Mario’s career has come full circle and he’s back on the top of his game as an artist. Since his arrival in 2002 with his self titled album Mario, he has been one of the most underrated male artists in R&B. Mario’s name blew up with the release of his second album Turning Point in 2004. His first single, “Let Me Love You,” had put him at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for nine consecutive weeks and became his biggest song to date. To date, Turning Point is certified platinum and ‘Let Me Love You” is double-platinum. His success also helped him get on Destiny’s Child’s Destiny Fulfilled… And Lovin’ It as their opening act.
In a 2007 MTV Documentary, Mario shared his struggles with his mother and her heroin addiction. The documentary was called “I Won’t Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom.” In the special, Mario revealed how it was dealing with his mother and her addiction. He also discussed how he is worried that he is enabling her to continue her addiction as an adult. It was clear watching the documentary that this was a major distraction to Mario. It was only a matter of time it would make a bigger impact on his career.
Shortly after the documentary, Mario released his third album Go. The album was dedicated to his mother and released in 2007. This album gave us the singles ‘How Do I Breathe” and “Crying Out For Me.” The album also included collaborations with a lot of big named song-writers and producers. At the time the label was putting a lot of time and energy into Mario and it was paying off.
In 2009, he had his lowest selling album to début in D.N.A. Outside of his lead selling single “Break Up” which featured Sean Garrett and Gucci Mane there was a huge lack of interest in this album from fans. The lack of success from this album along with creative differences with his labels. A lot of critics felt that Mario was expanding as an artist but not evolving.
In his personal life, Mario began to struggle more with his mother’s usage. Mario was arrested in 2010 for assaulting his mother. After this incident, Mario away to focus on his life and rethink the direction of his career.
In the September 2018, Mario has released his latest album Dancing Shadows. The album debuted at number one on the iTunes R&B chart. The visuals for “Care For You” is dedicated to his mother. It shows the relationship him and his mother while he was growing up. From her scoring some drugs to helping motivate him to pursue his musical career.
The Second Coming
Sadly his mother passed away in June of 2017. This event has definitely changed Mario. I feel like this tragedy freed him of some of the weight he was carrying his entire life. As harsh as it sounds, her freedom from this world helped him gain his own. I feel that his music has that special feeling in it again. That same feeling he had when he released Turning Point and Go. When I listen to his latest album Dancing Shadows I hear his passion and feel his pain on some songs. My absolute favorite track is “Care For You” because I can relate to the words. I can feel his pain through the lyrics and empathize with him.
One reason why I felt he lost his fan’s attention was that with D.N.A. he lost that feeling in his music. The direction he was trying to go wasn’t true to who he really was. Rather it was his labels or himself it almost destroyed his career. Now the soul has returned to his music and we all can feel again. As an artist, he does a good job of relaying his emotions through his songs. When you think of it his biggest songs are songs we all have a connection to. With “Let Me Love You” and “Crying Out For Me” the biggest two mainstream songs.
In the end, Mario is on the right path again. I know he’s giving it his all for his mother and himself now. I can’t wait to see how he continues the wave of good music going into his next project.
What are some of your favorite Mario songs? One of my favorites is a sleeper track off of Turning Point titled “Like Me Real Hard.”