Making his breakthrough while still a teenager, Bronx-bred rapper Smooky Margielaa delivers his melodic sing-rapping in a style influenced by Speaker Knockerz, Chief Keef, and Migos. As a protégé to A$AP Rocky, he contributed a handful of standout verses to A$AP Mob's Cozy Tapes, Vol. 2, capturing the attention of audiences and kicking off his solo career.
Born to Malian musician Abdoulaye Diabaté, he was raised with heavy West African musical influences, modeling his vocal style on the xylophone-like balafon, which he played (along with the djembe) on-stage during his father's live shows. As a child, he also performed Michael Jackson tributes. Soon, the young musician began rapping. While in junior high school, at the behest of his school tutor turned manager, he recorded a pair of tracks that were popular with the student body. He performed at local shows around the Bronx, which lead to a fateful meeting with A$AP Rocky. Bumping into the emcee outside of a club, Margielaa impressed Rocky so much that he was taken on as protégé, signing with Rocky a year later. In 2017, Margielaa appeared on a batch of tracks on A$AP Mob's mixtape, Cozy Tapes, Vol. 2: Too Cozy, including standouts "Bahamas" and "Black Card." Peaking just outside the Top 5 on the Billboard 200, Too Cozy helped push Margielaa to the fore, and he followed with solo singles "Stay 100," "Money Talk," "The Judge," and "Flight to Memphis" featuring Chris Brown, Juicy J, and A$AP Rocky. ~ Neil Z. Yeung