Malik Watkins, better known by his stage name MaLLy, is an independent hip-hop artist from Minneapolis, MN. Active since 2009, 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 two 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, with Brother Ali on his “Home Away From Home” tour in 2014, and with Webster X and Kweku Collins on the Orbit Series Tour in 2015. Additionally, he’s made 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 is known for exhibiting a strong artistic duality in his music; he owns both a commanding, fiery delivery of rhymes detailing his ambition with an 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.
He continues to perform, serve as a teaching artist and collaborate with community-oriented organizations dedicated to the arts and social justice such as Common Ground, TruArtSpeaks, COMPAS, Kulture Klub Collaborative and KRSM Radio. In 2018, MaLLy was awarded the McKnight Foundation Fellowship for musicians. In September 2019, he released his fourth solo album, entitled The Journey To A Smile.