- Damaris Chanza
Kiamo's New Album, The American Dream 3, Continues His Mission to Inspire Greatness
Kiamo's new album, The American Dream 3, perfectly depicts his journey to achieve his dreams and inspire others.
Malcolm Mathis, professionally known as Kiamo, grew up admiring rap greats like DMX, 50 cent, and Nas. Falling in love with the therapeutic nature of hip-hop and songwriting, he aspired to follow in their footsteps and become a rapper.
However, growing up in Passaic, New Jersey, there are constant reminders of the impossibility of making it as a musician. In his song "Flacko 2", Kiamo describes it as "life in a jungle full of gorillas pretending our youngins are war ready."
With a strong foundation in family and God, Kiamo built the discipline and skills necessary to accompany his ambition. Kiamo's grandparents are vital to his journey. He chose his stage name to continue his grandfather's legacy.
"Kiamo was my grandfather's nickname . . . He was a special man that was loved, had a lot of respect, and helped a lot of people."
Kiamo's grandmother, Mae Francis, was one of the catalysts for taking music from a hobby to a serious career move. While dropping the final rose on her casket during her funeral, Kiamo promised her that he would "make it possible." Kiamo was just sixteen at the time.
Eight years later, Kiamo still keeps his promise, making a name for himself with his third album, The American Dream 3. The American Dream 3 continues his debut album, The American Dream: Rise of Kiamo.
"The American Dream is almost like a blueprint of inspiration, the blueprint [for] making it out of any situation. It's an ongoing story, of my story, my friend's story, the story of growing up in Passaic in a worldwide margin."
Thoroughly familiar and confident in chronicling his story through song, the creation process for the album was one of ease.
"[The songs] going on the album, you felt it, you felt the energy."
After listening to the album, I can only assume the feeling he is describing is one of empowerment and encouragement to do and be better. Because each song evokes a different feel and mood, Kiamo found it challenging to name a favorite, and understandably so, when his life is significantly intertwined with each song.
Tidbits of his beloved grandmother's story are thoughtfully sprinkled throughout the album. Flacko 2 and Hate it or Love it paint "visions of grandma in the kitchen" and "Abuela making steak and rice." Malcolm tells what happened to her, "grandma died blood clots caught in her lungs." Mama Say provides a timeline to his grief, "granny died in August and her Birthday in November."
With his talent and his grandma's memory in his heart, Kiamo didn't stop at making a successful music career a possibility; he made it an inevitability with the creation of his label, Corner of the World Records. He described this label as bigger than himself, creating a family whose mission is to "give people the opportunity to showcase their talent to the world, and hopefully, that can change their family and inspire the next."
The label currently consists of "Lord Entertainment which is the management; Quentin Filmz, who's the videographer, Dez who's the A&R/producer; Flee who's the fashion designer, HDSN CRW who's the podcast, KornerStone Mafia who's the street team."
Corner of the World Records' functionality and belief system is centered on a simple motto, "the word is yours."
"I started the motto; it's even tattooed on me; it's simple, the world is yours, create your own opportunities and simply inspire before you expire."
Because of his upbringing in Passaic, Kiamo is very active in charity for the community. He constantly advocates honing in on talent to pursue success.
"Inspiring people where I'm from has always been key. Showing people chasing your dreams, staying disciplined, keeping good people/energy around you, you will witness change. And just showing people everybody has a talent for something, so inspiring people to find their talent and showing them the right way to go about it, is special. And once you start to save people [especially] the kids from making the wrong turn, it gives you a special feeling that there is hope."
Despite any obstacles he may have endured, through his actions and music, Kiamo hopes to spread inspiration and discipline.
"You are who you surround yourself by, from the mentality, the habits and all. If you have a dream, you got to have discipline."
He hopes that spreading this message can deter even one person from devolving into the trope of going to jail or ending up in a grave before reaching their full potential. He wants to remind young people that success is possible and that "you can accomplish anything you put your mind to."
Although Kiamo has already achieved so much, he is still dreaming and aiming for grander success in his career. He wants to win and proudly proclaim his victory.
"When I mean win, I'm speaking win Oscars, Grammys, big awards and yell out 'Passaic, we did it and be a force for kids to make something of himself."
Awards, accolades, and traditional forms of fame are some of Kiamo's goals, but it doesn't end there. Kiamo defines success as what is remembered and left behind once he is gone.
"The legacy I leave on this earth will tell you if I made it or not."
Listen to Kiamo's new album, The American Dream 3, on Spotify and Apple Music.
Follow Kiamo on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Keep up with Corner of the World Records on Instagram.