Every artist, whether CHH or not, needs to choose how they will present themselves as an artist. MARS (Masking All Remnants of Self) takes a very unique approach to his presentation. Wearing a mask to conceal his identity, he wants “all the attention focused on the message, the music and most importantly the Messiah”. Though his goal is to eventually be an artist full time, the mission of MARS is to be a positive influence and allow lives to be changed through Jesus. His inspiration comes from Luke 9:23, “Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me’”. MARS recently released his debut mixtape, Wrestlemania, on March 12th. The title is a metaphor to how we wrestle with things in life as Christians, but with Jesus we can overcome the struggles and come out victorious.
The first track that caught my attention was “Nature Boy”. It features a really good beat that forms the track’s backbone. MARS’s lyrics flow very well with the beat, creating a cool sound overall. He manages to mix a hint of skill in with some catchy rhymes that keep the song playing through my head.
Another good track on the mixtape is “Bret Hart”. There’s a great combination of treble and bass through the rapping verses. MARS speaks about how he wants to be a positive influence for God, “It’s amazing how many lives you can change, dreams you can achieve, when you die to yourself, and in God truly believe”. His slower style meshes very well with his goal as you can clearly understand his message. Not only does he do a good job with the rapping, but he sings an amazing chorus that really makes the track something special.
“Raw is War” is a little quicker track that focuses heavily on the lyrics, and MARS steps up to the plate well. He does just enough with his voice to keep it interesting in the periods of little background sound to keep it interesting. The chorus definitely is kind of empty though. The gap with quiet lyrics and little sound messes with the flow of the track overall and leaves something to be desired. Even with that, it’s an enjoyable track with some of the best rapping in the mixtape.
Two more tracks that also stuck out to me were “Spinaroonie” and “Dudley Death Drop” (feat. Rab G.). “Spinaroonie” especially has a cool overall flow, especially with the transitions, and it switches-up by using basketball metaphors throughout the song. The track has flashes of being awesome, but the higher-pitched background sound get slightly annoying after a while. “Dudley Death Drop” has a really great use of bass in the refrain that works well with the rapping for a cool sound. There is a bubble-like background sound that appears during parts of MARS’s verses which really seems misplaced though. Overall they are both tracks still with good rapping and flow.
“Kofi Kingston” definitely had potential to be a really good track. The problem is that the hook sounds exactly like “Teach Me How to Dougie”, and that really ruins the song for me. Not that it sounds bad, but it just sounds like too many generic mainstream hip-hop songs out there. That’s sad since MARS’s rapping verses have an awesome beat and some great rapping.
I’m still torn on how much I like the wrestling theme and intros in Wrestlemania, but I can appreciate the connection MARS is trying to make. MARS definitely has skill as a rapper as well as singing a little, as he showed in “Bret Hart”, and it would be a positive for him to continue to use a similar style of refrain as he used in that track. Overall, Wrestlemania is a very good mix of sounds while still including the messages of God throughout the mixtape. As a debut mixtape MARS has done very well to show his skill in a variety of areas, and I look forward to where he goes next with his planned EP.
Wrestlemania is available to download for free HERE