ATL rapper Malik Allen, also known as The Letter M, has a new single out titled “Karma’s Revenge.” The Letter M is known for his melodic raps and vivid story-telling, using his infectious and dangerously sharp flow to recount the experiences he’s endured in life. He uses personal stories, sparing no intimate details, to connect with his listeners through relatable songs, creating music for those with upbringings similar to his. I got a chance to sit and talk to him about how he got his start in music and how his journey has molded him to where he is today as an artist, which you can check out below!
Hi Malik! Thank you so much for joining me today! I’m super excited to dive into your musical journey. Why don’t we start with a bit about your start as an artist? Why did you choose to use the name, The Letter M rather than just M or your name?
The Letter M: “Hey! Thanks for having me. Well, I wanted to captivate people with a mysterious alias that sounds like a band kinda like when you hear a name like PARTYNEXTDOOR.”
I would say you definitely succeeded in creating a bit of mystery! How did you first get into music? Were there any standout artists, songs, or albums that strongly resonated with you?
The Letter M: “Well for starters, my first love was dancing .. I’m talking dancing like Chris Brown .. I really get down lol .. but that later led to a convo with my late grandfather, where he asked me if I ever thought about becoming an actual artist/entertainer .. and gave some examples of Micheal Jackson .. that inspired me to later pursue music seriously at around the age of 15 at that time …
And to answer ya other question.. Man ..as far as artists.. just to name a few Tyler the Creator, Kendrick Lamar, 3Stacks, Drake, Thugga, J. Cole, Smino, BONE THUGS N HARMONY, OG Maco..
Albums, I’d say .. Word of Mouth, Love Below, TPAB, Late Registration, Nothing Was The Same.”
I can definitely see how all of those could play a role in your sound! But it’s so inspiring that your grandfather saw something in you. It’s amazing to have that kind of support. When did you decide that you wanted to take it as seriously as making music into an actual career? Were others around you supportive?
The Letter M: “I decided I wanted to pursue music at age 16 officially, everyone around continuously reminded me of how sure they were that I would blow.. and I’m well on my way to proving everyone that believes in me right!”
Would you say that being from Atlanta has impacted your sound?
The Letter M: “Being from my city is what makes my sound and every other fellow artist from here sound so unique.. we control the waves .. everyone wants to pull so many different things from the culture of Atlanta to make them sound like us or look like us.. or our mannerisms or our lingo .. my experiences living in the city is exactly what shaped my sound outside of other musical influences..”
I absolutely love that! Stay true to your roots. You’ll be able to do it better than anyone else. Is the ATL music scene collaborative or competitive? Are there any artists from there that have shaped your career or that you would want to work with?
The Letter M: “It’s definitely both.. everybody feel like a superstar here.. but I ain’t really worried about everyone else .. I’m just tryna make myself a household name, take the burdens off all my loved ones backs, and change music for the better and forever in my own way.. Thugga and Ludacris definitely play a big part in what’s shaped my sound that I’d love to work with any day ..”
I think that it’s amazing that you can keep your priorities straight, especially as you gain traction. It’s easy to lose sight of those things. What have been your biggest obstacles in pursuing music as a career? How did you push through them?
The Letter M: “Really just finding myself as an artist, gaining financial stability, depression, and figuring out the best way to gain a bigger audience.. knowing the promising future of my talents. I simply pushed through all of this by keeping my faith in God, Myself.. help from family, friends, loved ones, and being blessed with a strong enough will power to never give up .. no matter the circumstances.”
I love to hear that kind of optimism. The industry can get super tough and discouraging, but if you have a strong belief and support system, it makes it so much more bearable. Are there any artists in music currently that are setting standards for artists like yourself?
The Letter M: “Oh definitely! J. Cole, Tyler the Creator, Drake, Thugga, Future, Lil Baby, 21 Savage.”
Some of the biggest in the game right now! I’m sure they would vibe with your new project. Speaking of, tell me a bit about your ‘Eastside General’ EP.
The Letter M: “Pain is Fuel.. you don’t gotta be from the hood to deal wit struggle.. you don’t gotta claim to be a gangsta for people not to play with you.. and most importantly I’m viewed as a leader/general and huge inspiration for me and mine..”
Wow, that is powerful. I think that’s an incredible way to sum that up, and truly a perspective I haven’t thought of much. What was the creative mindset and process going into that EP?
The Letter M: “Every session was raw emotion, and energy, majority of the project.. was recorded punch in style .. I wasn’t really writing for this project .. all the verses and hooks came from a random place and I laid it down off the top organically and it came out very timeless..”
Sometimes it’s the things we think of right then and there that hold the most truth. Are there any overarching themes throughout that project and your other music?
The Letter M: “No specific continuous theme.. I plan to consistently push the envelope and evolve.. so the only thing I would say is overarching is the connection of stories from my life that I continue to spew out through each body of work I decide to release into the world.”
It’s almost like your creating an autobiography for yourself through your music. That’s extremely dope. What’s one piece of advice you have for any artists that are looking to make a name for themselves?
The Letter M: “Stay true to yourself at all times.. that way no one in the world can pull your card.”
YES! I couldn’t agree more!!! And tell us a bit about what you have coming up. What projects do you currently have in the works? What can people expect from you in the next year?
The Letter M: “All ima say is expect a follow up EP to ‘Eastside General’ .. guaranteed to knock ya SOCKS OFF !!! A debut album is also in the works.. so I suggest yall stay tapped in to my journey to see just how far I really take this God given thing called music.”
And how can fans stay tapped in with you?
The Letter M: “Find me on everything and stay tapped by the handle ..
Well, Malik! Thank you SO much for such a fabulous interview! I’m extremely excited to see what you have in the works. If you’d like to connect with The Letter M, you can find his socials below:
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