Michigan-born rapper Steven Malcolm radiates positive energy and it translates to his music. Despite a troubling childhood, the artist of Jamaican blood grew up learning to take the good with the bad, and today releases a new project that bathes in strength and vulnerability.
All Is True from the start
The title of Steven Malcolm’s new EP All Is True, out today, is indeed as true as it gets. The opening track of the same name is word-heavy but doesn’t fail to let us discern every syllable.
When discussing the inspiration for this record, Malcolm explained that his ability to chop fast or write good bars felt pointless without his fans knowing who he was.
The Michigan-born rapper’s process for the song “All Is True” literally began with bullet-point notes he wrote down about events in his life, and then set to a beat.
From a father who got caught for drug use to a mother with an alcohol addiction, Steven Malcolm unpacks his past with inspiring levels of honesty.
“I wanted to tell fans who I am, my story, my truth. Every lyric is true.”Steven Malcolm
The result is a blend of his Caribbean roots and hip-hop flavour for a genre-breaking track. The hook is reminiscent of traditional chants and it gracefully melds in with its beat.
Mentioning figures like Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan who he looked up to growing up, Steven Malcolm maintains specificity and rawness all throughout the EP. Further along, the name Michael Jackson makes an appearance, so I had to ask.
“I recorded all his music videos on VHS and learned how to redo all the moves,” Malcolm explained. The Michigan-born rapper remembers watching Jackson’s promotional concert videos on TV and being blown away by his dance moves. “The TV screen, basketball, videos, these games, and videos raised me,” the rapper recognized.
And indeed, these hobbies and passions growing up, served to highlight the talents Malcolm chose to share with the world today.
Music from the heart
Although the premise of his sound first appears as complex – a midwest blend of Hip Hop and Christian music – Steven Malcolm insists on the fact that at the end of the day, his creative process is just instinctive.
Believing in his creativity and core values and trying to never limit himself, is what allows the rapper to trust that what he creates is in a good place.
But Malcolm admitted that his urge for being unapologetically honest doesn’t come free of challenges when he sometimes finds himself being too explicit or unfiltered. “My homies are there to keep me in check when I want to say something that’s just too raw.”
Steven Malcolm: “We going’ up”
Steven Malcolm just recently became a father, which actually inspired him to hone in on the business side of his activity as an artist.
Feeling like he was on “autopilot,” he was, until now, mostly led by industry individuals higher up.
But this life-changing shift let him recognize the further meaning behind his job, making him eager to work towards leaving behind a legacy for his family.
When asked about how that relationship may have informed his music-making, Malcolm had a simple answer: “Making music is my job.”
It sometimes feels so unreal that it’s easy (and important) to forget.
But acknowledging it, “makes me more consistent,” the artist explained. We can feel the drive and ambition in his newfound workflow when he talks about his music. “It makes me go to work,” he said. And work he does.
Not only is Steven Malcolm releasing an EP today, he has an album ready and on the way. It’s the rapper’s first time “really working” with people, beyond the production side of things with a collection of features lined up.
One of the main producers on the album is one of Kanye’s producers, Malcolm explained. And to that, he only had one thing to say: “We goin’ up!”
Steven Malcolm is ready for glory
This EP is an anticipated one, with its closing track “Glory on Me,” actually premiering in April, earlier this year. One of Malcolm’s rare features, this song was the result of a collaboration with artists Childish Major and Taylor Hill.
Produced by the Grammy-winning producer Street Symphony, the song was released with some striking visuals that highlighted the roller coaster of this past year, from the hardships of the pandemic to the joy of music.
Indeed, after this time of isolation and quiet where, like many of us, our favorite Michigan-born rapper found himself lacking inspiration. But Steven Malcolm is as ready as ever to share what he has in store.
Excited to be back in front of a live audience, the rapper has a tour coming up in December, so stay tuned.
When I asked him if there was anything else readers and listeners should know, he simply said: “The vision is here, the ‘why’ is known, and the brand is about to get flown.”
As of today, stream Steven Malcolm’s EP All Is True on all platforms.