His album resonates a man who has experienced several sides of life and is at a point in which he understands the reason one is Blessed, is to be a Blessing. He utilizes his linguistic abilities to paint lyrical pictures, so when you listen, you can see what he is saying. His message is clear and directed towards anyone who is striving for $uccess, in need of Inspiration or simply to hear something that is positive, uplifting yet real. His music is for the youth to assist them in becoming an adult as well as for the adults that want more out of life. Coming from the South, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida has provided him with an upbringing that is real. But be careful not to judge a book by its cover. Take time to listen, read and pontificate. Then you will see for yourself that the man called MR. HARDGE has arrived and is ready to make major moves in 2-Double O-8 with his message.
What was it like growing up for you?
MR. HARDGE - Growing up in the 954 was fun. I come from a small family and we lived in the same house since I was five years old. Everyone from my block was into sports so we played a lot of football and basketball. I grew up like most African American males who wanted to make it big in athletics. Dreams of making millions of dollars as a professional football or basketball player plagued my mind constantly as a youth. Music has always been a big part of my life as well. We had a singing group called “Omni 5” and entered local talent shows and performed New Edition songs because they were very popular back then. We were pretty good but we were not able to take it to the next level. That is why I am not surprised that I am still on stage because it has been a part of me for a long time. During the mid-eighties, I noticed a significant shift in Broward County. Drugs begin to infiltrate our communities and a lot of us got caught up in a game that we could not win. Now it is 2008, and unfortunately we are still getting caught up in the same game that we could not win back in the 80’s. That is why I am so passionate about the “Prescription For Success” Book/CD/Movie. I want to provide the information, musical and visual perspective of becoming successful without having to risk your freedom or life.
What caused you to travel down this spiritual path you are on today?
MR. HARDGE - As I reflect on my life, I can remember several instances that have brought me to the realization that it could have only been the Grace of God that brought me out of certain situations. Can you imagine doing certain things with your friends and they get caught and you don’t. Some got life in prison or died and you are still living or free. I began to ask God why he spared me in these situations. I was not a perfect youth. Why did he give me another chance at life over and over again? Then I came to the realization that he was my bridge over troubled waters so that I could one day be a bridge for someone else. The real reason one is blessed is to be a Blessing. Those situations caused me to look at life from a different perspective and find another reason for living. Finding my Purpose!
How did the idea for “Prescription for Success” come to you?
MR. HARDGE - I remember on several occasions when I was not feeling well I went to see my doctor. The first things he asked me was, “What’s wrong.” Then he conducted his diagnosis and gave me a prescription. I came to a certain point in my life that I realized certain things were wrong with me. Not physically, but mentally. When one spends a lot of time in a particular environment, you begin to adopt the mental and inward perspectives of that environment. You take on the characteristics and qualities of the environment you are in. This inward adoption of attitudes was reflected in my actions, behaviors, dialogue, dress and habits. After realizing what I had become, and being honest with myself and admitting I had a problem, I began to self- prescribe myself with antidotes that would change the way I thought about life as well as myself. I spent a lot of time in the Self-Help sections of the local book stores and began to attend Success Seminars and Workshops. I even got involved with different business opportunities that placed me in a new environment where $uccess was the goal. As I continued to read and expose myself to different people and opportunities, I begin to look at life and myself differently. $uccess began to take on a different form and I had a new outlook on life. I realized that I had to rehabilitate myself because no one else was going to do it for me. Then I realized that if I could do it, anyone who had the desire and persistence could do it as well. It was not easy, but it was definitely worth it. My life was worth it. I decided to utilize my past experiences and my life as the example, and my “Prescription for $uccess” was born. I realized my greatest enemy was my inner me. When I changed what was on the inside, that is when my outside world changed, because I changed my decisions. The only way to change your world is from the inside out. Make sure you get my “Prescription for $uccess”; it will change your life. However, you must be willing to change for your life. Change your thoughts, you change your life!
I’ve heard your promotional CD and it is very good. What was the source of inspiration behind the songs you wrote?
