Steven Malcolm wasn't raised in the church, but a service he attended while in his late teens prompted him to adopt a message-based approach to rapping, his primary creative outlet. As a recording artist, Malcolm took his first steps with a mixtape and self-released album that led to a deal through Word Entertainment, after which he released the Dove-nominated Steven Malcolm (2017) and The Second City (2019). The albums have mixed Malcolm's faith-based rhymes with his affinity for commercial rap production (such as trap), all the while incorporating touches of reggae to reaffirm his Jamaican roots.
A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Steven Malcolm attended church for the first time at the suggestion of a friend while struggling with family issues and focus during his freshman year of college. Inspired by a joyous service that incorporated hip-hop and dance, he became a regular participant, left the rap group he'd been involved with, and pursued his newfound passion for religion-themed rap. He went on to become part of the church's worship team and set to work on recording a debut album. Malcolm started to amass a fan base with his 2013 mixtape Real Hip Hop, and a year later self-released the full-length Monsters Ink. Building a reputation regionally through rap competitions and live performance for material that was both introspective and sociopolitically aware, Malcolm was named to Rapzilla's Freshmen of 2016 list, making him an up-and-comer to watch.
After he signed with Word Entertainment and became the first artist on its newly established hip-hop imprint, 4 Against 5, Malcolm hit streaming charts in early 2017 with the pop-rap tune "Party in the Hills," featuring Andy Mineo and Hollyn. His label debut, Steven Malcolm, was released that February and registered on Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart. Malcolm performed at that year's GMA Dove Awards and was nominated in three categories: Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year, Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year (for "Party in the Hills"), and New Artist of the Year. Between albums, Malcolm recorded verses for well over a dozen tracks, including Torey D'Shaun's "Boomerang [Remix]" and Evan and Eris' "Be Alright." Malcolm's second album for 4 Against 5, The Second City, arrived in January 2019. ~ Marcy Donelson & Andy Kellman