Jaron Marquis

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Jaron Marquis
Birth name Jaron Marquis Garrett
Also known as J. Marquis
Born (1983-07-08) July 8, 1983 (age 34)
Origin Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Genres Hip hop
  • rapper
  • actor
  • playwright
  • entrepreneur
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2007–present
Labels Urban Genius Records
Website jaronmarquis.com

Jaron Marquis Garrett (born July 8, 1983), better known by his stage name Jaron Marquis or J. Marquis, is an American rapper, actor, entrepreneur and investor based in Los Angeles. He co-founded Dreamapolis, an Indianapolis-based start-up accelerator, and the independent record label Urban Genius Entertainment. As an actor he has starred in film roles that include Furious 7 and Straight Outta Compton.

Early life[edit]

Marquis was born in Indianapolis and graduated from Arsenal Technical High School in 2001. He received a bachelor of arts degree with concentrations in business and pastoral sciences from Indiana State University in 2005. Then he moved to Chicago and obtained an MBA from Benedictine University.[1][2]

From the age of 12, when he made and sold jewelry, Marquis tried various entrepreneurial ideas. He started a theatrical production company at Indiana University. After graduating, he operated an indoor advertising company, started and sold a painting firm, worked in college admissions, and owned part of a telecommunications company.[2]

Music career[edit]

Marquis began his rap career as an underground battle rapper in the late 90's.[3] He booked gigs for his rapper friends at Arsenal Tech High School, where he and his friends would organize and participate in local rap battles around the state of Indiana.[2]

After a decade-long hiatus in which he developed entrepreneurial ventures and investments, Marquis reentered the music industry in 2014 under the name J. Marquis with the release of a mixtape entitled Soul of A Genius.[4] The mixtape included the singles "We All Rant" and "Just Like Water" featuring Lauryn Hill.[5][6]

In 2016, he began performing and recording under his actual name Jaron Marquis with the release of the single "Applause".[7] Marquis described his music as "college dropout Kanye with a touch of Janelle Monáe."[8]

Business career[edit]

Marquis founded a company, JJ Marquis Investment Group LLC, and started doing real estate full-time in 2006. A year later, he made a $30 million project for a 25-story apartment tower to be built on run-down properties in downtown Indianapolis. However, the project never materialized and construction plans were canceled.[1][9]

He was an OnyxFest finalist in 2012.[10] He directed Betsy on E. 10th Street, a play by the Indianapolis Urban Theatre and Dance Company, a theatrical production company which he co-founded. He also played one of the main roles. The play was praised for drawing its story from the life of a Vietnam veteran and ex-Black Panther.[11][12]

In 2011, Marquis also co-founded Dreamapolis, an Indianapolis-based start-up accelerator and seed-funding source for start-ups, social entrepreneurs, creatives and innovators. It helped urban entrepreneurs start businesses by connecting them with critical tools and resources. Dreamapolis held entrepreneur workshops and crowdfunding events, organized business summer camps for youth, and invested in creative Indianapolis ideas.[13][14][2][15]

Marquis launched the independent record label Urban Genius Entertainment in 2013 and began recording new music in 2014.[16]

Private life[edit]

Marquis is married and has three daughters. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.[8]



Year Title[7] Label
2016 Applause Urban Genius Entertainment
Baby Yeah
2017 That's My N***a


Year Title
2014 Soul of a Genius


Year Title[17] Role Notes
2007 Girl Crazy Bobby
2010 Antihero Stranger short
2015 HitRecord on TV himself also: composer and musician
Furious 7 L.A. Street Racer uncredited
Straight Outta Compton T-shirt vendor uncredited


  1. ^ a b Cory Schouten (9 September 2007). "Young developer, towering dream for downtown Indianapolis". Indiana Economic Digest. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Urban biz accelerator giving leg up to startups". Indianapolis Business Journal (through TMC.net). 29 March 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  3. ^ "Jaron Marquis Garrett biography". IMDb. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  4. ^ "Mixtape: Soul of A Genius". Genius. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "Just Like Water Re-plugged J.Marquis featuring Lauryn Hill". YouTube. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  6. ^ "We All Rant by J. Marquis". Spotify. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Jaron Marquis". iTunes. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Trish Wallace (24 September 2016). "Spotlight Interview: Jaron Marquis". Purple Bars. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  9. ^ Cory Schouten (3 October 2007). "R.I.P. Marquis Tower?". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  10. ^ "OnyxFest". Indyfringe. 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  11. ^ Scott Shoger (23 May 2012). "Thoughts on Onyx Fest". Nuvo. Issuu. p. 19. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  12. ^ "Starts 18 Friday: Onyx Fest". Nuvo. Issuu. 16 May 2012. p. 16. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  13. ^ "Dreamapolis presents 'PitchFeast'". Indianapolis Recorder. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  14. ^ Whitney Watt (29 April 2013). "Q+A: Jaron Garrett, Co-Founder of Dreamapolis". Pattern. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  15. ^ Stacy M. Brown (23 January 2015). "'Selma' reaches both young and old". The Baltimore Times. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  16. ^ "Urban Genius Entertainment". IMDb. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  17. ^ "Jaron Marquis Garrett". IMDb. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 

External links[edit]