Stephon Peters-Smith, known professionally as Son of Mars, is a rapper, record producer and songwriter. Known for his high energy and 90s styled rhythms. Son of Mars hails from Trinidad and Tobago, but at age 22 he already raps like he’s lived lifetimes in some of the country’s most historic hip-hop scenes. On his new EP, Son Of Mars (F.O.G records), he braids east-coast G-funk storytelling with humid Memphis instrumentals—the title track coalesces around a stuttering sample of iconic southern crew Three 6 Mafia snippet, mixed with a fresh trap spin. Mars has a resonant voice that can flit between sinister and sympathetic melodies, he does this on both Anakin and First Born. His spry performances on Son Of Mars bring out the complexities embedded in his darkest raps. He contemplates the pain of gun violence in such intimate detail that it could exhaust just about anyone, but he often sounds energized by his own urgent need to record every word. His short verses can bear great weight as he weaves together thought-provoking bars and show-stopping vocals above a backdrop of acoustic guitar and 808s. The accompanying visual finds him rapping alone around New Jersey as it captures his palpable charisma.
With a spirit full of rich storytelling and a voice unlike any other in the game, Trinidad’s own Son of Mars has been waiting for this moment since he first started releasing music in 2018. Mars recalls music being in his life at an early age, he talks about classmates drumming out beats on the lunch table and how he developed his wordplay in real time during grade school. By nineteen-years-old, he picked up guitar before eventually learning keyboard. It was not till attending the University of Rochester in (2018) did he discover his passion for music. It was at the university where he was able to pursue musical production and further his interests in Greek mythology and entrepreneurship. When he was younger his family members in Trinidad often remember him referring to himself as “Demi God” a trend that has stuck with him in the later years.
The EP Son Of Mars was created in 2019 by producer Ricky Johnson and written/recorded in 2021 by Mars himself. He recorded the EP at the University of Rochester college dorms, engineering most of the records himself. The EP contains three tracks “First Born, Watch Yourself, and Anakin.” The production offers a wide range of sounds, some branching out of the trap genre and into something else entirely. The constantly changing, stuttering high hat patterns are welcoming but the ear grabbers are the Korg synths and pulsing basslines, these are most likely to bring you back. The atmosphere of the melodies and the way the EP was created are often compared to the sound of the 00s 05s mixtapes, with a raw feel and amateurism that you would expect out of an up-and-coming artist.
Son of Mars found inspiration in hip hop staples like Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, and Mario but was also blessed to find new sounds through his family who toyed in the art form in addition to local acts like Sean Paul and Bunji Garlin.
Outside of rapping his truth, he also encourages others who are blessed financially to help others in meaningful ways. Dealing with setbacks and a tumultuous youth, it’s a wonder to see an artist turn an unfortunate past for fuel, spreading positivity to those who will listen. Describing his signature style as melodic rap comes as no surprise as you tune into Mars’ earlier work on Soundcloud. Melodic rap comes to mind when listening to “Anakin,” and with an upcoming single set to be released in early 2022, which leans more into Mars’ talent as a singer, it is only a matter of time before we learn more about the complexity of the artist that is Son Of Mars.
Life has boundless twists and turns, but a positive mindset and initiative makes all the difference in the world. At one point, Mars found himself making money by selling candy at basketball games to now being signed to a record label with thousands of listeners, a number that has the potential to skyrocket sooner rather than later.
Son Of Mars is on a steady climb in his mission to spread positivity, along with the estimated 400 songs he currently has in the vault, the rapper has more than enough content to shed light and prove who he is as an artist. Any upcoming album or E.P. details have yet to be released but stay tuned on the young artist and discover why the charismatic rapper is on a path to great success.