by petercortle | March 15, 2010

If you’re a New Yorker looking for hip-hop success, odds are you’re either in the city, or trying to get there. But for Ithaca, NY product Money Mars, embracing one’s unconventional roots is part of the image.

Mars has made a fair amount of noise opening up for major acts, including Immortal Technique, Afrika Bambaataa, and Joell Ortiz. Since hooking up with DJ Kid Vision—a recent Cornell University graduate with a knack for ethereal, mysterious beats—Mars and the rest of the hip-hop crew Time Out Club have been steady hustling to get their piece of the hip-hop pie.

Mars is a colorful character, with numerous references to many starkly underground hip-hop themes, including reptilians, Sumerian numerology, and conspiracy theories. He still manages to make the speakers bump with tracks like the progressive “Mr. Polo,” but overall, his message is one of awareness and paranoia. Still, there’s no doubt Mars can rhyme, and his ability to combine heady material with classic materialistic lyrics is intriguing.