March 03, 2017

Mario Grand nods to greats while launching original sound with new single ‘Upstate 808 (Str8 Drop)’




BUFFALO, NY – Almost everything you need to know about Mario Grand as a musician can be summed up with the title of his newest single, Upstate 808 (Str8 Drop).

Not only is it a name that nods to his hometown of Buffalo, New York, and the East coast flavor and delivery hes developed during his many years as a rapper from that part of the country. Its also a testament to the kind of music that he wants to be known for a pure rapper with the heart and soul of the greats combined with a new wave that makes him a true original.

This single is based around a heavy 808 drum beat, he said. Its got a lot of that golden era 90s rap influence, but I make sure I sound current when I do it. More than anything, though, the beat is stripped down to straight 808 with a kick and a snare, and Im flowing over it with that easy East coast style to bring it home.

Grand said the subtitle Str8 Drop is slang meaning pure and uncut. And he said hes using the term as a metaphor for his music in that its pure and uncut, and hes ready to advertise it as such.

The reference is also a nod to some rocky times in his past and the journey hes taken toward success over the past decade. Back in the late 90s, Mario was a young prodigy in the rap game and caught the attention of up-and-coming record label Kamp Kelemal Productions. He worked with the label for a couple of years before parting ways and joining Empyre Nation, where he produced beats for many of their artists. But it was around this time that Grands personal life began to take a turn for the worse. He was arrested and convicted of gun possession, and shortly after that he was indicted on drug charges.

He was sentenced to 22 months in jail. The entire time he was inside, he vowed to come home and rebuild his life so that he could fully realize his potential as a musician. Upon returning home, he went straight to work graduating from a two-year college with a business degree while continuing to make music with Empyre Nation.

Over the past year hes been developing his own record label, Mario Grand Music. His new single is one of the first under the new label, and he knows that its one that fans are going to really enjoy once they hear it.

With my music I want to translate my it factor, he said. When people hear me I want them to say that I belong with the great ones. And if they dont say that by the first time they hear me, then I hope after three or four songs they say, Hes gonna be around for awhile. Hes not going nowhere.’”

Fans who want to get a taste of Mario Grands music can visit his website at mariogrand.com, or purchase his music on digital download sites such as iTunes, Spotify and Google Play. Fans can also follow him on social media on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and @LDMGrand on Snapchat.


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