Mallio is here to put on for his city of Cincinnati, Ohio.
On the intro to his recent single and visual, “5pm in Cincinnati,” Mallio is heard saying: “If you can make it out of Cincinnati, man you can make it anywhere.”
Mallio prides himself in his unique sound, blending the old school and new school into one. His music is something anybody can relate to, in any generation. Whether it’s uptempo or universal, Mallio reminds you he just loves music overall.
When asked to describe himself, Mallio humbles it down to the fact that he’s human like the rest of us. “I’m just a cool, loving, caring guy man,” he states. “I’m fun. Very, very, very intelligent. Very handsome.”
Most recently, Mallio unveiled his newest album titled TMFG, a 15-track project surrounding the theme of The Many-Faced God. As evidenced in all his bodies of work: the rising star talks to a wide array of audiences from all around the world, offering a diverse palette and variety of sounds with each release.
AllHipHop caught up with Mallio to discuss his roots in Cincinnati, biggest influences, the new project, his ski mask tattoo, and more!
AllHipHop: I’m so sorry about the Bengals. You good?
Mallio: Hey look man, you leave them Bengals out of this. [laughs] You can’t beat the refs, I don’t care what you doing. To be honest though, they had all these losing seasons. Me for the most part, I think it’s pretty cool to even see him going to the championships. Plus, you know how when a team’s winning? It changed the whole environment, everything around just upped. That’s pretty cool, to witness the unity.
Even going to the little bars and seeing everybody coexisting that’s the major thing to me. It be these little small subtle things people don’t really pay attention to, I observe that when I be out. Damn, that’s cool as f###. There’s normally two different sides of the tracks, we wouldn’t even meet these m############. But here we are in one spot.
AllHipHop: What was that like growing up in Cincinnati?
Mallio: I grew up in West End of Cincinnati, it’s very different now. They did that pretty much everywhere, the gentrification and all that. At this present time, it’s a little different. But when I grew up, it was rough. Project to project, it’s almost the cliche hood guy story. That upbringing, in and out of jail. Went to prison for a while. Got focused on being a newer, better overall person.
Cincinnati, it’s a cool place. It’s a very, very difficult place to really get out of here because of how small Cincinnati is. [laughs] Resourcefully: if you can make it out of here, you can make it anywhere.
AllHipHop: When did you fall in love with music?
Mallio: I was a kid man, little bitty kid. My mom, rest in heaven. I grew up on Anita Baker, Sade, those type artists. Barry White, Ron Isley and Bootsy Collins, all them guys. All the greats, respect to them. My dad on the other hand, he was more rock and roll, Nickelback, reggae music. But we all listened to hip hop. I fell in love with music, I was a little kid man. I used to have CDs, tapes. I had everything growing up.
AllHipHop: What’s your favorite Rick Ross song?
Mallio: The song with him and CeeLo Green, “Tears of Joy.” Huey P. Newton come on the front of it.
I know the words off the rip.
AllHipHop: Who else influences you?
Mallio: Him, Yo Gotti, Jay Z, J Prince. Not Jr., Sr. E-40, them guys on the entrepreneur side. Because even when I sat down and started to look at music as a whole: damn, where can I see myself? That was kind of it. In this lifetime, the Most High put me in a position to be a leader. Seeing those influences in front of me, yeah that’s it. Even now, the guys, Drake and all them, I’m inspired by all them. Anybody makes it out of the circumstances and get to where they going, it’s always a beautiful thing to me. I’m pretty sure you probably got a story too. See, I could draw inspiration from even you.
AllHipHop: How’d you get your name?
Mallio: Mallio is from my last name. My last name was Mallory, you know just being around hood riddling m############. [laughs] They called me B Mallio for a minute. Everybody around me kept saying B, so they started saying Mallio. And it stuck. Once my mom started saying it, it stuck. It was over with.
AllHipHop: New project, TMFG. Talk about the meaning behind the title.
Mallio: TMFG, there’s an assortment of sounds on there. It’s unique. When you hear it, it’s big. It’s theatrical. Talking about Cincinnati, I tap into what’s going on in Cincy. I talked a little bit about some of my exploitations around the country, just moving being me. The actual title is The Many-Faced God, that’s what TMFG stands for. Everybody knows where the inspiration comes from if you watch Game of Thrones. Overall, I’m a universal guy. I’m a universal entrepreneur, into a whole lot of things around my city and around the country.
AllHipHop: What businesses do you have?
Mallio: Right now, just started the trucking company. I’ve always been into promotions. Of course, I grew from being the weed guy. [laughs] Amongst other things, had to grow up. I’m moving moving like that now.
