We’ve been waitin’ to post this one y’all. Malik is a rising, top-quality Austin hip-hop artist that we brought you a bit about not too long back, and he’s also a nominee for our Artist of the Month, primarily because he’s on a goddamn high octane productive roll right now.
As part of said roll, Malik has been firing a veritable arsenal of creative endeavors out at the world, so far including the following:
A solid as hell single — “On My Own,” which we profiled in March
A mixtape — The Prerequisite, dropped last month and which has amassed over 6000 listens across its 8 solid tracks in that time on Soundcloud (that’s a big deal, most of the bands we post here barely get that in a year)
A fucking video game — The Chase, a pixelated chaser based on a dream by Malik and out for iOS and Android for absolute free
A soon-to-be dropped music video- “Breakaway,” from the new album and released July 5
An upcoming album — The Principium, primed and ready to be launched at the world on July 12
It’s rare for a local artist to drop even a couple things at once, much less content at this breakneck rate. I mean, who drops a damn video game as a musician? It’s a pretty simple runner game, but The Chase has a great style of pixelly desert goodness, and it also serves as a way to get an early listen to some of Malik’s music from the upcoming album. Produced with game creator and composer Emily Meo, The Chase is without a doubt one of the most creative and engaging ways to reach an audience that we’ve ever seen from any musician, much less a local one.
When it comes to the music, Malik is riding quite high at the top of the list of up-and-coming local hip-hop artists. His commanding baritone flow and deftness on the wordplay front ride over dynamic production (his own) that creates songs that mesh pop elements and true rap like it’s not a hard thing to do at all (it is). Malik uses his voice as more than just a word-purveyor, turning his bars into a percussive instrument like the best rappers do, but he never neglects the content. Malik also never slacks on making the beats something fun to listen to, as opposed to focusing too much on the words, and the result is track after track of unique sounds and perspectives on life that you just wanna keep listening to.
It’s frustratingly common for a young hip-hop artist’s early work to go too heavy on one single front while neglecting others; maybe the beats or the song structure are killer, but the rapping is weak. Maybe they’re too pop, or, on the other side, too heady or aggressive over a whole album. There can be too much focus on the rapper’s ego and not enough real, quality perspective, or there could be too much of the same sound from one track to the next. In these cases, there’s usually one good track and the rest is a bunch of fluff to fill out an album.
But not with Malik. Malik’s music makes no rookie mistakes. It’s damn enjoyable music from one track through to the rest of the entire mixtape, it’s good from beat to voice to structure, and it presents a picture of a young man who has worked to become an expert at every layer of hip-hop music, and whose shit you like and you want to hear more from. That is as rare as it gets for a young artist, and it’s why we’ve nominated Malik for Artist of the Month (that, and his insane productivity of late).
You can get a listen goin’ on The Prerequisite mixtape below, find his game in the Apple and Android stores, and you can get more Malik in yer ears on July 12 when The Principium drops. You can also vote to the right, if you think Malik deserves some e-recognition for his fine, hard work. Get listenin’ Austin music heads.