André Malone, a seasoned voice in the realm of music, returns with his latest album, “You Don’t Want It,” a poignant explor­a­tion into the heart of soci­et­al and polit­ic­al injustices that res­on­ate deeply with­in the fab­ric of con­tem­por­ary life. At 48, Malone brings a life­time of obser­va­tion and exper­i­ence to the fore­front, chal­len­ging norms and spark­ing neces­sary con­ver­sa­tions through his artistry. Draw­ing from his own encoun­ters with racial inequal­ity, sys­tem­ic injustices, and the vili­fic­a­tion of black celebrit­ies, Malone crafts an album that not only speaks to the soul but aims to incite change. Through col­lab­or­a­tions with not­able fig­ures like Jon Con­nor, Krayzie Bone, and Twista, the album weaves togeth­er a nar­rat­ive of empower­ment, com­munity action, and resi­li­ence. In this inter­view, Malone delves into the cre­at­ive pro­cess behind “You Don’t Want It,” shar­ing insights into his jour­ney, the album’s mes­sage, and the hope for a soci­ety that fights togeth­er against the real adversar­ies. Join us as we uncov­er the lay­ers of André Malone’s latest work, an album fueled by pas­sion, anger, and a deep-seated desire for equity and truth.

Listen to ‘You Don’t Want It’ HERE

Your latest album, “You Don’t Want It,” delves into themes of social and polit­ic­al injustices. What inspired you to tackle these issues in your music?

As you might know, I am 48 years old as of Feb­ru­ary 19th. So it’s need­less to say that I’ve lived a rather long life. I’ve lived through so many soci­et­al changes and have seen and exper­i­enced the out­comes of those changes. From racial inequal­ity and oth­er dis­crim­in­a­tions, and hav­ing to always prove to the world that you’re val­id, to see­ing and exper­i­en­cing sys­tem­ic injustices through polit­ic­al agen­das that are developed to cor­rupt, vil­i­fy, dis­par­age, impris­on, and even kill off it’s cit­izens, spe­cific­ally people of col­or and those of low eco­nom­ic status.
Even the attacks on our black celebrit­ies and role mod­els. It’s no coin­cid­ence that these celebrit­ies are being exposed for com­mit­ting the same crimes and immor­al­it­ies that were per­pet­rated on them at some point in their careers. And there is no equal­ity in the justice that is giv­en to blacks in con­trast to the white people who com­mit the same crimes. And while we’re all fight­ing each oth­er to sur­vive, not enough of us are fight­ing the cor­rect enemy.

Can you walk us through the cre­at­ive pro­cess behind “You Don’t Want It”? How did you con­cep­tu­al­ize the album and its mes­sage?

I wanted to address some of the issues that, I believe every­one exper­i­ences through­out their life. Loneli­ness, fear of being able to be one­self, not hav­ing someone you can trust becom­ing vul­ner­able with.

I want to start the con­ver­sa­tions at home that inspire truth and trans­par­ency. Too many musi­cians are pro­mot­ing neg­at­iv­ity and manip­u­lat­ing their fans to des­troy them­selves with drugs and viol­ence, and sex. It’s time we expose these tyr­ants and fight for those who don’t know bet­ter or can’t fight for them­selves. It’s time to turn the fight back onto the enemy.

The album fea­tures col­lab­or­a­tions with not­able artists like Jon Con­nor, Krayzie Bone, and Twista. How did these part­ner­ships come about, and what did they bring to the pro­ject?

Well I have to say a spe­cial thank you to all of those guys for their con­tri­bu­tions to this pro­ject and their loy­alty and love to under­ground music and the suc­cess of inde­pend­ent artists. I’ve actu­ally been a fan of all 3 of these artists for a long time.
Jon Con­nor is a fel­low Michig­ander from our neigh­bor­ing city Flint, who also exper­i­enced the troub­ling issues that we have to endure every­day where we’re from. I reached out to tell him about the pro­ject and how I felt that he’d be the per­fect per­son to speak with me on the social injustices hap­pen­ing to our people. He’s been in the fight for a long time and I respect his pas­sion to speak the truth and his love for the music.
I also got blessed with a pro­du­cer con­nec­tion that put me togeth­er with Twista and Krayzie Bone. I was very happy to receive that email from Anno Domini say­ing that they’d they had a fea­ture combo that I didn’t want to pass up. When I heard it was Krayzie Bone and Twista, I had to sign. Two of my favor­ite rap­pers — yeah, I knew it was going to be fire.

