Timing is everything. When we first started planning The World’s Largest Booty Shake to promote the Protect Your Butt campaign, we imagined some loudspeakers blasting music we have all heard before. Then, one day last December, the phone rang. Mark ‘MK’ McLaughlin was on the line. And everything changed.
Mark MK, a native New Yorker, is an R&B star who has opened for John Legend, Flo Rida (with the help of DJ Kronik), and performed at BB King’s with Rahsaan Patterson. He recently collaborated with Shaggy on a single that will soon be released nationally. He is kind of a big deal.
So why did he call us? Mark’s brother, Joseph Giddings, passed away from colon cancer in 2014 at the age of 52. Joseph, a father of five, enjoyed DJing parties and family events. Mark credits Joseph with inspiring him to become a DJ and then a singer and songwriter. So Mark reached out to us and asked us how he could help. And boy did we have an answer!
Fast-forward a few months and we are now less than a week away from The World’s Largest Booty Shake, at which Mark MK will be performing “PYB (Protect Ya Butt)” – the theme song of our campaign which he wrote just for us! We could not be more grateful for the fortuitous timing of his phone call, and for his incredible contribution to this event and this cause.
Mark took some time out of his jam-packed schedule to tell us more about why he decided to become an advocate for colon cancer, and what he hopes the impact of “PYB (Protect Ya Butt)” will be.
We are so grateful that you found our organization. Tell us about your decision to become an advocate for colon cancer awareness.
Being that I’m a singer and a performer and my brother was a DJ, I felt like it was only right moving forward, from here on, to represent his name and get more involved in the cause. We’ve all heard of colon cancer before, but it’s a sad thing to wait for something bad to happen to someone close to get involved. I wish I had known about this sooner. What prompted me to call the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation was that I felt the need to get involved. I want other people to have that chance to get themselves screened. My mom is a missionary and she always preached. I have it in me, instilled in me, to make people aware of great things like what the Foundation is doing. I Googled colon cancer and was very impressed from what I saw on your website. Everything is happening right on track. This is the perfect time. I will be out there touring and spreading the message of colon cancer awareness.
What do you hope the impact of this campaign and your song will be?
I’m hoping it will get the younger demographic involved. Get them tested earlier so they have a chance to get healthy, God forbid they do have colon cancer. Music is the vehicle of many things. I hope this song can increase screening numbers by far.
You will be performing your song LIVE in Central Park for The World’s Largest Booty Shake, to promote the Protect Your Butt campaign and kick off Colon Cancer Awareness Month. What does this opportunity mean to you?
It means so much to me. It’s one thing to touch people with music, it’s another thing to touch people with a message. And to know that something you’re doing can go towards saving lives. Or at least give some healing to those who have lost lives. Give them some enjoyment, a reason to smile through the sadness.
Will “PYB (Protect Ya Butt)” be available to download?
Yes. The song will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, Amazon and other services and part of the proceeds will go towards colon cancer research.
What’s next for Mark MK?
I’m working on releasing an album called “The Big Show.” I definitely want to be more involved and include the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation in everything I do as I move forward in my career, continuing my work as an advocate for colon cancer research and prevention.