“As blunt as this may sound, I want to be the best Christian rapper. The first Christian rapper I ever heard was Lecrae and I want to be that for my next generation. I want somebody to be like ‘dude, I gave my life to Christ because I heard a Steven Malcolm track and he’s the first Christian rapper I ever heard.’ I know I have it in me and I know that God has put it in me to really excel."
For the last five years, STEVEN MALCOLM has pounded the pavement with razor sharp focus to deliver some of the most infectious and unmistakable hip-hop beats of his generation. The rapper’s innovative musical pursuits have landed him a spot on the 2016/17 edition of the Winter Jam Tour. That’s just the beginning to his list of giant accomplishments, including his self-released Monsters Ink, touring time with Grammy-winner Lecrae, additional performances alongside KB, Andy Mineo, Da T.R.U.T.H., This’I (to name but a few), a slew of massive festival appearances, features alongside KB and Hollyn, plus “Best New Artist” and “Best Free Project” nominations from Rapzilla.com.
Soon after Record Labels started knocking on Malcolm’s door, he chose Word Records (also the home of eclectic hit makers Group 1 Crew, Skillet, Switchfoot, and Needtobreathe) for his self-titled debut.
Steven Malcolm is the latest compelling chapter of Malcolm’s music, which is crafted using a careful commitment to his beliefs, coupled with creative appeal for literally anyone with an affinity for rap, hip-hop, reggae and pop. The album overflows with an authentic approach to songwriting that is just as socially relevant as it is spiritually conscious and unflinchingly personal.
“In high school I was a basketball player and my goal in life at the time was to be in the NBA,” Steven says of the winding road that eventually pointed towards rap and hip-hop. “But going into my freshman year of college, stuff just really hit the fan and life really smacked me across the face. My family was going through hard times and then I started having an identity crisis where I was looking at life and wondering ‘what am I here for?’ My grades were horrible that year, so I couldn’t play ball, my best friend and I fell out and my mom ended up moving, so I was really lost.”
Steven continues, “One day a friend of mine, who I played basketball with in high school, invited me to this church, but other than believing in God in a very general sense growing up, I’d never stepped foot in a church before. Now I’m thinking I’m going to have to pick up my pants, it’s going to be boring and nobody’s going to speak my language, but then he told me it was a hip-hop church, and since I had nothing to do that night, I thought ‘okay, sure, why not?’ And it was like a breath of fresh air that just smacked me in the face. I’m looking around and I see guys that look just like me, they talk just like me and they were so happy and joyful,” he recalls. “These guys were up there rapping and dancing for Jesus, and I’m like ‘I never knew this even existed!’”
In fact, Steven became so attracted to not only the scene, but also its redemptive ethos that he kept going back, eventually leaving behind his life of womanizing and endless parties to tapping into a previously dormant but no doubt God-given talent.
“People kind of knew that I rapped a little bit, but I really wanted my focus to be on my faith and I really wanted to have a solid foundation, so I took a year of learning the Scriptures and really getting grounded,” he explains. “Once that all got settled, somebody asked me what I thought about serving the church as part of the worship team, and dude, the feeling of being on stage and having people engage with God became everything to me. It finally felt like my purpose in life.”
Though he continues that role at The Edge Urban Fellowship to this very day, it was only a matter of time before he branched out beyond those four walls with such a relatable story of starting anew.
“This is me telling my story because the best way to reach somebody is to relate to them,” he suggests. “We’ve all lived life, we’ve all had good times, we’ve all had bad times, we’ve all had struggles and triumphs, trials and tribulations. The things I’m saying and the stuff I’ve gone through can relate to anybody.”
The album starts with lead single, “Hot Boy”. “It’s funny ‘cause I had a girl ask me what’s a ‘Hot Boy?’ when we were in the studio,” he remembers. “And basically what I want people to take home is whatever you’re passionate about, whatever it is that you do, there has to be a burning hot passion inside of your heart to really excel and be the best that God has created you to be. I feel like if God has given you a gift and you’re just using it in a mediocre way or giving mediocre potential to it, it’s a waste of that talent. There has to be a fire in your heart to really excel and be the best you can be at it.”
When it comes to Steven Malcolm’s artistic ascent and subsequent potential for impact, skies are the limit, and no matter the final destination, you can bet it’s gonna be hot boy.