by Ellen Winters
December 2010, in Oxnard, CA, Mark 4ord would head to the Guitar Center for a trip that would change his life in a journey that would take him from skateboarding and graffiti to a life of videography and music. Mark is a rapper, producer, engineer and videographer/editor. Along with a few childhood friends he started a label – DMT/Da Money Tree and the digital media company DMT Media Brothers.
In the early years, Mark used Pro Tools to record and make beats. After being told his music was robotic, he bought a Native instrument Maschine, which changed the groove and swing of the beats. Some early influences for Mark production-wise include Oxnard’d Madlib, Ohno, Alchemist, Nottz .
After Mark got comfortable with production, he started rapping. His first show was at Bombay Café, where he admittedly bombed, which only fueled his fire to make it in the music industry. He learned how to read an audience, feeling their good or bad vibes, bettering his rap.
2010 – 2014 were fun, yet dark years for Mark: losing his mom, sleeping in his car and making money doing things he called “hussles”. In 2013, his house was robbed, taking everything he needed to make money except for, luckily, his music equipment. Many would have quit, but “Marquan” had vision, drive and continued on.
Mark 4ord moved to Las Vegas in 2015, getting his dream job to be a private photographer for Caesar’s Palace, shooting photos for French Montana, 50 Cent, and other rappers. At night he found gigs at the Hard rock Café, and more underground audiences down the Strip like the Beauty Bar, Hard Hat Lounge and The Las Vegas Saloon. Although things were going well, a possible future in Vegas, Mark missed his daughter, who lived in Oxnard, and he moved back, striving to be a better person, dad and make family memories.
2016 was a big year for Mark 4ord, dropping more videos on social media, summoned to NY to perform in the Teambackpack World Emcee tournament, where he performed and shot several more videos.
Since returning to California, Mark has performed at the Legendary Ventura Theater, opening for Scarface, DJ Quick, Dom Kennedy and others. He’s also performed at the Nos Center in San Bernardino before 3,000 people, which has been one of Mark’s biggest audiences.
In 2017, Mark 4ord dropped his project called Time and toured into 2018 tagging on Local Los Angeles’ MC Self Provoked’s Good JuJu Tour and at the THOP Festival opening for Benny the Butcher, and Conway of Griselda records. In 2019 Mark laid low and rebranded the DMT label to Da Money Tree Records, and has dropped two albums this year, Painting Beats, with The Krooked One and his first vinyl release, Opiods.
Mark 4ord is predominantly aiming towards an overseas market and is working on a follow-up vinyl to his first release. Presently you can buy Da Money Tree, Mark 4ord t-shirts and other merch off Mark or Da Money Tree’s Instagram account – #mark4ord or #DaMoneyTree.