Christopher Martin (entertainer)
Christopher "Play" Martin (right) at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.
|Birth name||Christopher Martin|
|Born||July 10, 1962|
|Origin||Queens, New York, U.S.|
|Associated acts||Kid 'n Play, House Party, Salt-N-Pepa, Pete Rock, Hurby "Luv Bug" Azor|
The name, "Play", comes from his original MC name, "Playboy", which originated with a group called "Quicksilver and the Super Lovers", which featured producer Hurby Luv Bug. It was with this group that he met Christopher "Kid" Reid, who was using the name "Kid Coolout" with a group called The Turnout Brothers. In time, all of the members of their respective groups moved on, and decided that they could work together as a duo. By shortening their nicknames, it would lead to the start of the group Kid 'n Play.
With Kid, Play recorded three successful albums and starred in four hip-hop based comedy films: House Party, House Party 2, Class Act, and House Party 3. After the duo split in 1995, Play became a born-again Christian and focused on Christian hip hop. Today, Play is the founder and CEO of HP4 Digital, a pre- and post-production multimedia company for film, digital media, and theater. In 2010, Play starred as an undercover DEA agent in the independent film, The Return, which is currently in post-production and whose trailer can be seen on youtube.com. Play was also a judge for the 8th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists.
Martin is a graduate of the High School of Art and Design, in New York City, although in an interview with the Breakfest Club he stated that he earned a GED. Martin has a son, Skyler Martin, with ex-wife Shari Headley (an actress best known for her role in the 1988 comedy Coming To America starring Eddie Murphy). The couple married in May 1993 and divorced in June 1995. Martin also has a child born in the 80s, Vannessa Martin, with ex-girlfriend Janae Yvonne Jackson and a son, Christopher Martin, Jr.
Martin now resides in Durham, North Carolina, and was a hip hop teacher at North Carolina Central University until budget cuts forced the school to let him go in 2009. Upon learning of the firing, students began a petition for Martin to be given back the position. Martin also serves as a professional-in-residence with the Institute for Hip Hop and Music Industry Studies that Clemons directs at Florida A & M University, and he devotes time to the non-profit group Campaign for Change.
With Kid 'n Play
- House Party (1990) - Peter "Play" Martin
- House Party 2 (1991) - Peter "Play" Martin
- Class Act (1992) Michael Charles "Blade" Brown
- House Party 3 (1994) - Peter "Play" Martin
- Rising to the Top (1999)
- Welcome to Durham, USA (2007)
- House Party: Tonight's the Night (2013) - Peter "Play" Martin (cameo)