Remember when Mali Music “left” gospel music? Many of us thought he was never coming back, but his message never changed though he was an R&B artist. His last album “Mali Is” featured a bevy of songs that never quite deviated to “secular” though his opportunities and notoriety certainly did.
Gospel music listeners were disappointed that he left the scene but because Mali was more of an enigma than artists, his baffling exit at what many perceived to be his breaking through kept them curious. How curious? So curious that his music has found a way into our cars, onto our streaming platforms and into their personal libraries, regardless of the imprint on which it was released.
“It’s Been a Long Time…”
On the 2000 release “Try Again” by Aaliyah, super producer Timbaland said: “it’s been a long time, we shouldn’t have left you without a dope beat to step to…” and two artists come to mind in gospel music when I hear this. Tonex/B-Slade and Mali Music. Both of them left gospel music due to their frustration with the genre and have given premium art to other genres. B-Slade continues to produce gospel and secular artists and displayed his iconic brilliance on Snoop Dogg’s “Bible of Love” (also released on RCA Inspiration). With Mali Music’s return to gospel music, hopefully his qualms about the gospel industry and the plateau he bemoaned years ago are a thing of the past. For B-Slade, a prolific preacher and performer, the door remains propped open for the prodigal who was more than excited to share what little he could in an interview with The SMG Report on the red carpet at the Stellar Awards in 2017.
Mali Music was also featured on “Bible of Love” and his song “New Wave” was another slept on deep cut.
Today, Billboard released an exclusive interview with the artist detailing his return to a gospel music roster, RCA Inspiration. According to Billboard, Mali will record via a partnership between RCAI and his imprint, K Approved Enterprises. The first single from the partnership is “Let Go” which video premieres today (January 30) and releases on tomorrow!
Though he never quite left gospel music or the message, it’s quite fair to say that Mali Music has expanded his audience. The music somewhat exclusively endeared to believers had gone mainstream. Seeing Mali Music on the red carpet in the conversation for leading GRAMMY nominations created more questions than they answered. Surprisingly, Mali successfully packaged clean wholesome messages in secular products.
This happened mainly because he was the same artist, in a different space. He was as musical and thought provoking on songs like “Beautiful“, “Heavy Love“, “Fight For You“, and “The Transition of Mali” as he was on songs like “I Hate You” and his ever popular “Yahweh“. Understandably, not everyone will be ready to embrace a return to gospel music, but it’s Mali Music…it shouldn’t be hard to let go of any hard feelings! Here’s to new great music from Mali!