Original published date: November 23, 2021
From his days as a troubled kid, rapper and entertainer, Christopher Martin knew success was for him.
I had the pleasure of doing a podcast interview with one of the most iconic figures in show business. Here is a piece of the interview. And you can watch the full interview on You tube following the end of this blog.
Christopher “Play” Martin is one of the most polarizing figures from the 1990s. The actor, philanthropist, speaker, fashion designer, and music mogul, is one-half of the powerhouse iconic group Kid ‘N Play.
These days, Christopher has his hands in so many positive things, but life didn’t start out that way for him. Born and raised in Queens, New York,
Play started off his upbringing being a stickup kid, robbing people to make a living and eventually would be kicked out of five schools. When asked what made him fall into this behavior he stated” I didn’t have the luxury or reference to aspire to be an entertainer like people have today.
Raised on Black exploitations
I grew up on black exploitation films and looking up to gangsters such as Nicky Barnes, Guy Fisher, Alpo. and the other ghetto superstars.” Mr. Martin said his father was like Superfly. “I had a naive and arrogant mind”.
Mr. Martin would be front and center and a pioneer for what eventually would be called Hip Hop. A track called Apache was the first unofficial anthem of break dancing. He started hanging out with a group of friends from his neighborhood.
They were fearless and went to other burrows and would wear the latest kicks such as Adidas, Pumas, or the Uptowners which were the pro keds with 3 stripes.
The Start of success
He and his group member Christopher “Kid” Reid, formed a group, calling themselves Fresh Force. At the time, the two would begin to make parody songs off of hit records such as Run DMC My Adidas.
They would name theirs She’s A Skeezer. Also, Falco had a song called Rock me Amadeus and they made a song called Rock to it. This would garner them recognition throughout the tri-state area, but getting their record deal didn’t happen overnight.
Their friend and producer Hurby Luv Bug was working with Super Nature Emcees who would later be known as Salt N Pepa. Record companies were coming to Hurby to see what new acts he had because of his success.
He told them about his childhood friends Kid ‘N Play and they signed with Select Records, after that, the rest was history.
Even though Kid N Play appeared to have a clean image with positive lyrics and uptempo pop-friendly instrumentals, Christopher said that’s where people were misconstrued. “Kid ‘N Play never had a clean image, especially not behind the scenes.
Christopher “Play” Martin is also a fashion guru, He has designed outfits for the likes of Salt and Pepa, Michael Jordan, Martin Lawrence, and many more, including the first few outfits Martin Lawrence wore on Def Comedy Jam.
Right now he is headed out to New York to visit a charter school that is interested in him being an Educator. He just launched an official nonprofit organization named “Playground Digital Arts and Design Workshop” which works with the youth on developing their creative skills and multimedia ways to achieve whatever their aspirations are.
Martin’s advice to anyone breaking into the entertainment business: “Don’t quit, but ask yourself what are you really doing it for? But if you are doing it for the wrong reasons, the things that are waiting for you on your path will be tormenting. You will be miserable. But if you are really about that and you love it, ask yourself why are you doing it?”
When it’s all said and done. When you are long gone from this earth, what is it that you want people to know about you? “That I’m a geek and a nerd and I still love the tech world. I want to take the culture of hip hop to another level. There is no greater feeling than helping and giving to others. I love paying it forward.”
Check out the full live podcast interview here: