At the age of 14, Mark Mandelbaum developed a love for hip-hop when he listened to “Jump Around” by House of Pain. Mark always had a passion for poetry, but hearing groups like the Beastie Boys, Eminem and the Wu-Tang Clan took his passion to new heights. He started writing his own rhymes and eventually gained the confidence to start performing in front of small crowd.
Mark began collaborating with producer Khalfani of Toledo, Ohio, group the Great Lakes Crew. The duo collaborated long-distance and created three songs, which garnered thousands of hits on Reverbnation. Mark became H.Y.P.E. — Hip-hop’s Young Professional and Entertainer — and ascended to the 3rd spot on the Reverb Ohio Rap & Hip-Hop Charts. H.Y.P.E. started working with more artists nationwide, including K.A. (GFLS), Kingsman JE and Chandra Coffman.
In June 2014, Mark visited the doctor to look at a sore throat. After multiple biopsies and tests, Mark learned that he had cancer. He did not let the devastating news stop him from living life, and after six months of chemotherapy, Mark is currently in remission.
Mark — as H.Y.P.E. — is working on new music and looking toward the future. His #InspireThriveSurvive campaign is at the heart of his newfound appreciation for life. Through his story, Mark seeks to push others to live a fulfilling life and to live out their dreams.
“Success to me isn’t the number of fans I have,” Mark said recently. “No, it’s doing something I never thought possible and doing it to the best of my ability. I appreciate the fan support, but care more about getting the message across and telling my story to the listeners.”