AllHipHop: You’ve collaborated with Ty Dolla $ign. Any recent collabs that you’re excited about?
Mallio: Nope, not on the table right now. Right now, I’m just trying to get my legs up under me. Meeting people like you, this the important thing. In the past, I’ve done features. I got a Nicki Minaj feature early in the game. I’m on a feature with Alley Boy, a couple other artists that I can’t remember off the head. It’s online somewhere, a lot of this s###.
More so now, I’m more focused on the media. Y’all make this work, this the time now. Features? Nah, I’m into the groundwork right now. Really moving around like hey, what’s going on? This is me. I can’t move around like I’m from LA or New York, the big cities. I’m from Cincinnati, I’m from a small city so I got to get in the mix of things. That’s it.
AllHipHop: How’s the independent grind?
Mallio: It’s a journey in its own. It’s filled with education. [laughs] What we put out into the universe, we gotta be mindful of that. I can’t really say “yeah, this hard.” None of that. But when I really sit down and look at the overall picture, it’s a beautiful journey. The ups and the downs. Because through every down, I get progression and I go forward from it. Step by step, baby steps. I’m getting closer and closer to my dreams with it, and that’s the overall thing.
AllHipHop: One thing you want people to take away from the project?
Mallio: Just my overall quality. The sound, the lyrics. Hearing the genuine story from another perspective, on Cincinnati street life. It’s theatrical. I got a big sound. Hearing my side of the story, coming from Cincinnati. Just giving people a little insight on Cincinnati. We more than just what they think, and what they think they know and the people that they see so far. I’m a real Cincinnati guy. Real Cincinnati love around this m###########. [laughs]
AllHipHop: Do you still stay in Cincinnati?
Mallio: Yeah, at the moment. I’m in between here and LA. In Downey.
AllHipHop: Can we talk about your tattoos?
Mallio: Oh my ski mask? Most of my life, in and out of prison. I guess I could talk about it, s### it’s the past. I used to be a robbery boy. After I slowed down on that, I started putting overall life into perspective, and really seeing the beauty in life. Because I remember really being steeped in that mindset. I really didn’t have dreams, I didn’t have a conscience. Go to sleep, wake up, do some b#######. Go to sleep, wake up, do some more b#######. It was just that.
When I first put that on my stomach, it was a reminder of where I came from. My message behind it to myself, my personal Post-it note was: because my belly was big, this what greed look like. I came home… I’m real artistic in that way. All my tattoos got some type of meaning. I branded myself with that. Then I said f### it, I’ma turn it into a brand.
When I came home from the joint, s### I looked like a g###### actual figure. But as time going on, I’m doing hella s###. Just getting back into it, I’m like man f### it. I’ma put the ski mask on my stomach, then I put the note above it that said “take life.” A lot of people don’t admit that. I’m not necessarily proud of it, but I do talk about it.
AllHipHop: Best encounter with a fan?
Mallio: Aw s###, I get that all the time. It’s crazy. I was just telling my guy. Lil bro, I be forgetting that I’m popular. [laughs] So I’ll be somewhere… I went to the Gala last night, just a little bar here downtown. I’m talking about it’s guys like “what’s up OG?” I be forgetting sometimes that I rap. People walking up to me and touching me, I always get hella love man. I always get hella love.
I can’t necessarily say one encounter because I get people that’ll walk up on me. like once in Miami, someone knew who I was. Took a picture with me and everything, that blew me away. I had an encounter in Dallas, an encounter at the airport in Atlanta. Me, I’m looking at my numbers like man, this s### don’t reflect this. I don’t know man, maybe the most I had was putting them people in my way. Giving me little bread crumbs to keep going. I’ve never even looked at that until now, but yeah that’s cold.
AllHipHop: Any goals you have for yourself at this point in your career?
Mallio: Hell yeah, to get in that public eye. That’s the first thing. I’m at the point now, I’m looking for distribution. Because I’m limited on what I can really do. We all know, yeah, this is a financially driven industry, but s###, you only gon’ get so far spending so much money. I don’t give a f### if you got a million dollar budget. If it’s not in the right hands, your ass grass.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want the people to know? Anything you’re excited for?
Mallio: Life! I want the people to know everyday, you got something to wake up and go do man. You gotta wake up and enjoy this m###########. Get up and experience it. No matter how tough things may seem, get your ass up man and go do something. Because there’s a lot of people who can’t experience even what you experienced. There’s a lot of people that can’t go through the struggle, that even you going through. Outside of that, you can follow me on IG:
@mallio_tmfg. All my music, I’m on every platform. Check me out. High quality stuff man!