“…one to watch in the next wave of the DMV rap scene.” – Pitchfork
MoneyMarr still remembers the day in elementary school that changed his young life. Sitting in class as a boy, he heard his teacher read out the name of the woman who had raised him and, until that point, he thought had given birth to him. But their last names were different and the teacher had referred to her as his legal guardian. Confused, Marr asked her about the discrepancy when he got home, and his godmother told him the story: His mom had been using and selling drugs when she had him and, when he was just three months old, his godmother saw the environment he was being raised in and took him into her care. “It put me onto a different motive like, ‘Damn this for sure isn’t what’s gonna happen if I have kids or if another sibling is born,’” the 18-year-old rapper says of the revelation. “I was only a kid and it made me want to grind. 10 years later, now that I’m here, I’m ready to grind ten times harder.”
Born and raised in Southeast D.C., Marr moved just across the Maryland border with his godmother when he was 10 years old. Still, he found that the same issues that had historically plagued his D.C. neighborhood were also present in his new surroundings. “Both ends of the stick were about making a choice: either being dangerous or being safe,” he says. “Once I got older, and I got a chance to see what was going on in the streets, I started getting attached to it.” With his grades and attendance slipping in middle school, friends encouraged Marr to try rapping. His early attempts didn’t make him an overnight success but his local fan base steadily started to grow, as people began to gravitate towards the gruff-voiced, baby-faced rapper who clearly had experiences well beyond his years. At the time, the DMV area was experiencing a rap renaissance and Marr began to position himself as the young voice at the center of it all, freestyling over popular beats and samples yet making them all his own.
After building a local buzz, Marr had his sights set on expansion, spending almost a year living in Harlem while planning his next moves. One of his 2018 videos for the song “Gucci,” which now sits at over 1.5 million views, caught the attention of A$AP Mob co-founder and VLONE creator A$AP Bari, who reposted the video on his Instagram. Marr quickly followed up with the video for “Whip Out The Stick,” the rowdy anthem that would take him from regional fame to national notoriety and has since amassed close to 3.5 million views on YouTube. Almost overnight, he was fielding calls from major labels and rappers trying to sign him, but Marr opted to keep building as an independent artist. Since then, with four mixtapes under his belt, his numbers have only grown and his repertoire has expanded, staying true to the DMV sound he helped bring to a wider audience but also reflecting the wealth of experiences his music has provided for him.
One of the only things Marr remembers about his time with his mother was her promise to him: “You can make it from struggle.” His path so far has already proven this, but he knows there’s still more ground to cover. “I want to give my fans even more of me,” he says. “I want to show people what time it is.”