Cal Poly alumnus Brett Edwards, better known by his alter ego “Mr. Eco,” is in the process of creating his second environmental rap album.
Mr. Eco, is a superhero straight from the mind of Edwards, who graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in business administration in 2013. The character uses the power of environmental rap to fight off the evils of complacency and to help both youth and adults understand the importance of environmentalism.
Edwards summoned youth from seven different countries to create his new album, “Renewable Rap.” While his music has garnered support from youth around the world, it isn’t music simply for children.
“My music is kid-friendly, not for kids,” Edwards said. “I’d like to think it’s closer to a Jay Z than a Barney.”
The Fresno native began rapping under the name “Mr. E” while enrolled at Clovis West High School. He got involved with the PowerSave program after coming to Cal Poly, but soon realized the program wasn’t reaching kids as effectively as it could have.
Armed with a green cape, yellow shirt, green gym shorts and white high socks, Edwards began rapping as “Mr. Eco” in 2011. He performed songs such as “Litterbug” and “Reusable Bag,” a parody of Soulja Boy Tell’em’s “Pretty Boy Swag,” at local elementary schools as well as around Cal Poly.
Edwards’ debut album “Hybrid Hip Hop,” which dropped in 2013, was sold in Whole Foods stores across the nation. Since graduating from Cal Poly, he has performed at more than 250 schools in the U.S.
Edwards recently launched a Kickstarter page to help fund his latest album. Depending on the amount pledged, supporters can earn anything from a digital download of the album ($10) to a special Mr. Eco show, where Edwards will perform at any event in California ($1,000). All funds gathered from the crowdfunding campaign will go toward the production costs of the album and to create music videos.
But Edwards isn’t looking to simply make an album that will progress environmentalism in youth; he hopes to give children a hero to aspire to, one that is more realistic than a man who can shoot webs from his body and climb skyscrapers.
“You don’t have to be bit by a spider to make an impact or to be a hero,” Edwards said. “You just have to decide that you want to be and then act on that belief.”
The album will feature collaborative tracks with children in Canada, Turkey, South Africa, Taiwan and Colombia, as well as at home in the United States. Edwards has often used kids in his music videos as dancers or actors.
As of March 10, Edwards’ Kickstarter has gained more than $5,000 in pledges. The goal is $15,001, and the page will stay active until April 7.
To check out Mr. Eco’s music videos, visit his YouTube page.