MR. HARDGE - The source of inspiration behind the songs I wrote was to provide Hip-Hop music that is inspirational, motivational and educational. Music is a language that crosses all color barriers similar to money, because everyone has it. Some have more than others, in different amounts and denominations, in different places. From the White House to no house, just about everybody has a favorite song. Various genres, but everyone in the world listens to music in some shape, form, or fashion. We are forced to because you get in an elevator or go to the Dentist Office they are playing music. I want to make the most of a persons time because time can’t be replaced. When you listen to my music, I want you to be able to walk away with something that is going to help you get to the next level in life because life is about growth. Growing, Spiritually, Mentally, Physically, Emotionally and Financially is how I define $uccess. I would call my music “Seeds of $uccess”, and when seeds are nourished properly, they will produce a harvest. One of the determining factors in creating a Harvest is by planting in fertile soil. Open up your Mind and receive!
Who produced the CD?
MR. HARDGE - I produced the album.
How would you describe your style of rap?
MR. HARDGE - I would describe my style of rap as Mental Expansion.
Please explain this Mental Expansion.
MR. HARDGE - Once the mind expands, it will never return to its original size. Therefore, you have increased your capacity inwardly, which will put you in a position to increase your capacity outwardly. My music is all about Increase and $uccess. Growth always takes place inwardly first, outwardly second. It is the intangibles or the things we can’t see, that create the tangibles, the things we can see. If you want a Harvest, I got the Seeds. Get my “Prescription For $uccess” and watch the Mental Expansion take place.
What has the response been like to your music?
MR. HARDGE - The responses I have been getting from my music have been positive. When I ask individuals to compare my music to someone, the response I have been getting is, “I have not heard this type of music before.” No profanity, no derogatory lyrics, just positive music that you can listen to with your children. Music that you can turn on while you are cleaning up your house, taking your kids to school, or prior to a lecture or business meeting. My music is not just for the party. I made music for the intellectual as well, music for individuals who can appreciate difference. My music is kid sensitive and profound enough for adults. It’s Spiritually inclined, yet real enough for the streets. That is what separates my music from the rest. It is original and can’t be put in a box.
Have you performed before a live audience? If so, where and when?
MR. HARDGE - I performed on New Years night at Gateway Church in Ft. Lauderdale. I could not think of a better way to bring in the New Year than in Church doing exactly what I had envisioned doing. When you receive an assignment, and are obedient, you will be Successful. Not because of you, but because of your obedience. I have several shows coming up this year and you can check out my website to find out more information.
Have you received interest from any major record labels?
MR. HARDGE - Not yet, but I do anticipate hearing something from them soon. They say Good News travels fast, and that’s Bible.
Hip Hop music basically dominates the globe right now. And not too many songs out there today uplift, inspire or educate our young people. Do you think that your music will be the key to unlock not only their ears but also their minds?
MR. HARDGE - The Bible says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Most people go to church because they realize they need that which is taking place in the church. They need the Word which is the truth. They need the fellowship and the Spiritual incarnation of Worship. They realize they need it, and in most cases, that is what they are going to get. They made the decision, and put themselves in a position to receive. My music will do that which it is intended to do… be received by those who want to receive it.
What would be your response to those that may say your music won’t be able to compete with the likes of Jay-Z, Trick Daddy, 50 Cent, Rick Ross etc?
MR. HARDGE - I am not in competition with anybody. The individuals you have named are legends and I would be foolish to compete with them. I am competing with myself. As of the date of the publication of this issue, I have sold zero albums. I am waiting patiently to see how many people appreciate the type of music I am creating, and how it can prove to be beneficial in their lives? I am more concerned about the music I make being applicable to assist one in their development, then just making music to listen to. My focus is growth and change. My focus is $uccess.
You put me on the spot prior to this interview being conducted and asked me which track I liked most. I told you it was track #2 “Get Yo Mind Right”. But since then, I’ve listened to the CD many more times and I have to say I enjoy the entire CD. And the reason is because it plays like a book and each song is a different chapter on positively. I understand now that this was probably your goal which leads me to ask you about the actual book you wrote.
MR. HARDGE - It is not just about the music for me. I am really a big advocate for Reading. If you were to visit my home, you would notice that I have Success Books everywhere. In my car I have at least 5 different books on Success. They are like my American Express; I never leave home without them. I realize there is only 24 hours in a day and I try not to waste my time. If I am sitting somewhere waiting on something or someone, I will read a book and continue with my Mental Expansion. My book is just as important as the music. I am looking forward to entering into an agreement with a Major Book Publishing Company to distribute the book for me. Reading is one of the most important aspects of attracting or becoming Successful, but the average person invests very little time in the enhancement of their brain by reading. In order to Succeed, you must Read. There are two positions in life, Leaders and Followers. In order to Lead, you must Read. And if you are not leading, you are following. Pick a position!
