“Steven Malcolm is a young man from Grand Rapids, Michigan who grew up wanting to be in the NBA, found Jesus in 2010 and dedicated his life to serving and spreading the gospel with everything that he has through his gift of rap music.”
His new EP is all about the redemption that comes through giving your life to Jesus. Its title, The Second City, Part 1, is a reference to his Jamaican heritage. His father’s family is from Montego Bay, Jamaica, often referred to as The Second City.
The Second City, Part 1’s album cover is a photo from a tour Malcolm went on in the fall, the Live Original Tour. “The colors felt super warm and inviting and super lit, so I showed that to the team and they were like, ‘Yo, that should be the next album cover.’”
There will be four parts to The Second City, one releasing each quarter of 2018. “We’re in a generation now where music lasts for a couple weeks and then it’s onto the next. [I] just wanna give the people new music all the time.”
Steven Malcolm is signed to 4 Against 5, a hip-hop imprint of Word Entertainment which hosts Christian music artists and groups such as for KING & COUNTRY and Blanca. The inspiration for their name is that God’s strength allows the outnumbered to achieve victory.
He recorded all of the new EP in 4 Against 5’s Nashville studio with A&R and producer Joseph Prielozny. “I remember one night I was in the studio all night with a sleeping bag.” Malcolm cannot write without a beat, saying “I need the music to drive the lyrics out of me.”
“Not To Us/Good Love” starts of the EP similar to a hymn, saying “Not to us, but to Your name be the glory.” He wanted to begin his project praising God and “singing that praise just really drops into Good Love which basically is a song about God’s good love and how He really radically changed my life.”
“I would say I grew up a good kid.” In 2010, Malcolm came to understand that true love comes from perfection, and only God is perfect. “Once I found that out I realized how sinful I was, how sinful I am, and how really the only thing that keeps me going is God’s love.”
Malcolm said that when he started following Christ, he saw countless changes in his life “and it all stems from God loving me so much that he sent His son Jesus to die for me.”
The second song on the EP, “Watch” is about observing, referring to the presence a security guard on a night watch. “The story of God transforming me and me getting rid of the old self, dying to the old self, and now this is me, a new, confident Christian, born again through hope and redemption in Jesus, and it’s gonna be crazy so you better watch.”
“Rodeo is probably one of my favorite songs when it comes down to what it really means.” He was in the studio with singer Taylor Hill, also featured on the first track, a “super, super talented man of God… We’re in the studio and my A&R Joseph, he is just strumming the guitar finding a tight rhythm, and he comes up with one. Taylor just gets in the studio and starts recording some melodies.”
Also in the studio was producer Dirty Rice. Hill kept using the word “rodeo,” and they became inspired. “This world is so crazy and this world is so filled with depravity and brokenness and sin and people fighting for what they believe.” The song tells a story of a man pursuing righteousness is this tumultuous world. Malcolm says that despite our hectic world, “God [is] taking the reins of our life and taking control.”
The fourth and final song, “Fadeaway,” will be everyone’s favorite song, claims Malcolm. He describes it as “the crazy live performance song. I need a song that I can just go crazy to. If you’ve ever seen one of my live shows, you know that it goes crazy.” In the song, he says that because Christ followers are saints, we will not fade away because God’s kingdom will last forever.
“Fadeaway” features up-and-coming artist Zauntee. Malcolm was in the studio with Zauntee when they found an exciting trap beat on YouTube. “Dirty Rice put his magic on it and that day when he was doing it Zauntee was in the studio with me, so we were like ‘Yo, hop on the track man.’”
Malcolm says that at his concerts, spectating is not allowed. “I don’t want people just watching. I want people in the mosh pit. You’ve gotta come in the mosh pit, you’ve got a turn up. This is worship to me.” When he was younger, he was a break dancer and loves to dance on stage. “I want to be the best live performer in if not CHH, but in Christian music.”
In 2018 he intends to be the lead artist of his own tour. “We have the team to do it. We have the quarterback knowledge to do it. We’re aiming towards the fall for my own tour.”
Throughout the rest of the year, Malcolm wants to make free mixtapes for SoundCloud in addition to releasing parts two through four of The Second City.
Outside of music, Malcolm enjoys fashion, working out, and going to the movies. Despite his love for movies, “I have never seen a Star Wars movie, please forgive me sir… I feel like I need to take the time one day to sit down and watch Star Wars.”
“My music is to inspire people with the truth about Jesus. Let’s turn up.”