Windy City native Julian Malone isn’t your typical 20-year-old rapper. He’s not prone to waxing poetic about gold fronts, drugs, and fashion like so many of his contemporaries–he’d rather go deeper. Malone’s subject matter usually revolves around his own life experiences and environment, his ideas and observations.
Although Julian’s lyrics will teach you a life lesson or two he still won’t bore you with an overly preachy style. Over self-produced beats, Julian drops bars such as “My style like, a balance between a wild night/ and the type of life of a nigga that gotta proud wife” which in itself explains Julian’s balancing act between maturity and ignorance. This relationship between consciousness and his ‘hood mentality makes for tracks like “OG”, “Untitiled” and “October 20th” and also reminds us of Common Sense’s approach on Resurrection.
Pay attention to Julian now, he’s sure to make some waves with artistic powerhouse Stones Throw backing him in 2013. Check out our short Q&A with Julian below and for more from the young artist check out his tumblr.
Mass Appeal: In a sentence, how would you describe yourself as an emcee/producer?
Julian Malone: A progressing, hungry, learning student of modern art via music.
What sets you apart from other young emcees from the Chi? For instance, your style is so much different than that of Chief Keef and his crew. How do two people around the same age, from the same city, have such a different style of music?
The thing that I personally feel sets me apart from most is my lifestyle. I’m an artistic, laid back, nerdy, black kid with a conscience from the ‘burbs [laughs]. There’s not too many of my kind rapping and in the spotlight. The way there can be guys like Keef and then me is because of culture. It’s not even a Chicago thing, it’s a environment thing and a peers thing.
What part of the Chi are you from and how would you sum up your upbringing?
Southside. It was pretty crazy. A lot of mistakes and a lot of lessons learned.
What trend in Hip Hop are you sick of right now?
The “Trill” trend. I find that shit pretty lame. Especially since half the “trill” people are twitter/Tumblr nerds.
Finally, your lyrics are very introspective about your own life. Do you feel that writing is a sort of therapeutic device for you?
Yeah, it definitely is. You can write about a problem or something that you’ve always wanted to tell somebody and feel satisfied after. I was just talking to some of my artist friends today about writing from everyday life experiences and thoughts.