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The chronicles of a travelling rapper

Mon, 18 May 2015 13:48
by Faith Haushona-Kavamba

For some people, taking the leap of faith into the dark pit of uncertainty without hope of landing on their feet is a fate worse than a thousand deaths.
However for a select few like Malkovich, affectionately known as the Travelling Rapper, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime.
In the 2012 the Italian native of Iranian/British descent, who had spent the last 20 years in Los Angeles sold his worldly possessions, packed his bags and began his journey to self-fulfilment.
“I started rapping in the 90s when I was in high school when Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg just came out…Everybody rapped. Back then it was either you did sports or rapped. The guys who had a way with words would end up rapping and I was one of those,” the he explained.
It was then that Malkovich and his friends decided to start a rap group which gained local acclaim in their community.
The group attained moderate success from the late 90s to the early 2000s, before they disbanded and Malkovich decided to pursue a solo career.
Between 2005-2011 he released 3 self-funded albums, which enjoyed great underground reception; however that was not enough for the ambitious rapper.
“In 2011 I decided to leave Los Angeles; I decided it was time for everything to be new. I was in one place for a long time and things didn’t work out the way I thought they would work out,” he said of his move.
He sold all his furniture, his car, gave up his apartment and threw away his clothes and moved to New York in January 2012. However, that move did not pan out either so he moved to New Orleans and subsequently to Atlanta.
Malkovich reiterated that he took the drastic measure because he believed his music career would not work out the way he wanted it to had he stayed in the same place.
It was during that time that he began talking to Namibian producer Becoming Phil on Twitter, who was a fan of his music.
“We would make a couple of songs over the internet, He would send me a beat and I would rap over it. So he suggested I came down since I was not doing anything, and I thought it was a great idea.”
Becoming Phil and Malkovich met for the first time in 2012, the two lived together on and off for about 8 months, working on their music but eventually he had to leave the country.
However i was during this trip that the Traveling Rapper was born. He offered to travel to various countries to meet producers whose beats he liked, at no cost to them at all.
So far, he has worked with producers from Cambodia and Italy, and intends to work with many more, however, if all goes as planned, he will be stationed in Namibia for the next couple of years.
He has producers from Brazil to Nigeria who are all eager to work with him. Malkovich documents his travels on his You Tube show #1BAG.
He is working to finish the second half of the album he began with Becoming Phil in 2012, and has also begun collaborating with Award winning group Black Vulcanite.
“I have made friends here, there are people I like making music with,” he said of his decision to stay.
He recently released a mixtape titled PreBroading were he took famous songs from Jamaica, Cuba and Ghana, to name a few, and resampled them. The project was mixed by world renowned producer DJ Spinna.
“This mixtape is a precursor to all the projects I have done so far. None of them have been released yet,” he noted.
“I won’t stop (being a travelling rapper) until I get the recognition I think my music deserves. It is hard to stand out from other rap artists. There are millions and millions of them, what makes me special is that I’m seeing the world in a way that no-one else is. I will make sure to stay on that path so I keep giving people something special.” he concluded.-