For the last several years hip-hop group Malicious has done its best to stay busy. It has quietly released five albums and is on the verge of releasing a sixth album, which at this time could represent the group's final release.
Emcees Tre and Kimma, producer Kid Krossova and DJ Ya Boi Pep are releasing the new album "For Whatever It's Worth" on Milwaukee's Uni.Fi Records through a party at Stonefly this Saturday.
The party will also be last edition of the Drunk'n Cipher series, a series that Kimma and his crew started many years ago to help give more opportunities for talent around Milwaukee to be showcased.
I had the opportunity to talk to emcee Kimma about the past and what the new project represents for Malicious.
OnMilwaukee.com: With five albums under your belts and the sixth about to drop, what do you bring to the table now that's different from when you started?
Kimma: In short, experience. We spent so many years trying to make music that we thought the hip-hop heads and our peers would like that when it came time to make this album, all we had to do was go in and do us. We didn't think twice about what other people would think or how they would react, we just let it flow. The journey getting to this point was inspiration enough.
OMC: Not a lot of local groups can claim to have six albums but a lot can say they have that number in mixtapes. What led you to do albums and not mixtapes?
K: We made a lot of mixtapes early in our career. To us a mixtape is just random raps over various beats (sometimes original, sometimes popular industry beats), as well as not always the best mixing or sound quality overall. Tre and I take pride in our songwriting skills as well as tying the entire project together around one main theme or idea, be it the subject matter of the songs or even the sequencing of the tracks. If you're going to put this much work into a project and make it sound the best you can,
creatively and sound quality-wise, then why not make it an album? Longevity also comes into play. There are albums I bought when I was 12 that still influence me and have an impact on me today.
OMC: Are you happy with your legacy to Milwaukee hip-hop?
K: I guess you could say I'm content but only time will tell. I'll say one thing, 10 or even 20 years from now a lot of these people around here making music at this time won't have half the sh*t to show for it like we do. All of the music we made will still be here and that's something that can never be denied.
OMC: Your album release is the last Drunk'n Cipher showcase that you're going to put together. Why are you stopping Drunk'n Cipher and what can people expect from the night?
K: I feel like we've done just about all we can do here in Milwaukee. It's time for us to focus our time and energy into other things. Don't get me wrong, I love my city, I was born and raised here, but maybe it's time for some of these younger heads to step forward and hold it down for the city. I never really had an interest in booking and promoting shows in the first place. It was just something I had to step up and do for the crew and myself to get out there and get noticed, and it just grew from that point. As far as what to expect from this last Drunk'n Cipher show, as always, nothing but dope rhymes and good times!
OMC: If they can't make the show, where can they get the album?
K: If you don't make it to the show you can cop the new album and other Malicious albums on iTunes or go to unifirecords.com. If you desire a hard copy of it hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will
personally make that happen.
Born in Milwaukee and raised in the Milwaukee suburb of Brown Deer, Concordia University Wisconsin alumnus Poppe has spent the majority of his life in or around the city and county of Milwaukee.
As an advocate of Milwaukee's hip-hop community Poppe began popular local music blog Milwaukee UP in March 2010. Check out the archived entries here.
Though heavy on the hip-hop, Poppe writes about other genres of music and occasionally about food, culture or sports, and is always ready to show his pride in Milwaukee and Wisconsin.