In honor of MLK day, VIBE introduces you to the duo carrying on the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. This pair of socially aware emcees aim to rock the mic with a message.
Malcolm & Martin “Movement Music” (Prod. By Marco Polo) [Off Life Doesn’t Frighten Me (2/1/11)]
What does Martin Luther King represent to you?
KB: To me Dr. King means hope!!! The hope that people of color could soar and be greater than the life we grew accustomed to and accepted.
Stylliztik Jones: He represented someone who followed his own dream on a small scale, but on a larger scale fought for equality of all people.
What made you guys decide on the name Malcolm and Martin?
K: Those names were just so iconic and also people that shaped us into the men that we are today. It made us realize how much power was in a name. Separate those names are good, but together they represent a movement. As do we!
S: It was a way that we motivated each other. By calling each other Malcolm & Martin instead of other various negative influences (Drug dealers, mobsters, dictators, etc…).
When was the first time you heard him speak/how has he influenced you?
S: It was the second or third grade and it was extremely powerful at that point. He influenced me to go beyond the stereotypical role of a black man & to know that you can do anything if you put your mind to.
K: I don’t remember the exact moment but it feels like from birth. My father was a very militant and uplifting man that made sure I was aware of the black man’s struggle early in life and MLK influenced me to not be silent…. We have a voice in everything and the ability to express ourselves. If we use that ability properly we can change the world.
Do you think MLK is properly represented in hip-hop?
S: Not at all! Not until us! Especially, not in hip-hop and that is the most visible source to the masses. There is nothing uplifting or MLK like about it.
K: Not in this day and age, but we are trying to be a part of that representation by bringing his legacy to the light.