Producer Mally Mall has worked with an ever-evolving roster of high profile rappers, including Drake, French Montana, Rae Sremmurd and 2 Chainz. But one of his most important life lessons came from an unlikely source — pop superstar Justin Bieber.
As Mally was celebrating the release of Rae Sremmurd’s triple LP SR3MM (which features four songs he produced for Swae Lee), he revealed the unexpected influence Bieber had on his decision to get out of Las Vegas.
“In 2011, I get a phone call and it’s Justin Bieber,” Mally told HipHopDX. “He’s like, ‘Hey, I wanna meet you, I wanna meet your monkey. It’s my little brother’s birthday, do you mind if I come throw a surprise party for him at your house?’ I’m like, ‘Nah I don’t mind’ and then we clicked right away. Literally that day, we made several songs.”
“So, he came to Vegas,” he continued. “In the beginning, it was rough because I had a lot of different kind of sounds and I had a lot of chick followers, a lot of different fans like that. But nobody ever gave me any shit for working with Bieber and his fans are very dedicated.”
The Northern California native soon realized some of Bieber’s younger fans were looking up to him and the path he was taking veered in another direction.
“Before 2011, I was in Vegas and Vegas is an entertainment world,” he explained. “I moved there in 2002 to kind of get away from the Bay Area, and the violence and the craziness. When Mac Dre died, it kind of like hit me hard.
“2Pac died and then when Mac Dre died I was like, ‘Wow, this is too much I gotta get out of here,’ so I went to Vegas to find a new opportunity. Once I got there, I got into different businesses — entertainment, strip clubs, concierge, all that Vegas stuff that you hear about.”
With Bieber’s guidance, he eventually left Sin City — and his own sins — behind.
“When I met Bieber, he’s just a great human being,” he said. “He’s really into Jesus and everything. He took me aside and said, ‘You’re so talented, you’re such a great person. People don’t really don’t how good of a person you are. People perceive you to be this mean guy with tattoos and this arrogant guy, and you’re not.
“‘You’re a beautiful soul. You helped me change my life. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. I think you should leave Vegas and come out here, and just leave all that behind and leave all that fast money, all that. Even if it’s legal or not, there’s still a thin line in life between ethical and unethical.'”
Mally started packing his belongings in 2011 and made the move back to California. Despite taking a pay cut, he’s grateful he listened to Biebs all those years ago.
“I went from making a half a million dollars every couple of months to now struggling in the music industry and living off of my savings,” he admitted. “It was probably the best thing to happen to me because I feel better as a person. I barely go to Vegas now. If I go, its for like music or to check out my animals. Thanks to Bieber. He really had me change my life.”
Mally, who has a penchant for exotic animals, was with Swae earlier this week after their collaborative singles “Guatemala” and “Powerglide” were certified platinum by the RIAA.