Interview: Malique

He’s the other half of Malaysia’s most celebrated hip hip act Too Phat with Joe Flizzow. Despite his low-key presence in the scene, his music speaks louder than words. The Anugerah Industri Muzik winner is finishing his trilogy KO: The Mixtape and took time out to speak to JUICE.

Heya Malique. How’s 2010 treating you so far?
Very good, thank you.

OK and KO: The Mixtape have done so well since its release. How do you feel about the success?
For 1 year’s worth of planning, the results have been for a lifetime. So I’m happy.

How personal was OK for you?
Very, very personal.

What’s up with the Scarface association for that album?
There was only one line referring to that movie in the entire album. But I did watch it repeatedly during the production of OK.

Let’s talk about your upcoming album TKO (Peace Out). Why is it titled that and why are you calling it the final solo album?
TKO is the final chapter in a trilogy, which I planned in 2007 and sealing in 2010. Everything has been according to plan, riding on one base concept. Whatever I have failed to execute due to time constraints, lack of money and lack of support in my first album OK, I’m fixing with TKO. OK was imperfect.

Who worked on this upcoming album?
The best from OK and KO, and some new people I discovered along the way that I felt deserved to be there. Amongst them is Ariz, Qarma’s newest artist. Besides me, I feel that there are no other Malay acts, so it’s time Malay rap takes its own form and structure.

How long has it been in the works and when can we expect TKO (Peace Out) to be released?
I started right after the recent AIM (Anugerah Industri Muzik) and I’m releasing it in December 2010.

What is it about Najwa that made you two team up again on ‘Senyum’?
If you see legend potential in someone, keep on doing songs with them until they are recognized. The first time, ‘Kau Yang Punya’ from the OK album went unnoticed, or a lot of people who did not understand the concept of a remake were associating it with The Roots’ original. So we kept on trying. She has potential to be legendary because of the quality of her singing, which is rare. So I’ll keep working with her until she comes up with a legendary album and I hope to produce it.

How was the reunion with Joe Flizzow to bring back Too Phat?
If you mean in ‘2010 Masih Hip Hop’, it was our first recording together in 5 years. But things have changed, technology-wise. So ‘Masih Hip Hop’ was a warm-up for us. But the chemistry has always been there, so it was very easy working with him again. There’s going to be another Too Phat album – our 5th one.

When can we expect it to be released?
Next year or the year after. I’m doing a kids album simultaneously.

What do you remember most from the early days of Too Phat?
The groupies.

What does Joe Flizzow mean to you?
Joe is my brother.

You’ve been on the down low for a long time. Do you think this ‘gimmick’ is working towards your advantage?
Laying low from you. But for me and my company, I’ve been writing every day, working hard. Yes, in that sense it’s working to my advantage because other people’s inputs always start with a “but”. So I’ve been doing my thing alone, and it’s been very good.

There’s so much talk about you. How do you handle the ‘gossips’?
I don’t know of any and if there are, I don’t read them.

When are we going to be able to see Malique live on stage again?
When sponsors agree to a Too Phat nationwide tour and subsequently, an Asian tour.

What do you think of the current music scene?
Too many good singers, too few good producers

Which local acts are you checking out these days?
Not checking out, but still waiting for another Too Phat – in vain. Or in other genres another Ruffedge or VE. Acts with that legendary vibe. There have been none yet.

If there is one song to describe you, what would it be?
‘Dalam Aku Ada Hantu’.

Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?
I really don’t know.

If you could say something to your fans out there, what would it be?
Keep it real.

What are your top 5 albums of all time?
In no particular order: Malique’s TKO (Peace Out), LL Cool J’s Walking with a Panther, The Notorious BIG’s Life After Death, Damian Marley’s Welcome to Jamrock and Eminem’s Slim Shady LP.

Go say hi to Malique at

Image Qarma Musiq