What is the ultimate goal you would like to see your CD and book reach and when are the release dates?
MR. HARDGE - My ultimate goal is to provide individuals who have a burning desire for $uccess with the information to assist them in accomplishing their goal via music and reading. I want to provide an alternative to the individuals who love Hip-Hop music. Music that is inspirational, motivational, and educational. Music that is real. I truly believe that more people will listen to the music than read the book, but I anticipate something they hear in the music will push them towards reading the book. If you truly desire $uccess, reading is imperative. READ, READ, READ, IF YOU WANT TO SUCCEED. But don’t just read anything; read that which will assist you in accomplishing your goals. If you want to be a Master Chef, then most of the literature you read should pertain to cooking, not cattle. My release date is sometime between now and Summer of 08.
I also understand that you have plans on releasing a movie based on the book. How is that coming along?
MR. HARDGE - This aspect of the project is truly a huge undertaking, but I feel the visual aspect of the project will provide a vivid picture of my “Prescription for $uccess.” Most of us are visual and auditory learners, so we learn via what we see and hear. That is why the Tel-Lie-Vision is so powerful. If you get the wrong vision, your future is in jeopardy. If you get the right Vision, your future is promising. I got something to tell ya! I got a Prescription!
Tell our readers about your Young Bold Moguls (YBM) Organization you are creating.
MR. HARDGE - This is a Non-Profit, Faith-Based Organization that we are in the process of creating. Its sole purpose and mission is to prepare the youth of today for leadership tomorrow. We will prepare them to become Moguls versus Employees. Ya Feel me!
I definitely feel that. You also do motivational speaking engagements too…correct?
MR. HARDGE - Exactamundo! It is not just motivational speaking, but I would call it motivational teaching. If you think back when we were in school, every class we took had a teacher and a book. Science, History, Math, Social Studies all had a teacher and a book. I look at speaking engagements just like a class we took in school. You must have a teacher, which is I, and you must have a book, which is my “Prescription for $uccess.” If you can learn Math, Science, and History, you can learn how to become Successful. But you are going to need my Prescription.
Not only are you an Artist, Writer, Mentor and Motivational Teacher but you are also the President & CEO of your own Real Estate company. Give us the 411 on this business venture.
MR. HARDGE - Hardge Management Inc. is a family owned and operated Real Estate and Development Company. Our primary focus has been residential development, but the market is very soft right now. The construction of single family homes has slowed significantly because of the amount of Foreclosure and Short-sales available. In addition, the number of Sub-Prime lenders that have gone out of business has made it difficult for individuals to get financing. We are currently looking for creative ways to take advantage of this soft market. Diversification is another key to $uccess.
How do you find time to maintain it all?
MR. HARDGE - Focus is the elimination of options. I focus on that which is going to take me closer to my goals with Faith, Family, and Finance being primary. I try and stay focused.
Are there any hobbies that you find time to enjoy?
MR. HARDGE - I still enjoy shooting Basketball, “Shoot-It-Hardge” is still in my blood. When you get the book you will understand more. I also enjoy fishing. The ocean is one of my best friends. Sometimes I just sit and listen to what it has to say. I speak to the wind and waves and they actually speak back. That gives me clarity which intensifies my purpose.
What do you attribute you $uccess in life to?
MR. HARDGE - Let me tell you bout this Book of Life. I attribute my $uccess to having a solid foundation as a child even though I had my issues. My parents, my Faith, my family, and my desire to get all that life has in store for me keeps me growing. I realized either I go thru life, or I grow thru life, and I choose to grow. Making the decision to expose myself to people and opportunities that would facilitate $uccess was another key factor. When I wanted to be a great basketball player, I watched great basketball players on TV and on DVD. I read articles on great basketball players, tips and techniques, and I played against basketball players that were better than I was. That prepared me to become a great basketball player even if I was not a great player. The same rules apply to becoming Successful. Read Matthew 6:33 and Joshua 1:8.
Thank you for taking the time to share with our readers. How can they contact you, order the CD & Book, find out about Real Estate opportunities or request you for speaking engagements etc?
Any last words or shout outs?
MR. HARDGE - I encourage everyone who has a desire for more out of life to realize; all things are possible to him that believes. Whatever the mind can perceive man can achieve. We must have a definite purpose and definite plans. Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes and we must add passion, purpose, and plans to transmute those ideas into reality. Every man becomes what he becomes because of the dominate thought he allows to occupy his mind. Therefore, “Get Yo Mind Rite!” Ciao!