Christopher “Play” Martin on Returning From the Brink of Suicide to Reaching Others with His Story
THE REMIX: “I had a 38 revolver to my head. I had made it to the highest part of the mountain and felt I had been lied to. When all that failed, I just wanted to end my life,” says Christopher Martin. Martin is known as being one part of the hip/hop comedy duo Kid ‘n Play who rose to fame in the late 80’s and early 90’s. They stepped on the scene with their signature dance “The Funky Charleston.” In addition to their music, Martin along with Christopher “Kid” Reid starred in the popular comedy movie series House Party as well as Class Act.
Through the midst of his success, Martin experienced severe personal turmoil as he journeyed down the path to find peace in his life. The Queens, New York native now calls the south home where he does youth outreach and chooses to focus on the positives in life. As well as reflect on how far he’s come. In his own words: “Play was born at 18. That was when Christopher Martin stopped ceasing. Christopher Martin returned at the age of 33, but when he did; he had the mentality of an 18-year-old. Play had taken over all that time. Play was a con-artist. He pretty much cammillionized himself – if that’s even a word – to whatever was going on at the time.
Prior to that, he was the worst stick up kid that could be, one of the worst out there in the streets. It’s like a lot of these kids today. Most of them can’t even look you in the eye. If you get them apart from each other, they have dreams. They’re brilliant, but when it’s time to deal with them collectively it’s like all of a sudden you’re this other beast.
With all that being said, when it was time for Christopher Martin to be introduced to the concept of being a man; I had made it to the highest part of the mountain and felt I had been lied to. I just wanted to end my life. It was the result of the business. The women. The cars. The jewelry, having the home number to Jordan, Tyson. No problem. Even having the number to Phil Nike. The owner of Nike. Whatever. My whole motivation for being in the game was women. I heard this rumor that women like guys who do well with break dancing, rapping and I was like I can do that.
I got married thinking that was the void that needed to be filled. Then I woke up one morning, as a matter of fact, the next morning thinking my God what have I done? Everything that could be accomplished I had, but still I had the biggest void. It felt like the twilight zone. About a year of being married, divorce was in the making. A child was being born. I was thinking this isn’t how it was supposed to go. I didn’t feel like doing Kid ‘n Play anymore. My entrepreneur think was going on, but I was just miserable. I didn’t have a desire for anything anymore. I just wanted to punk sway out.”
Instead of “punk swaying out,” Martin made the decision to turn his life around. He says he started by finding Christ. Nowadays, he shares his story of trials, tribulations, heart aches and pain with kids in hopes they can learn from where he went wrong. “I was kicked out of five high schools. Class Act isn’t that far off. I’m a former knucklehead. I really had idolized people in the era of Fat Cats, American Gangster and the other stuff you see on TV. The original 50 Cent was around at that time. I just really idolized thugs and gangsters. I was so stupid to the point when times even before I got my hands on guns, if I would be on the corner with my boys I would just run for no reason if I saw a cop coming. I wanted the cops to think I did something and come and arrest me just so I would have a reputation that I went to jail. My whole thing was the people I thought were winning. They were the people I thought was it. I wanted to be with them and like them so bad. It was to the point when I started getting into selling and trafficking guns, I started sticking people up for a living. I did do my fair share of working at Burger King, McDonalds, Sears and Roebuck and construction; but my main thing was I wanted to be accepted amongst the thugs and gangsters. One of the biggest times in my life was going to Disco Fever back in the day. Not for the rappers, but because I knew that’s where the real stick up kids and hoods were at.
I put my father through a lot. He spent my influential years in prison. That gave me notoriety in the neighborhood. He was really well-known. I was just really a hot mess! Just really trying to do what I could do to be what I thought it took to be. I was really just destined to have killed somebody or to have been killed.”
Still alive and thriving, Martin just celebrated his 50th birthday earlier this month. In addition to youth outreach, he also founded the news sharing website Brand Newz which focuses on positive stories for the African-American and minority communities.
About “THE REMIX”:
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