From the moment producer Mally Mall met Swae Lee, their musical chemistry was apparent. On the first day he got in the studio with the Rae Sremmurd rapper, they cranked out seven songs and since then, they’ve crafted at least 40 singles.
Four of those — “Guatemala,” “Heartbreak In Encino Hills,” “42” and “Powerglide” featuring Juicy J — ended up on SR3MM, which was released on Friday (May 4). Despite working with some of the industry’s most prolific artists, including Drake, French Montana and Justin Bieber, the Encino, California transplant believe Swae is the créme de la créme of rappers right now.
“Swae’s a great guy,” Mally tells HipHopDX. “He’s so easy to work with and so talented. He’s certainly one of the most talented guys that I’ve ever worked with. I’ve worked with everybody in the game pretty much and I have to say, every time I work with somebody it’s like a new level of talent. I think Swae is the highest level of talent that I have worked with yet.”
With SR3MM out in the world, the former Love & Hip Hop star is already focused on his next venture. He’s been working with Montana again and has a few joints on the upcoming Jungle Rules 2.
“I’m executive producing French Montana’s album,” he says. “We have some joints with Swae on there, and one of the first singles I did was the one with Swae and another single with The Weeknd. We don’t know which one he’ll use first. I did another single with The Weeknd and Quavo, too. It’s gonna be crazy insane. The French project is around the corner for sure. He’s ready to drop a few singles in the next two weeks.”
On top of that, Mally just finished a song with Jason Derulo called “Last Night” featuring Quavo, Young Thug, Gucci Mane and Offset, the ultimate posse cut.
But at 40 years old, Mally’s history in Hip Hop stretches back to the ’80s. Growing up in Northern California, he was introduced to one of Too Short’s producers, Ant Banks, and from there, he met Mac Dre, Spice 1, E-40 and other members of the Bay Area Hip Hop scene.
Around 2011 when Drake was at Mally’s Las Vegas studio, the “Nice For What” superstar realized how much Mac Dre meant to Mally, and the idea for “The Motto” featuring Lil Wayne and Tyga was born.
“Drake saw I had a big mural of different artists like Future, 2 Chainz, Tyga, Bieber,” he says. “But the biggest mural was of [Mac] Dre because he was like a older brother to me. He helped me stay out of trouble and help me learn how to move, you know in the streets back then. Drake says, ‘Hey what do you know about Dre?’ He stared at the mural and said, ‘Wow,’ and literally that’s how ‘The Motto’ was created.”
However, nothing compares to meeting Tupac Shakur when he was a teenager. Years after ‘Pac’s 1996 shooting death, Mally had the opportunity to purchase some of ‘Pac’s unreleased vocals.
“One of Suge Knight’s guys called me and was like, ‘Hey we have Tupac vocals,’ and I was like, ‘No way,'” he says. “It’s like 2009 and I was like, ‘I can’t do this besides giving something to the family,’ so I purchased almost $100,000 worth of unreleased because back when Tupac passed away, everything was analog. It wasn’t digital. So these guys grabbed all the stuff in the studio and put it in storage not knowing what it was.”
“Afeni Shakur [2Pac’s mother] flew to Vegas and she was like, ‘Wow. Before I say anything, I want you to know my son is here in the house. My son has the strongest spirit in the world. He died here and he wanted his vocals to come back here to Vegas. And my son is here now.’ It was the craziest thing. I got thank Afeni for the vocals and that’s all I wanted to do.”
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony manager and legendary Hip Hop consultant Steve Lobel helped broker the deal for Mally, and the vocals have since been released.
Revisit their interview for DX below.