While embarking through the Canadian leg of the Home Away From Home tour, Minneapolis MC MaLLy revealed his latest visuals for his song “Everything Else But Me.”
In what is considered to be one of the most personal songs from The Colors of Black, MaLLy digs deep within himself to convey solemn bars of unflinching vulnerability over Last Word’s elegant piano and string laden production. With a song of such depth, it had to written in the safe haven of his grandmother’s home as alluded to from the lyrics: “Grandma said all it takes is to pray and that God on time but I feel like he late.”
“Every weekend I try to visit my Grams’ house and I happened to be there while she’s in the background cooking and I decided to write this song,” said MaLLy. “At the time I wrote this song, I was feeling completely vulnerable. I wasn’t talking to one of my best friends who walked out on a birthday party of mine, I was contemplating quitting music because an EP I dropped didn’t do as well as I wanted, and I had a low opinion of myself and felt like a failure and wondered if God had left me hanging.”
As MaLLy scribed his stresses and frustrations onto the page, one focal point of the song came within the bars: “Pressured to fly with wings that ain’t mine and a face I can’t buy/Nose too wide and my skin too dark/Self-hatred the shade on the light from the heart.”
“I never thought that I would fall victim to just wanting to be famous for nothing: make music that was heartless in order to get recognized, loving fashion, and being ungrateful for what I’ve been blessed with and how to present it to the world. Seeing people close to me or far away from me make certain moves definitely fucked with my ego. I wanted to cover myself up with an image out of self-hate. Internally, I hated looking in the mirror.”
Along with MaLLy’s own insecurity, many African Americans can relate to this sentiment due to the overwhelming Eurocentric images that flood the various media outlets.
“Self-hatred in the Black community is real. So many men/women in my community struggle with wanting to lose their natural texture of hair with weave or perm, and wanting to lose their hips, brown to dark skin, full noses etc. It’s all a result of constantly being presented with the same images of thin, tall, white models be the representation of what’s beautiful. I truly believe there is no perfect physical in the sense of vanity, but I do believe we are all God’s fingerprint and are perfect in our own way.”
This also marks the third video that he has worked with the film’s creator, Jason Ho of Dream Nineteen Films to capture the tender honesty among the gloom and taking the plunge into murky waters of insecurity.
“Anytime I work with Jason I know it’s going to be very professional and the shoot days aren’t over until we get everything we need. He loves to really make his video films no matter how short or long they are in time. And I took a leap of faith jumping in Lake Calhoun I smelled like garbage after that shoot and had to change clothes outside before getting in Jason’s car when the shoot was done.”
And as they continue to expand on more ideas for films, MaLLy has been expanding his horizons as he continues to host Brother Ali’s Home Away From Home tour with Bambu and Get Cryphy’s Last Word. With a week left of the two month tour, MaLLy reflect on his favorite moments on the road.
“First and foremost touring with Brother Ali, Bambu, and Last Word has been nothing short of a blessing and a miracle. Being that it’s my first national run; every moment is a great one. But if I could pinpoint a couple memorable ones, it’d have to be the amount of time we all spent in Philly shopping and really enjoying the place for what it was. Me, Ali, and his son went to Black and Nobel Bookstore, got haircuts, and ate at Ms. Tootsie’s Soul Food restaurant. And I would have to say my favorite show on the tour was in Atlanta. The crowd was amazing, Aisle 5 was a great venue with great staff and I definitely wanna come back to that place.”
As MaLLy continues on his journey of self-discovery, he also directs those that are going through a similar moment of despair to learn from the teachings of the ancient Egyptian official, Ptahhotep with his passage: “Conceal your heart. Control your mouth.”