Higher Edukation

By Demarius “Mari” Edwards ’14

Demarius Edwards '14Mari Edwards ’14 has been writing and playing music since his high school days in Chicago, drawing on personal experiences and using music to explore who he is and who he will become. He released his first full-length album, Higher Edukation, on SoundCloud in April.

A psychology major with a concentration in Africana studies, Edwards was on the football and track and field teams at Williams. He and his college roommate Mary Clarke ’14 have been writing and producing music together since their freshman year.

Edwards is now working full time in the online and mobile banking department of M&T Bank in Buffalo, N.Y., as a trainee in the management and development program. He plans to tour and promote his album in his spare time, weaving performances together with forums in which he will talk to students about their own lives and futures. “I want my music to be more than something you just listen to,” he says. “I want you to experience it.”

The lyrics to his song “Higher Edukation” follow:

Born in the city of a broken womb
Closed minds and an open wound
Don’t speak unless spoken to
Closed mouths wanting golden spoons

Black and his English it broke in two
Olde English toking dreams of blue
Used to wanna tote guns for dollars
But quoted books from scholars
And now I’m graduating college (true)

They’ll never take away my soul
They already took control
Took away the gold
You ain’t even know

You just living life ignorance is bliss
Stories never told voices never heard
You just keep it down (word)
You don’t lean on me, we just lean on lean
Meaning sipping that (syrup)
You tryna live behind the eyelids
System got you blinded
My eyes is still up on the prizes rising
They said the sky’s the limit lying
I’m aiming for the target, fuck that
I’m aiming way beyond it
Finding the findless, you’ll never find it
If you place that limit upon it

Chronic education
Take one, light one, let’s enlighten the nations
Put that love in a crack pipe act like you wanna get high on vacation

Gotta get away
Like birds they got us in a cage
You ever wonder what they sang
Well you gon’ learn today
And don’t you don’t you

And don’t you ever let them hold you down
You’ll break free and you’ll escape the world
And don’t you be afraid to leave the ground
Get lifted, come on let’s get higher
Higher education, let’s get higher education
(Let’s get higher)
Higher education, let’s get higher education
(Let’s get higher)
Higher education, let’s get higher education
(Get lifted, come on let’s get higher)
Higher education, let’s get higher education

I used to think ’cause the way that I thought
That I prolly wouldn’t graduate
Even though I’m from the Chi (thank God I’m alive)
Shit I ain’t tryna be like ‘Ye
I stare in the mirror and I’m still self conscious
Tryna fight these monsters, demons, in my closet
Haunts me from back in the day even when I was semen

Mama gives life to the boy then raise him
Pops lived life on a day-to-day basis
Love my parents with all of my heart
But it breaks my heart to know that they aging

I got family in cell blocks
Hoping Jesus saves ’em
Ain’t put a letter in your mailbox
But just know that I am praying
For you

It’s fucking with my conscience
Went away to college
They erased away my knowledge
Replaced it when they washed it
My brain my pain has been adopted
Nah nah I ain’t really have an option
They was killing they was mobbing
(Pop pop pop)
Lord I would’ve been mindless

Im having flashbacks and visions
Of the day when I thought my life was almost ended

(Fuck opps)
The police they didn’t tend it
And I had class to be attended
So I had to get away
Lord I just wanna be saved
If don’t make it to tomorrow
I’m gon’ ask you today
And he said


Listen to Higher Edukation and learn more about Mari Edwards’ music here.
Image credit: Susie Paul ’16