Pay It Forward: Musical Cop

This person has two very different identities. That is one part of this story. The other part, though, has everything to do with realizing your own dream so that others can too.

It is 2 p.m. and time for Marchello Bradley to go to work.

“I'm a Metro Transit Police officer,” he said. “We have jurisdiction in all Metro facilities as well as within 150 feet of a Metro bus stop.”

Today, he is starting at the U Street station, but other than that, he doesn't quite know what the day will hold.

“You have days where you get to roll call at 2 o'clock and at 2:05 [p.m.], they're calling you because somebody just got robbed,” Marchello told us.

There is a lot of responsibility that comes with wearing that uniform.

“I've told people before you may not like police officers,” he said. “I don't even know you, but a situation could come up in the next few minutes and I would actually put my life on the line for you.”

Marchello has been an officer for six and a half years now, and while he walks his beat in the afternoon, he feels it in the morning.

“I've been rapping for over 10 years on and off,” said Marchello.

He describes his art as “socially conscious, aware, enlightened, powerful.” He writes all his own stuff and does not take his lyrics lightly.

“I'm a thinker, I contemplate human existence, why are we here, what is space, what is time, what is love?” he raps.

What is next? In 2013, it was “Parallel Universe” -- his first solo album to drop.

“I finally get to say, ‘Hey, you can go on iTunes and look up Jay Z's album and then once you're done finding his album, you can go find my album!’” Marchello said.

And if you purchase that album, let's just say you will be donating to a greater good.

“I took my album ‘Parallel Universe’ and I decided to turn it into a scholarship fund,” he said. “The goal is to reach $10,000.”

That money will then be awarded to three students based on papers they write interpreting one of Marchello's songs.

“I'm just trying to use my God given talents to help someone do something that I wasn't able to do,” he told us. “I couldn't afford college, so if I can use my music to help somebody else do something, then I'm winning.”

And though his music may be complex, his motivation really is simple.

“Because if I'm just making an album, then it's just an album, and it's just another artist from the D.C. area who made an album, and some people like it and some people don't,” Marchello said. “But if you take your music and turn it into something greater…”

Then you're a hip-hop cop who is indeed paying it forward.

The CD “Parallel Universe” is available on iTunes and Amazon. 100 percent of the proceeds go toward the scholarship fund.

Marchello has also set up a gofundme account for donations. If you are interested in contributing, go to

And if you would like to nominate someone who you know that is paying it forward, go to our Pay It Forward page and fill out our form so that we can tell the story of the great things they do.

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