Malik Watkins, better known by his stage name MaLLy, is an independent hip-hop artist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Active since 2007, MaLLy has cemented his place in the Twin Cities music scene with a strong discography boasting three critically acclaimed albums—The Passion, The Last Great…, and The Colors of Black—along with several well-received EPs including Free on the 15th and Strange Rhythm.
MaLLy has toured nationwide with Atmosphere on their “Welcome to Minnesota” tour in 2012, and with Brother Ali on his “Home Away From Home” tour in 2014. Other notable live performances include shows alongside underground hip-hop luminaries such as Souls of Mischief, Blue Scholars, Watsky, and Evidence, and two appearances—one as a performer (2011) and one as co-host with Brother Ali (2012)—at Soundset, the largest Hip-Hop festival in Minnesota. MaLLy continues to work on new music, as well as participate in community-oriented organizations dedicated to the arts, creativity, and entrepreneurship such as Giant Steps and Kulture Klub Collaborative.
On this episode of the podcast, MaLLy shares the story of where his name came from, talks about being comfortable using humor on stage and why many hip hop artists take themselves very seriously. He talks about the early music he was exposed to by his mother, the time he spent learning how to make music before he shared it with anyone and how his relationship to fear has drive his work and life. MaLLy also talks about the stereotypes and perceptions held about hip hop artists and opens up about his personal journey to make music as a way of making positive connection in the world rather than chase after fame or attention.