Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

MaLLy “Heir Time” (Influenza)

Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: , , .

“I am sick and tired of doing shows at these grimey no show bars!” While still a young name on the scene, Mally has been rapping since 2002 and released his first album, The Letter, in 2007. The 26-track collection drew a bit of nation-wide praise for the Twin-Cities-based MC, but none higher than that offered by Fresh of 33 Jones, “I’ve become convinced that he has the talent to make a legitimate career out of being an emcee. There aren’t a whole lot of unsigned artists I can say that about, but if this kid stays focused it’s only a matter of time before some label signs him up.” He continued, “His flow is impeccable, he’s able to craft a story with his lyrics and still throw in the occasional one liner, and he’s got a great ear for beats. In short, he’s the full package.” Following up The Letter, Mally dropped the equally ambitious 17-track album The Moment in 2008, which was trailed by The Passion late last year. It was around the time of that release when I caught up with Mally for the interview where he laid down the aforementioned quote, venting his frustrations on playing to empty bars. Add to that statement his issues with the overwhelmingly problematic nature of trying to break into the indie-rock dominated world of college radio; something far more difficult to do in Minneapolis if you’re not cosigned by the Doomtree or Rhymesayers crews. But with a little help along the way Mally’s seen a bit of play on Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current this past year and has found his way onto bigger and better bills; one such event is tonight’s CD release show for Muja Messiah‘s M-16′s where he’ll be performing along with the ever-stunning Maria Isa. The man hasn’t strayed from maintaining a solid release schedule either, dropping a slew of digital singles including “Heir Time,” the track featured in this edition of Influenza. In speaking to his persona of “HEIRrogance,” the MC explains his collaboration with producer the Sundance Kid, the duo’s ability to read one another, and the process behind the formation of his lyrics; all the while confirming time and time again that there is no shortage of pride in his game.

Where do I start with the song “Heir Time” and how it came about? In all honesty, I believe the lyrics of the song have been brewing inside of me for years, but didn’t have the right beat to converse with. So one day after discussing the success of my track with the Sundance Kid, “Lights Off,” he forwarded a YouTube clip of an old soul sample and I was in love with it from the jump. Repeatedly I kept listening to the lyrics of the original song crooning “Your-Wish-Is My-Command” and “I’m-Just-A-Maaannnn” and that’s when the light bulb went off. I immediately called the Sundance Kid like “Yoooo, this shit is insane and I know if you flip this, everybody will love it…”

Even a couple days later I still hadn’t received anything and was patiently waiting to hear what he came up with. The day he blessed me with the final beat I was excited and all of the pieces that produced the whole beat made me think of confidence, arrogance [and] royalty along with all the accolades and shortcomings that come with being highly admired, but breathe, walk, eat and sleep just like the next person. If this makes any sense, I was ready to have a conversation with the Sundance Kid in each verse of the song. The only thing that worried me was that the track was only going to be two verses but SDK believed it would go over well.

Within the hook and sections of the sample I found inspiration to think like a king, but place my own twist on what it meant to be one. In the verses I give an idea as to why everybody loves me, a flawless description of self image (“An image so perfect, they give it so I live it…”), what my attitude is like, even down to the type of scotch I enjoy! The hook is where the twist gives the listener a glimpse of humanity in this “HEIRrogant” persona of Mally when I say “I’m just a man, will the throne be mine?” By then I start to question am I really that damn good or have I started to become what you (the people) have created?

“Heir Time” is a song that I truly believe about myself and many other people that I have worked with, or aspire to work with. The only difference is I had the courage to say “I am the shit, I thank all of you for making me feel like the shit through purchasing my merchandise, my music and telling me I should be signed and touring with the big boys and granting me access to rights everybody wouldn’t get. And in the same sentence I believe I am human and no different than you because I too make mistakes, fall short of the glory and just happen to be a talented MC, so do I deserve to sit in a throne or be put on a pedestal?”

Lastly, the artwork and audio clips of Muhammad Ali tied the song together perfectly when he expresses “I’m young, I’m handsome… and can’t possibly be beat!” concluding with “The average man something could happen and nobody knows about it but I could say something, it’d be world news.” I do believe that helped people understand why “HEIRrogance” or “Heir Time” exists.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]