In tracks like “Peas­ant to King” and “Let’s Get It Pop­pin’,” you address empower­ment and com­munity action. How do you hope your listen­ers will respond to these mes­sages?

I hope these songs inspire people to come up off the bench and get involved in pro­du­cing change. I believe that it’s time for our soci­ety to become self-suf­fi­cient and free from gov­ern­ment influ­ence. Their influ­ence is their power and it’s based on fear and the illu­sion of fin­an­cial superi­or­ity. We, the cit­izens are what they wager on to run their mar­kets. If we start affect­ing the money, we can induce sig­ni­fic­ant and pos­it­ive change. We do that by build­ing our own and shop­ping and spend­ing with in our own money. If they won’t help us, we don’t need them. We can do it ourselves.

Your jour­ney in the music industry has been marked by resi­li­ence and determ­in­a­tion. How have your past exper­i­ences influ­enced the sound and themes of “You Don’t Want It”?

I’ve heard that the album sounds angry, I guess it is. I’ve been through everything I speak about in my album. I’ve had people close to me do the most snaki­est things to me. I have had friends try to rob me, fam­ily mem­bers turn their backs on me, soci­ety treat me like I don’t belong.

I know what it feels like to be a man with no home. No where to belong. Noth­ing to call his own without someone else try­ing to take it from him. So-called friends try to talk behind my back. I know what it’s like hav­ing to fight for your life every­day and nev­er get to rest. I also, know how hard all of that is to talk about, so I hope that I’m a voice to and for some­body.

Can you share any mem­or­able moments or chal­lenges you encountered while record­ing and pro­du­cing the album?

Every moment was mem­or­able. It felt good walk­ing into Stu­dio E at the Salt­mine Record­ing Stu­dio, where so many of the greats pro­duced their hits and laboured us with their gifts. Artists like the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Lil Wayne, Young Buck, and so many oth­ers helped us cope with life using music recor­ded right there. It was def­in­itely a life enhan­cing exper­i­ence.

The album is accom­pan­ied by a music video. How does visu­al storytelling enhance the listen­ing exper­i­ence for your audi­ence?

I feel that the video cap­tures the essence and makes the con­text of the song clear. I also hope it speaks to the audi­ence in such a way that it inspires them to at least think about what’s going on around them. We all struggle, but this is not the time to quit. This is the time for action.

You’ve shared the stage with icon­ic artists like Boys II Men and Meth­od Man. How have these exper­i­ences shaped your approach to music and per­form­ance?

It’s giv­en me ideas on how I want to present myself to my audi­ence. Over the years I’ve learned a lot about stage pres­ence when per­form­ing and the busi­ness and dynam­ics of the behind the scenes through pro­mot­ing shows. There’s a lot to build­ing a career. That’s why I want to util­ize my music as a launch­ing plat­form for my oth­er endeavors. So I’m really focus­ing on brand­ing myself as more than just a musi­cian or rap artist.

With “You Don’t Want It” now released, what do you hope to achieve with this album, both per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally?

Well I’m hop­ing to expand my audi­ence and to make it so that this album gets to reach the people that need to hear it. I also hope that it gives at least one per­son the strength they need to stay in the fight or inspire one to get in the fight.

What’s next for André Malone? Do you have any upcom­ing pro­jects or col­lab­or­a­tions that your fans can look for­ward to?

I have a bunch of new stuff about to take off. We’re get­ting ready to debut album merch.
I’m really excited about it because we’re col­lab­or­at­ing with my new fash­ion line that we will be launch­ing this sum­mer called, UPMan Fash­ions, which is an urb­an lux­ury design­er brand.

I’m also cur­rently in the pro­cess of form­ing a non­profit called, Pro­ject Rebirth, which will provide valu­able resources to those fam­il­ies and indi­vidu­als, vet­er­ans and ex-crim­in­als, in the way of afford­able and sus­tain­able hous­ing, rel­ev­ant and innov­at­ive edu­ca­tion and reli­able career employ­ment oppor­tun­it­ies. But I’m sure I won’t be stop­ping at just that. There’s a lot to do. And I want to show us all how we can do it.

I’m also cur­rently in the pro­cess of form­ing a non­profit called Pro­ject Rebirth, which will provide valu­able resources to fam­il­ies and indi­vidu­als, vet­er­ans, and ex-crim­in­als, provid­ing afford­able and sus­tain­able hous­ing, rel­ev­ant and innov­at­ive edu­ca­tion, and reli­able career employ­ment oppor­tun­it­ies where needed. How­ever, I’m sure I won’t be stop­ping at just that. There’s a lot to do, and I want to show us all how we can do it.

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.