 80s, and drugs and gangs were running rampant in the city.

“From grammar school there were gangs and it just was. You just grow up around that and it’s a natural part of life,” Marz said. “Every part of Chicago has their own gangs and you’re just around that. There’s a gang at the park, you’re hanging out at and you’re part of that scene and then you get initiated into that gang. I see people gang banging at six or seven-years-old. A big part of that is linked to the lack of leadership in the home from the fathers or just the lack of fathers being there.”

Marz admitted that as he became a young teen, he began to get rebellious. At first, it was on his own, but then the environment took hold of him and his life would begin to go down a dangerous path. He started smoking weed and would eventually become a dealer.

“In hindsight, I think what really caused my rebellion is that I didn’t have a relationship with my father. Now that I have children, I think that growing up, my father was not there mentally. He was very aggressive and very disconnected. I think initially my rebellion was against him and that led to rebellion against God and against the world just trying to find meaning in things without somebody there to guide me,” Marz explained. “I had a strong will and conviction about certain things and there was no one there to guide me which led to witchcraft and gang banging and other boys trying to teach boys to be men.”

A 12-year-old Marz began to spend time on the streets and was jumped into the Black Hawk Park Assassins. He also found himself getting into witchcraft. One of the first books he ever read was the Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey.

“It pushed me in the direction of seeking spiritual enlightenment through spirit guides and the demonic,” he said. “Both those things happened at the same time, gang banging, smoking weed, just opening those doors to the demonic world and how all those things influence you.”

You would never think it, but according to Marz, Chicago is flooded with witchcraft. In fact, he said most likely there’s a lot where you live too, you just don’t know it.

“I remember walking by the train tracks and finding voodoo dolls, sacrificed chickens, a dog with its head cut off… I learned later what all that was about.”

Another prominent thing in the city is the use of what they call “botanicas.” He said they can be found in any direction you walk in Chicago. You can find a person into dark arts to use a botanica and cast a spell on someone, cleanse you, or even sacrifice animals. They already have the animals and will do it right there with idols.

“One of the things about the demonic is that it doesn’t come at you as a demon, it comes off as a spirit guide. ‘Oh, let me do a reading, let me do a cleansing’, that’s how they start,” he explained. “Then they hook you, ‘I just did a cleansing, I need you now to leave a small offering for these spirits’, that can be alcohol, a cigar, and when you leave that offering you took the bait.”

Of course, it doesn’t end there. You have to go back so they can check you again. Every time you return you need to have a bigger offering until you are literally sacrificing animals – then it’s too late.

“Gang culture and witchcraft are so heavily connected out here,” said Marz. “I was in a life or death situation with a huge drug dealer out here. They would sacrifice seven different types of animals on him. It would start off with pigeons, chickens, Rottweilers, and then monkeys. It’s so deep. If you were to see this guy, you would never know it. He does it so he won’t get murdered and gets the life essence of those animals on him.”

No one ever makes that connection between gangs and witchcraft. Media talks about Chicago being a war zone in some parts with gangs killing each other. Perhaps the answer isn’t more police, perhaps the answer is more prayer warriors and spiritual leaders. The battle doesn’t appear to be physical, it’s spiritual warfare of the unseen that is grabbing these kids and young adults.



Perhaps the scariest and most unbelievable of experiences Marz had while dealing with the occult is the following story:

“Picture a wedding banquet, you go there and they do the celebration. Except, instead of a wedding, it’s just 400 people worshipping demons. They call it getting mounted. So there will be people in there mounted by certain demons and whoever worships those demons will follow them around and offer stuff to them. The whole room is filled with fruits and vegetables up to the ceiling giving offerings to these things. If you’re driving by, you think it’s a wedding.”

Marz admits that he had previously taken part in one of these ceremonies. He was so blinded by that reality of life that it seemed normal to him.

“When you are a part of it, it’s just something you do. It’s like there are literally blinders over your eyes. You look back and think, ‘How did I not see that’? but when you are part of it you are just blind to it,” he revealed. “I think looking back, what breaks my heart the most, I know how people have fallen for that and I know how many people have fallen for that deception. It drives me to do music or to make time to do ministry that is the hope and the prayer to speak God into others and release them from that bondage. I have the hope and the faith that it will happen, and we’ll be able to see people come out of that.”

Marz believes that following Satan is more enticing to people than it sounds. Often times Christianity or religions, in general, are thought to be bogged down in rules and rituals. You have to watch everything you do because God is watching.

He said witchcraft, “plays on insecurities and fears, and comes through little things…reading horoscopes, getting your fortune told. You’re looking for answers and trying to figure out life and these people are like, ‘Hey, I have some answers for you’ and that’s what slowly draws you in.”

The rapper says that people just don’t get how powerful it is. One time he was approached by a guy in an alley. Marz was parked in his car listening to a mix of a new song. The guy heard the music and started a conversation with him.

“I tell him I’m a Christian rapper. I told him some of my background and he’s like, ‘What, bro, do you think you can do a spell on me so I can get rich?’ And I’m like, ‘Didn’t you just hear what I told you? It’s demonic. You’ll be giving your life to the devil’ and he’s like, ‘Yeah yeah, do you think you can do that for me’?”

The emcee continued, “He thought he wanted something good in life, but what’s the cost? In a weird way, I think these people are looking for God. Looking back on my time then, I think I was looking for God too. I just fell for a lot of deception. It’s spiritual, but which spirit are you in contact with?”

He said toward the end of his life as someone involved with witchcraft, things started getting crazy. His friend got shot in the head, he had a beef with that previously mentioned drug dealer, and the two were doing witchcraft on each other.

“I was going to look for someone who could do more powerful spells.”

He said he asked a friend where he could find some stronger witchcraft, and his friend replied, “There is something bigger than all of that. It’s Jesus.”

“Oh, c’mon man…”



Check back with Rapzilla next Friday with part two of this interview with Marz where he speaks about how this friend planted the seeds of his miraculous conversation to Christianity and ministry.

About the Author
Justin Sarachik has been writing about music since 2010 reporting and editing for The Christian Post, BREATHEcast, Broken Records Magazine, and his own blog TheSIBandGuy. When not conducting obscenely long phone interviews he jumps around on stage with his progressive rock/rap band Process of Fusion in Staten Island, NY.

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