On this week’s episode of our podcast Monday to Monday, host Mike Boyd sits down with rapper Yung Mal. They cover a wide range of topics, including everything from Mal’s commitment to the studio to balancing fatherhood and his career.
Yung Mal Talks ‘6 Rings,’ Fatherhood and the Best Advice He Got From Gucci Mane
“Besides the rap, you still a human being.”
They begin the interview discussing the different vibes of studios in cities around the US, before going on to talk about how and when Mal knew that he could make a career out of rap. He says, for him, the moment he knew was when he released his song “Str8 Out Da Pot,” which he recorded his first day out of jail. “Literally like, soon as I got out, I went straight to the studio. So that’s I guess why that song is that song,” he says. Seeing what had happened in his community while he was locked up informed his decision to double down on rapping. “When I get out, I gotta do this shit for real. Because… folks dying out there,” he says.
Mal got out of jail in 2015, and signed a deal with Gucci Mane in 2017. Mal says he’s learned a lot from Gucci, and succinctly summarizes the iconic Atlanta rapper’s advice: “Mainly, it’s just like, stay alive, basically.” Mal and Mike go on to discuss Mal’s newest project, 6 Rings and his favorite songs on the track. “You can’t listen to no songs, like, without bobbing your head. Because like the beat gonna make you wanna listen to the words,” he says. He talks about the symbiotic relationship he has with producer Pyrex Whippa, telling Boyd, “It’s more organic, like a kitchen. Alright, Pyrex gonna do this, so I gotta add the pepper on it.”
Mike notes to Mal how it seems like he can get along with everybody. “I don’t got no problem with nobody. No bad blood with nobody. So it’s all love,” he says, and goes on to talk about the strong bonds he has with a lot of the younger Atlanta rappers on the scene, like Lil Gotit and Lil Keed.
Mal and Boyd spend some time discussing the process of balancing being a father with Mal’s hectic touring/press schedule. The rapper’s schedule is unbelievably busy, and he often doesn’t sleep because of his commitment to always working. “I gotta be doing something or I feel like I’m just at a standstill,” he says, before adding, “I don’t like not doing nothing. That’s why I don’t really like sleep like that. Because that’s doing nothing.” He laughs, and then describes his schedule the day of the podcast recording: “I was at the studio all night. Then I left there. I shot a video. To be honest, I didn’t go to sleep. I still ain’t been to sleep.”
The rapper, who’s originally from New Orleans but grew up in Atlanta, emphasizes the importance of the business side of rapping, rather than focusing exclusively on the music. “You can be the best rapper in the world, everybody can love you, but it’s like, if you ain’t like really got your business side right, you doing it for no reason,” he says. He goes on to add his advice for burgeoning artists. “For new artists, it’s just like, ok you gotta just, understand the game. Have patience. Patience, for sure. And like, not move so fast on everything,” he says.
Mal’s commitment to patience is a running thread throughout all of his advice. “Everybody who at the top, they had to go through it,” he says. “You gotta pay attention to everything, be on top of everything. This shit a business, man,” he adds, again emphasizing the business aspect of building a rap career.
Near the interview’s end, Mal leaves us with some wisdom: “Besides the rap, you still a human being.”
If you loved this episode and want to hear Boyd chop it up with other rappers, producers and more, make sure to check out last week’s episode, when he sat down with up-and-comer 2K Baby.