Independent hip-hop artist born Malik Watkins, or better known to many as MaLLy began his journey as a rapper on the southside of Minneapolis, freestyling and writing with friends in high school. Whether it was Eyedea’s victorious reign in HBO's Blaze Battle competition, the emotional and instrumental complexity from Stevie Wonder’s Music of My Mind, Jay-Z’s confidence and delivery, or Donny Hathaway’s tonal variety on Extension of a Man, MaLLy was inspired to make music.
Songwriting and recording music became MaLLy’s way of discovering his voice — a form of therapy to heal from feeling invisible in predominantly white academic settings, growing up fatherless, and lacking self confidence. His love for lyricism, wordplay, bravado, storytelling and a message rooted in positivity gained the attention of prominent industry figures such as Monie Love, Sway Calloway, Smif-N-Wessun, and Chuck D, who’ve all lauded his work.
For over a decade, MaLLy has cemented his place in the music business with a strong discography boasting several critically acclaimed albums and EPs. He was voted the Twin Cities’ best hip-hop artist by the City Pages and recognized by other local and national press outlets, including the Star Tribune, 2DopeBoyz, Uproxx, HipHopDX, and Complex Magazine. Furthermore, he’s toured nationwide with Atmosphere on their “Welcome to Minnesota” tour in 2012, with Brother Ali on his “Home Away From Home” tour in 2014, and with Webster X and Kweku Collins on the “Orbit Series” tour in 2015, as well as Soundset and several other Midwestern festivals.
His content possesses a robust artistic duality exploring themes of love, social justice, relationships, and spirituality. MaLLy treats every song as a letter of reflection, or rhythmic prayer on his quest toward truth and peace in a stressful world. Through his music, MaLLy’s main desire is to empower people of all backgrounds to celebrate life as it is in the present moment.
Presently, the Minneapolis rapper continues to expand in his craft as a songwriter, entrepreneur, educator and advocate for community oriented organizations dedicated to the arts and social justice.