Originally from Colorado Springs, Maliek Miller AKA ‘King’ is a 20-year-old Hip Hop and R&B singer-songwriter, who turned to music and freestyling at a young age when he suffered a football injury that left him with some free time on his hands. Within a short space of time, his hobby turned into a career. Inspired by artists such as Kanye West, Jay Z, Drake, and The Weekend, Maliek has already opened for Joe Budden on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood and hopes to continue performing his own music live in the future. Maliek Miller’s latest album is ‘LA Times’ which is described as “telling the story of being a small-town kid who moves to LA and gets thrown into its craziness.” Maliek is a rapper who will be making a name for himself in the hip-hop community by consistently providing thought provoking bars, palpable rap narratives, and a unique style of delivery that differentiates him from the stylistics of many contemporary rappers. His take on the hip-hop aesthetic is reminiscent of the street dialogues of rap combined with the melodic croon of R&B. Both can be savored on the opening, and titular track, ‘LA Times’ featuring Vaughn Carter.
Hard and quick-witted verses flaunt the lyrical finesse of the emcee across this 8 track recording, and the quality of his storytelling reveals a deep seated desire to bring hip-hop back to the competitiveness of its lyrical past, if that past can ever be re-obtained.
On ‘LA Times’, Maliek Miller induces his listeners to keep a close ear to every line of his lyrics as he peels back the layers of his personal psychology, his earnest artistic ruminations, and his intellect, which he says “reflects his own life, and is inspired by his own stories and circumstances.”
On “Lakers”, Maliek raps over a dark beat with key chords, and the slow burn of hard-hitting percussion. The rapper introduces his verses with a confident authenticity, dispelling any doubt about the sincerity of his street-level poetics and sports metaphors.
Maliek channels his creative nature into something productive, using hip-hop as a platform to vent and find meaning. “Change” is another song on the album which showcases Maliek’s tenacity for consistent rhymes and unconventional honesty.
“Facts”, provides a track that features a steady drum pattern and a sinister synth and bass line. The qualities of this production provides a cinematic soundscape for Maliek to flaunt his confrontational lyrical scheme on – A great pairing that allows for the rapper’s talents to shine.
Although Maliek is undoubtedly a virtuous rapper and an unquestionable lyricist, but he can still drop a rhythmic banging motif with a powerfully catchy hook, which makes “2x2x” the most addictive track on the album. Even though his music is aligned with the aesthetics of contemporary rap music, Maliek is able to ride on a beat melded from a classic soulful theme on “Smoothgroove”.
Touching, honest, and meaningful, Maliek slides into the sentimental focus on “GoodThings” and takes a looks at the contrasting aspects of relationships – “…I didn’t take her to the Gucci store. I needed her heart, she needed way more…” which says it all for debate on romanticism vs. materialism.
Maliek closes shop with another standout in “Up in LA”. He is dead set on telling his story, and this is another powerful narrative. Maliek’s storytelling and eye opening thoughts and punches on this track, is something that really stood out to me as an artist who is fully applying himself, in a genre that for the most part has been stagnant over the last five years. Maliek Miller’s rhyme patterns, lyrics, and flow, will definitely keep listeners wanting and waiting for more.