The lyrical versatility is something to be heard, if you haven’t heard it already. Another dope artist w/ another full work up here to grace the pages of aEM. Malik Work is a proud New York Native and definitely let’s you know w/ his song “New York City”. Check him out…
Malik Work: Bio
MC/Actor/Writer Malik Work is one of New York City’s lyrical giants. Work built his reputation on co-founding the seminal live hip-hop crew, The Real Live Show, with a decade of residencies and performances at venues all over the U.S. and Europe. The group’s sophisticated musicianship— and the literate rhymes of Malik, a.k.a. Dionysos, and his co-MC, Stimulus—garnered The Real Live Show critical acclaim. The Village Voice enthused: “If ever a group lived up to their name, it’s The Real Live Show. With a distinguished palette of players backing them, New York City purebred MCs Stimulus and Dionysos paint a pitch-perfect portrait of hip – hop’s spirit.” The Real Live Show also has the distinction of being the first hip-hop band ever to play the Greenwich Village’s esteemed Blue Note Club.
Having established such a notable hip-hop NYC heritage, Work is now stepping forward with two revelatory solo projects. He’s releasing a mixtape titled Work In Progress featuring the cleverly absurd single “Let Me See Some I.D.” And he’s issuing the first ever interactive beat-less rhymes project, Work With The Voice.
With a sound that has been described as a cross between Busta Rhymes and The Roots, Work In Progress is a diverse collection of tracks. The debut single “Let Me See Some I.D.” is birthed from the same aesthetic as the venerated The Real Live Show oeuvre, but it has a sleek and progressive production approach that makes it competitively modern. Work’s erudite and barbed wit permeates the loosely autobiographical track, referencing his time working the door at the revered Nublu club, one of the hippest haunts in the Lower East Side with regulars such as Kudu, Brazilian Girls, Wax Poetic, Forro in the Dark, and Love Trio. Being the gatekeeper for one of the coolest clubs in NYC inspired Work to pen some playfully irreverent lyrics. “I’m checking people’s certifications to see if they’re cool enough to party with me,” he chuckles, explaining the clever jocular jabs of the lyrical content. The track will be released as a remix by famed label owner/groove culture visionary/DJ/producer Nickodemus. Nickodemus organized the pioneering and beloved outdoor event Turntables On The Hudson. He remains a fixture in the dance music scene with his acclaimed label Wonderwheel Recordings. He’s also highly respected for his work remixing such a diverse array of artists as Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Bebel Gilberto, Thievery Corporation, Astor Piazzolla, among many others. The mixtape will be rounded out by live favorites that until now haven’t had definitive studio versions, including the social commentary song “Zombie” and the anthemic “Cosmo Kids.”
The interactive beat-less rhymes project, Work With The Voice, involves Work making his articulate and insightful MC work available online sans beats. With this inventive move, Work is welcoming a dialogue with producers of all different stripes. He is also making a statement about hip-hop texts as standalone prose. “I’m a writer and I’m excited to engage my audience in this way. Over years, I’ve learned from performing live that people barely hear what you’re talking about. When I’ve performed a cappella, people have responded to the message,” Malik emphasizes. “I’m opening myself up to an amazing opportunity, and I’m psyched to see what files in.”
Work’s learned flow stems from his deep appreciation for all written masterworks, and his firm belief that hip-hop lyrics fit into the literature continuum. Currently he teaches a workshop called “Rap and Spoken Word as Performed Literature.” This intensive connected the work of classic writers such as Dr. Seuss and William Shakespeare with the lyrics of contemporary hip-hop artists like Biggie Smalls. These seemingly disparate threads of hip-hop, classic literature, and theater, tie in with Work’s well-rounded artistry. He’s written 3 plays, acted in an off-Broadway one-man show, and appeared in numerous movies. Work will be playing himself in an upcoming film tentatively titled, An American In Hollywood. The movie is set at Nublu and features Work as a character in the movie with a music performance role. Also, his song, “New York City,” will be a theme track in the film.
Malik Work has been consistently ahead of his time. Way before the reality TV explosion, Work and his The Real Live Show co-MC, Stimulus, filmed their weekly residency documenting the duo sharpening their craft as a “hip-hop reality series.” Today, Work continues that progressive spirit with his new mixtape Work In Progress and his groundbreaking Work With The Voice interactive beatless rhymes project. In addition to maintaining a busy The Real Live Show schedule, Work is also expanding his profile with new and exciting collaborations, such as fronting the Parisian-born jazz-hop band Nedjma and developing his hip-hop cabaret concept group, The Upstagers.
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