Artist Spotlight - MN: MaLLy
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. In 2012 he was voted the Twin Cities’ best hip-hop artist by the City Pages, and has been recognized by other local and national press outlets including the Star Tribune, 2DopeBoyz, Uproxx, and Complex Magazine. Prominent industry figures such as Monie Love, Sway Calloway, Swif N Wessun, and Chuck D have lauded his work. 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 has also participated in notable showcases including First Avenue's Best New Bands showcase, and the Minnesota State Fair’s artist showcase hosted by Radio K. MaLLy lists Stevie Wonder, 2Pac, Big Boi, and Skyzoo as significant musical influences. He’s known for exhibiting a strong artistic duality in his music; he owns both a commanding, fiery delivery of rhymes detailing his ambition, and a reserved, introspective tone of a man striving for improvement of self and the world around him. His wordplay, tonal variety and the universal nature of his subject matter are highlights of MaLLy’s content which appeals to a broad spectrum of listeners. 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.