Lifestyle, Movies

The Multi-Talented Billy Ray Valentine

Filmmaker, writer and music producer Billy Ray Valentine (real name: Mark Anthony
Mathews) grew up on Chicago’s South Side in one of the city’s notorious public housing
project developments known as the Robert Taylor Homes and later in youth in the rough
and tumble Englewood neighborhood.


He grew up in the era of 1970s and ‘80s, including R&B, rap, disco, soul and more.
Valentine’s interest in music began at an early age rapping in the streets. He penned his
songs based on the life he lived — his own experiences, what he had seen and heard.
At 17, he caught the film bug after watching the crime drama, Black Caesar, written by
Larry Cohen. He taught himself how to use a home video camera and how to do special
effects, adding sound and video via air conditioning jacks. He would walk the
neighborhood fantasizing that it was his very own movie set.


“My life was a movie. What I saw as a kid and experienced growing up on the South Side
became the catalyst for my work. I used to fantasize that people like Al Pacino would be
part of my movies and come to the set. I remember telling my brothers and sisters I was
going to be famous,” Valentine recalls.


In 1986, while living in Chicago’s Roseland community, Valentine got his start in the
entertainment business writing and producing music as an artist. An Action Jackson
rapper for Rev. Jesse Jackson, Valentine was chosen to appear on an episode of A
Different World in 1990 alongside actors Kadeem Hardison and Jasmine Guy. He was
one of four Chicagoans who were chosen to rap on an episode about voting.
After his appearance on A Different World, Valentine signed a two-year record deal with
Warner Brother Records under the name Black Daddy Magic. His first album, My Time,
debuted in 1992 with two hit singles: Virgin Man and Leaving Me. The single Leaving Me hit the charts at #38 and rose to #3 on the Billboard Top 100 Raps Charts.


He has toured and opened shows (on the ticket) for Ice Cube, Too Short, Digital
Underground, Queen Latifah, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Will Smith and many more artists.
Valentine started to rebuild his career. In 1999, he collaborated with
the production team at M.O.B. Records and
produced the 11-track album, Cha Cha Slide featuring DJ Casper. Valentine’s work on
The album has earned a U.S. gold record and U.K. platinum status.

While producing music, Valentine started an underground radio station called Take
Over Radio. The station premiered in 2002 and was considered a success in its two-
year run, as it covered everything happening on the South Side of Chicago. The
station even attracted listeners from the West Side and the affluent North Side of the
city.


In 2009, Singles Film & Music Entertainment (SFME) was launched. Under the
production company Valentine continues directing and producing music for rappers,
R&B artists and films. In addition, SFME produces documentaries, movies, television
commercials and a number of web series.


Valentine has appeared on podcasts, television and radio talk shows.
For more information, contact MARK A. MATHEWS 773-457-9869

[email protected]

ABOUT SINGLES FILM & MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT
Launched in 2009 by creative music producer and filmmaker Billy Ray Valentine (real
name: Mark Anthony Mathews), Singles Film & Music Entertainment (SFME) directs
and produces music across a plethora of genres, including rap, gospel, soul and R&B.
The production house also directs and produces music videos, commercials and music
for film projects.


In addition to music, the production house creates, directs and produces full-length
feature films written by Valentine. The films give the audience a peek into the lives,
lessons and experiences of growing up in one of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods.
The first two feature films, Magic and Lil Ceasar, were released in 2020. In April 2022,
The Walk of Rufus was released. And on August 30, 2022, Roseland was released.
Two more films — A Masquerade and Theodis, a sequel to The Walk of Rufus — are
scheduled for release in 2023.

www.singlesfilmandmusic.com

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