By Catharin Shepard •
Staff writer •
A hip-hop artist who grew up in Raeford is making a name for himself with a new album, and a clothing line.
Mario McCall, who goes by the name 3-D Straw (stylized as 3-D $traw), was born in North Carolina. He grew up in Raeford while his mother worked as a seamstress and his father worked as a painter. McCall first got into music while attending Hoke County High School, where he helped his friends release albums by making CDs for them.
In the years just before downloading and streaming music became widely available, it was tough for young musicians to get their name out there, McCall remembers.
“I wanted to help put my friends out on a platform. It was hard to get your music out in those days,” he said.
An entrepreneur from an early age, McCall began selling the CDs at the Buck Stop convenience store across from the high school. When he realized he had a high drive to succeed, he decided to strike out to launch his own career.
“I said if I’m doing this for everybody else, I might as well do it for myself,” he said.
McCall graduated with the Hoke High Class of 1999. He remained active in music over the years, and in 2001 launched his first official album.
In 2004, McCall put out another album called “Snap Crackle and Pop” that sold over 2,000 copies, which he mostly sold out of the trunk of his car. He self-promoted his music and worked hard to gain recognition.
“I was always taught you have to get it for yourself, because nobody’s going to give it to you,” the artist said.
McCall’s music career has hit new highs with the release of several recent albums. With the popularity of streaming and downloading music, it’s changed the way independent artists reach their audience.
“I’ve been doing music professionally for about 10 years now and just starting to get some ground,” McCall said.
Promotions for 3-D Straw described his music as drawn from Southern driven East Coast hip-hop, New Orleans bounce and electro styles. His music is described as a unique style, with elements comparable to artists such as Outkast, Uncle Luke, Pitbull, Future, Lil Wayne and Nipsey Hussle.
3-D Straw’s lyrics are unfiltered and drawn from true to life events, promoters said. He recently released a new single, “Pah,” from 3-D Straw’s upcoming project called “#MUTATE The 3-D Straw Adventures.” Grammy-nominated producer Jetson Made backed the single. Jetson Made is best known for his work on chart-topping songs like Dababy’s “Suge” and Nipsey Hustle’s “Racks in the middle.”
“#MUTATE The 3-D Straw Adventures” is the follow-up project to 3-D Straw’s earlier album, “Bebe’s Kid,” produced by the up and coming producer Ayekplaydat.
3-D Straw also released a line of clothing, with products featuring artwork and designs inspired by both the “Bebe’s Kid” and “#Mutate” projects. His Orlando Goods 910 Clothing Company, known as O.G. 910, first premiered in 2017. The brand offers streetwear/casual wear clothes.
McCall’s latest album is out now on the artist’s website, official3dstraw.com, and on all streaming platforms. His previous project, “Bebe’s Kid,” also featured contributions from artists including Giovanni Christian, Yung Thvil and Wild Wattz.
His most recent releases are doing well in the Memphis, Atlanta, Charlotte and Fayetteville areas, McCall said, and his clothing line is seeing success as well.
While concerts and other large events are on hold right now due to the pandemic, McCall said he hopes to see a return to performances next year. And someday, he even hopes to open a new theme park in the Carolinas.
McCall has remained a part of the Raeford community over the years, coaching and then supporting a local sports team through his clothing line. For young people attending Hoke High, as he once did, McCall said he hopes they can hold on to their dreams.
“I want the youth to know that you can do anything. ‘Believe the dream, the dream is you’ is my slogan,” he said. “Also, don’t have limits on any dream that you have, don’t have time frames on it, don’t have limits on it.”
His merchandise store is online at OG910.com, and he is on Facebook, Youtube and Instagram as 3-D Straw; and on Twitter as 3DSTRAW910.