COLONIE When he was a junior at Colonie Central High School in 2005, Brendan Martin didn’t get physical with the classmate who made fun of his passion. He turned it around to fuel the form of expression that was the target of the ridicule: rapping.
“The song got really big in my school. I was strategic with it. I had control over my response and planned on what I wanted to say,” said Martin, who is also known as rapper B. Martin. “I had a sense of appreciation over the fact that I can manipulate and control my words, and release them how I want, instead of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.”
Four years later, which studying business and Spanish at SUNY Albany, Martin won the university’s Battle of the Bands, which eventually led him to perform with well-known hip-hoppers including J. Cole, Fabulous and Lupe Fiasco. Martin turned his words into positive messages and not too long after graduating 2010, and he showed off his skills to the entire SUNY system by writing “The SUNY Anthem,” released on YouTube on Feb. 27.
It has since racked up more than 110,000 views on the video sharing service.
Martin raps about his time at SUNY Albany, where he graduated with a 4.0 grade point average, and then voices the benefits of the SUNY system as a whole. The video, which spread quickly through Facebook and SUNY websites, features dancers sporting “SUNY” shirts surrounding Martin. Shots pan in and out between some of the system’s 64 campuses, switching to shots of SUNY students in school environments.
The rapper teamed up with the SUNY system last year to create a song with a “positive message” about the schools, Martin said. The video was shot by Christopher Romero, who filmed many of rapper 50 Cent’s music videos, and SUNY chipped in $3,000 for the production costs.