Clean Douglasville rapper Mardy Mar released his fourth album, “Shift Happens” on Dec. 22. The artist is continuing his trend of releasing non-vulgar and encouraging music to today’s children.
Songs on the album like “Jordan and Clothes” breaks down the unbalanced priorities that pop culture has instilled in the younger generation of placing materialistic name brand clothes above having a spiritual relationship. The single samples the 1993 Kirk Franklin hit “Silver and Gold.”
“The younger generation of kids can relate to it,” Mardy Mar said. “Me being successful at Zaxby’s, I wasn’t young buying Jordan’s and Polo and all that other stuff because it just gets old. Back in high school, I used to wear the tall tees and I still have them. It loses its value over time and that’s more stuff that I’m going to put into my music.”
Mardy Mar’s career at Zaxby’s and his career in rap intertwined in 2010. Mardy Mar, then an employee at Zaxby’s, made a music video about working at the fast food restaurant. He was originally supposed to be on the song with a couple of other employees, but after getting tired of waiting, he did the entire song by himself.
The song spoofed the 2009 hit “Forever” and Mardy Mar imitated the flows and melodies of Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Eminem with lines about making minimum wage and the menu options for customers. The point of the song was to help remind Mardy Mar of all of the menu options, he said. The video now has over 19,000 views online.
After the “Zaxby’s Forever” video became a hit, Mardy Mar decided to pursue a serious rap career. He tagged along with other Douglasville and Marietta acts like A1 Supergroup, making songs about drugs and vulgar topics. Mardy Mar pushed his songs until he realized how he and his peers’ music impacts the next generation.
“I have nieces and nephews and they look up to artists that are on the radio and trying to be like everybody,” Mardy Mar said. “And y'all are not living the lifestyle y'all rap about.”
From that point forward, Mardy Mar decided to make positive rap music for kids to listen to. He cleaned up his image and ordered a teddy bear costume that he bought to wear to places like school events.
While Mardy Mar was cleaning up his image, some of his peers went down a different path. Four members of the Douglasville group “Block Business Music Group (BBMG)” were arrested and indicted for criminal gang activity this year. Mardy Mar said that he knew members of the group and he used to hang out with the group.
“You have to watch who you’re hanging around, because if I was with them, then I probably would’ve gotten locked up too,” Mardy Mar said. “Probably all of them are fathers, I know two of them for sure are fathers, and their kids are looking at that. I don’t know if they’re going to try to be motivated to be like their parents or if they’re going to look at it and say, ‘I don’t want to make that mistake that my dad made.’”
In the community, Mardy Mar’s nonprofit organization New Music Ent. is currently in the process of beginning an after-school program where children interested in music can learn how to record and make songs about what they learned in school. Mardy Mar is currently in the process of requesting a grant to host the program in a building near downtown Douglasville next year.
To learn more about Mardy Mar and his music, visit his website at www.mardymar.com.