Interview: Maaly Raw On The South, Lil Uzi Vert, A Bathing Ape and More

Hailing from Philadelphia, Maaly Raw has quickly risen to a high stature as a producer after working with artists such as Lil Uzi Vert, PlayBoi Carti and Young Thug. Having recently featured on some of the tracks of Lil Uzi Vert’s “Lil Uzi Vert Vs. The World”, we reached out to Maaly Raw to get some of his opinions about the artists he’s worked with, the hip-hop scene right now and much more.

Q. How did you get into producing?

I got into producing through my cousin, B. Jones. I was at my house, and he was making beats and I asked him to show me how to do it. He showed me for like two minutes, just the basics, and after that, I just never stopped. Prior to that, I had always wanted to play the drums and always wanted to get into music. Music was always in me, I’m just now finding it.

Q. With producers such as Jahlil Beats and artists such as Meek Mill, Chiddy Bang, and Lil Uzi Vert, who we will get to later, all hailing from Philadelphia, how has the rap scene there impacted you?

I grew up to listening to Meek Mill, Jahlil Beats and all of them. I grew up listening to a lot of underground city rappers and a lot of trap music. The rap scene here, in Philadelphia, I used to just listen to rappers, but my influence really came from down South and those beats. For example, my favorite producer is Lex Luger. My influence doesn’t really come from the Philly rap scene.

For the Philly rap scene, I just grew up on it. For the most part my influence was coming out of Atlanta. I just heard music coming out of there and fucked with it. My brother put me onto Gucci Mane, and after a while, he became one of my favorite rappers. I was a really big fan of Brick Squad when they were together. Those guys, and their producers influenced me heavily.

Q. You seem to have a special musical relationship with up and coming star, Lil Uzi Vert, having produced a countless amount of songs for him. Can you describe how you first started collaborating and how that’s impacted your relationship with one another in your careers?

I first heard about Uzi from another Philadelphia rapper, Kur. In Philadelphia, nobody really knew who Uzi was until Kur put him on one of his songs, which was produced by me, where Uzi’s verse was crazy. After that, I had heard one of Uzi’s tracks on the radio, and I thought that his sound was from down South. My manager, Amin, grew up with Uzi so it wasn’t really hard for me to link up with him, I just told my manager to link us. That’s how Uzi and I got started and we’ve just never stopped. Our chemistry is crazy. Working with Uzi really boosted my career.

Q. Alongside Lil Uzi Vert, you’ve worked with artists such as Young Thug. What impact has working with them had on you as an artist? Have they further influenced your production style?

It just got me more exposure, I went out to Atlanta in November when Don Cannon flew us out. I met Young Thug there. After that Uzi hit me up and told me he was in the studio with Young Thug and I sent a couple beats over and they just recorded “Yea Hoe” and “Dope”.

Uzi and I have tempos that I know are right when I’m making the beat for him. For “Canadian Goose”, I made that beat in twenty minutes. As I was making it, I made it the same tempo as the “Enemies” beat, so I went back, took the tempo and just put it on “Canadian Goose” and while I was making it I knew ‘yeah this is for Uzi’’.

Q. What’s changed in the hip-hop scene since you’ve become more prominent?

I personally think that hip-hop begins down South now. Today’s music is just influenced from the South and I think that that is only getting bigger. That sound is just spreading to all of hip-hop. It’s crazy!

Q. Sifting through your social media accounts, we noticed that you have an interest in fashion, streetwear specifically, with various pictures of you wearing A Bathing Ape appearing. How would you define your personal style?

I don’t really have a personal style per se. I never really changed how I dress. I’ve always been into the scene. A lot of people called me a ‘pretty boy’ growing up with the way I dressed and still dress. I like getting dressed, but I don’t have any influencers. I just do me, if that makes sense.

Q. What are some of the brands you find yourself wearing consistently right now?

For jeans I really like Diesel and PRPS. I wear a lot of Versace, I really like them. I’ve got a lot of shoes from Versace. For t-shirts, I wear a lot of Polo Ralph Lauren and A Bathing Ape. I’ve never really changed my style.

Q. We also noticed DatBeMaalyRaw, your slogan turned clothing line. Like many other rappers in today’s transverse era of pop culture, is this your attempt at making a mark on fashion as well as music?  

I’ve never really had a desire to get into the fashion world. For my t-shirt line, it’s just a way for me to further my brand and expand my brand to get the world familiar with ‘DatBeMaalyRaw’. That’s basically what I’m trying to do. If I was trying to get into the fashion world, I don’t think I would have my own name on a shirt. I don’t think that would sell that much as a clothing line haha.

https://twitter.com/MaalyRaw/status/720628594519719936

Q. You recently tweeted out: “#WeekendInPhillyWithMaalyRaw Filming This Weekend” – Can you elaborate on what went down this weekend?

It’s just me being in the studio and me showing what I do on the weekends. It’s regular stuff – hanging out, chilling with friends, going to the studio, going to eat, walking around. All the things I do in Philly. It will be up on Youtube soon.

Q. Can you give us a hint as to what you might have in store for listeners in the near future seeing as you are rising up the charts as quick as many of the artists you work with?

We’ve got a couple of mutual homies so Meek Mill hit my friend Spike up, and told him ‘I want to work with Maaly’ so he gave me his phone number the other day and told me to call him. So, understandably, I called Meek and I was on the phone with him and he was basically saying that he wanted me to send that heat over. Another big artist I’m working with is Rich The Kid. He DMed me and I gave him my number and he called me the other day saying he was going to be in the studio and he wanted me to send some stuff over. I was just talking to A$AP Lou and we’ve got big plans. I’ve been locked in with PlayBoi Carti, sending him beats so I’ve got work coming with him.

I’m just working, trying to send these beats out to artists and record labels. In the near future, ya’ll really going to see a lot from Maaly Raw. A lot of big stuff coming soon.

Listen to some of Maaly Raw’s work below:

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