At a makeshift recording studio inside a Fort Washington dwelling known as “Da House” to local emcees, a rapper is positioning himself for his nine-to-five. He takes two pulls on his cigarette, motions a quick cue to his producer, and now he’s ready for work. He lines up the microphone, clears his throat and lays down his first verse, rapper “swag” down pat. Arms moving, voice blaring, torso twitching, rapper Prince George is attacking the beat with full force. But before he can even get his second verse out, he’s already finished. He removes his headphones, frowns and requests a do-over—typical of “Prince George,” always hungry for perfection.
Delonte Marbury, aka Prince George, just can’t be pleased. He knows what’s at stake with every rap he rips and every line he lays. After all, when you fancy yourself after the wealthiest Black county in America, you can’t just put out anything. It has to be rich, it has to be high quality and it has to represent.
Marbury, however, has been representing his county for years. The only difference is that now, he’s personifying Prince George’s County on a public platform, not just as an answer on a questionnaire. Raised predominantly in Maryland, the 28-year-old has been affiliated with the area all his life. Even a brief four-year stay at North Carolina’s Johnson C. Smith University could not detract from his origin.
The essence of his hometown is stitched into every track he records, but it’s not just his local ties that have the state ablaze. Contrary to the classic “material” rapper, Marbury’s approach has been switched up, somewhat. His title track “I Have Nothing” does little to champion his image as a free-spending, weapon-wielding ladies man. Instead, it offers listeners a connection into the life of a man who lived homeless on the streets for three months as a refugee. His six-track demo CD Road to Riches has received public adulation from BlogTalkRadio listeners and has aired at local area events to positive feedback.
“I want to move people emotionally with a message through real life experiences and just try to affect people in a positive way,” Marbury says.
Although he wandered the streets for a while, Marbury is not some wandering artist. In fact, he’s well-grounded. A wife and two children await “Prince George” when he arrives home, and although making it mainstream is the idea, it’s not the only notion on the table. So while his track “I Have Nothing” continues to pump on YouTube and dance through the streets, he sits patiently at “Da House” with everything he could ever want.