The DMV may be new to some, but real hip-hop heads know the talent that these states breed. Hailing from Maryland, rising rapper Mally is hard at work promoting his debut mixtape, "Basement 2 Billboard." In an exclusive interview with VIBE.com, the young spitta opens about his journey thus far.
How does your music differ from other artists in the Baltimore area?
Mally: I dont’ really hear a lot of the up and coming artists in the DMV, but when I do it seems like they are making their version of ATL Trap Music or a lot of club songs. I make more universal music that’s where I’m different. I think my music reaches a broader audience.
Can you explain what life in Pioneer City, Maryland was like?
Pioneer City is my home, its all love. The hood is behind me, supports me and has from day one. Me and my peoples are tight knit. I went from 1st grade through 12th with a lot of my homies. It’s a lot of crime and fucked up shit happening too, but all in all its just love in the hood for me.
You've mentioned being influenced by Jay-Z. In what ways has Hov inspired your lyricism?
The biggest way Jay-Z inspired my lyricism was the flows. Growing up I would just see how he approached different types of beats and had a totally different flow on them all. That’s what I adopted from him.
When did you realize rap was more than a "pipe dream" for you?
I realized this was really real about 5 months ago when I met my manager. We did more in the last 5 months than I’ve done the whole 9 years I've been rapping.
Can you tell us more about "NU" and his management?
NU, that’s my manager. He is a visionary and he knows his shit. That's my dawg and I trust his insight. He’s from the DMV too, so his fight is the same as
How did your Basement 2 Billboard mixtape come together?
Basement 2 Billboard was an idea that started forming 9 years ago when I first started writing in my basement. Once I got with Nu, we discussed the project and laid out a plan to get with great producers and make great music followed by several videos. It’s been months in the making but the finished product will be
What is the inspiration behind the project?
The title says it all. It’s about where I’ve been, the basement and where I aspire to be on the billboard. The evolution of my writing and growth as a person thus far only has me wanting more. Getting on billboard is a metaphor for me rising to status as a known and respected emcee.
How did you connect with J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League?
The J.U.S.T.I.C.E League track is really, really dope! That came about through my manager. JL’s manager and NU are homies, so it was a no brainer to
get something from them. They’re unbelievable.
Who are some of the "bosses" in the game you look up to?
The bosses to me are people that started out rapping and now they are putting people on. Like Jay-z, Kanye, 50, Em, Ross, Weezy, Birdman and Diddy. That’s what I’m looking to do, grow and become a boss.
Follow Mally - @MarylandMally