Marcus ‘M-Positive’ Parker from Dallas, Texas is one of rap’s good guys. Rather than the common subjects of guns, drugs, and ‘bling’ associated with gangsta rappers, Marcus describes himself as a motivational rapper, and his approach is refreshing.
Perhaps because his style has been out of step with the prevailing zeitgeist where rappers have to be more and more extreme and shocking, his music often depicts his struggle to get his more positive approach heard. His album Motivational Rap-Ten Years Underground features nine tracks, all distinctive but all with a similar uplifting message.
Opening track Long Time Coming is a good representation of his style, with a laidback hip-hop beat but an intense and powerful vocal delivery. The lyrics tell the story of what he’s head to go through to get to this stage: ‘all the problems and hard times almost drove me insane, but still I had to maintain’. The flow and eloquence of his rapping is impressive and the hook is both strong and memorable.
The title track comes next, a rapid fire rap set to a beat with a funky piano riff in the background. Third song Street Motivation opens with the line ‘I apologise for not being the rapper you thought I was…’, acknowledging his uniqueness in the rap world.
This track features a sophisticated beat and a great organ riff, also displaying his confidence in his path with humour: ‘I’m not a follower, and my pants don’t sag’. I loved the line ‘understanding yourself is the meaning of wealth’, especially piquant as so many rappers are seemingly obsessed with money.
What’s The P For and Take Flight are both great tracks continuing the ‘fight-back- against-the-odds’ theme, the latter with a quirky synth riff and vocal hook that makes it stand out from the rest. Be Yourself is the epic on the album, the longest at five minutes. It tells his whole tale in that time, his journey of self-discovery and standing on his own feet: ‘Lyrically superior, but still I was inferior ‘cos I followed the crowd’.
Last Time is powerful and poignant as it speaks of maybe coming to the end of his musical journey, but still positive as he knows he is leaving a legacy of work behind him. The Antidote is the most musical track with strings, funky guitar and a great sung chorus with a real 70’s vibe. This one would be the perfect single. Last track Sunday is a sweet and very catchy reminisce about childhood, ending the album on a moving note.
Overall, this album should be applauded for not just its positive message, but for being a great collection of songs, with no weak links. With even former bad boy Snoop Dogg now changing his ways and campaigning against guns, maybe Marcus Parker’s moral message will soon become in sync with the times, and this world will start to change for the better. Recommended. For more info please visit : Motivational RapPublisher: stanley