MartyHeemCherry, whose given name is Malik, in honor of the late Black leader Malcolm X, catches the eye of many. His unique fashion sense, authentic lyrical choice, and hands-on community work, definitely turn heads, but his striking secondary title seems to peak most people’s interest the most, “The Best Rapper in D.C.”
While some might think his title comes off as pompous, the rapper and activist explained it is ultimately meant to challenge the status quo and embrace the Black pride and excellence. His connection to healthy living and dedication to community make him a multifaceted, positive figure that not only wows with his style and artistry, but commitment to the betterment of the District and world.
Upbringing: What’s in a Name, Growing Up Socially Responsible
MartyHeemCherry explained that his given name, “Malik,” seemed to lay out what his future was to be or even had to be.
“I was raised in a home that gave me a sense of responsibility to my community.”
Growing up his mother was a social worker and his father was a community organizer working with Hoops for Peace, a non-profit organization that gathers the community to reinforce peace.
During his youth, the now artists became drawn to rap, developing his skills at the local organization Hands on the Future, which encourages young people growing up in Washington, D.C. to embrace their creativity and explore music production.
His background and work with Hands on the Future, propelled MartyHeemCherry, not only into his artistic journey, but advocacy as well. He later became a mentor for Hands on the Future and a contributing organizer for future events to come.
MartyHeemCherry has taken his experience in organizing, the arts and mentorship, and applied it to multiple facets of the community, incorporating his music along the way. He’s participated and contributed to such events as the Sankofa Babacue, celebrating Juneteenth and Father’s Day, and Good House Musik & Friends, which took place at Metro Bar, highlighting Black vendors.
Along his journey into consciousness, he became committed to taking care of his health and became more aware of the importance of promoting internal well-being to the populace. As a result, MartyHeemCherry promotes healthy living through his creative content position at Maat Sunz, a local health and wellness company focused on holistically healing humanity through minerals, alkaline plants, and food.
The artist and activist also contributes to the Power to the People Program, a Solar Solutions initiative that works to provide D.C. low-income homeowners with free solar panels. Notably, the company is also well-known for its work in installing solar panels at the African American Museum.
Taking his commitment to the community further, MartyHeemCherry, utilizes music to spread positive and insightful messages. He has an album dropping in September.
The rapper explained the meaning behind the title of his upcoming album, “2633, The Blue Jay & The Phoenix.” Now, 28, he shared that the 26 in the title was his age when he began creating the album and that the 33 represented his former girlfriend’s age— both strong themes in the album.
The Blue Jay aspect of the title represents his repeated experiences of seeing the bird throughout D.C. and explained he often saw them throughout the time he spent with his ex.
Overall, he explains that “2633, The Blue Jay & The Phoenix,” has a boy-meets-world theme and is a coming-of-age album.
“[The album] is a culmination of things that I picked up from the Most-High and the universe.”
Through lyric and community impact, “The Best Rapper in D.C.,” encourages the community to think more deeply about their choices: thinking about how you live, how you eat, and what you support not only makes the person, but inevitably, the community.
Look out for his upcoming album, “2633, The Blue Jay & The Phoenix,” featuring the songs, “Time” and “Marlo’s Furniture.”
The album will be dropping on his birthday, September 1, with a listening party taking place the same month, with the exact date to be determined.
To keep up to date on the listening party and all thingsMartyHeemCherry, follow him on Instagram and Soundcloud @thebestrapperindc.