Category: What I’m Working On


Somber day this way and the Shuffle hit me with one of my Pac anthems.

These lyrics were an anthem for me a bit.

Enjoy.

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James Ingram circa 1979 © 1979 Bobby Holland

Rest in Peace James Ingram.

Mayer officially announced his summer tour. Already texted/DM’d my fellow fans; I see he’s wrapping up this run in the Forum.

Plenty of personal complaints can be said about the man, but as a straight up guitar maestro, I mean, come on…

First draft done. Producer hat going on thinking of how to make this happen. The director is planning a comeback.

Been put back into my creative wheelhouse. Happy.

A mood, defined by a song that never fails to put a smile on my face.

Is this the most, straight up ‘pop’ hit Luther ever had? Probably.

Enjoy!

Happy for my KU professor, Kevin Wilmott.

Happy for Mahershala.

Happy for the Black Panther crew.

Happy for Ruth E. Carter.

Happy for Regina.

And of course, I’m happy for the Godfather.

Anything can happen a month from now, but today we celebrate.

Last week ended with a bittersweet memory of my Frat brother who passed, let’s start this week on a happier note.

My Captain’s birthday was over the weekend. For all the obvious reasons, the number of times we talk in a year you can count on one hand at this point. But birthdays is one of them.

We caught up of course. He’s doing well, family is doing well. He asked about me and I shared a recent personal story with him.

His response was to give me the Official Caker’s Seal of Approval. We laughed for a good five minutes.

If you’re in the circle that gets that joke, you’ll probably laughing. If not, the larger point here is that he nailed me with a comeback, literally twenty years in the making.

We should all be lucky to have relationships that last that long. I hope you do (or are working on it).

Let’s get it people.

MILWAUKEE – 1995: Rappers and actors Big Boy and Andre’ 3000 from Outkast poses for photos after their performance at the Marcus Amphitheatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1995. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

The weekend!

The brothers reminded me it’s been a year since we lost our Frat Marek Jacobs. Can only speak for myself, but I went through all the emotions again: sadness and grief and reminscing.

I think it’s coincidental but maybe it’s not, that in the past 365 days I’ve made quantum leaps forward and reconnecting with my bloodline, my Hollywood family, my KU family, doing right for everyone I claim to represent. I’m sure this is what he wanted me to do with my life. That, but not going so far into the role of serving the people I don’t carve out time to go after the things I want for myself. Again, one day you’re here, tomorrow, who knows?

I thought back to the jams of when we met, when he turned me on to the DJ booth. This is clear as day in my mind from the parties of the youth. And it still jams.

Have a good one folks. Take care of each other.

Full disclosure: this was the song I’ve been working on for my singing reel.

Then I saw ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, and, NOPE. My cover isn’t remotely this beautiful.

So our musical start this week comes from my fellow Trojan, Kina Grannis.

And if you haven’t seen ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ yet, trust me, it’s worth it. Just for that wedding scene alone…

Enjoy!

Some Malcolm in the DNA. Radical love for my base. Laced with silliness so it doesn’t become too preachy.

Yep, fully in my karma now. I think I know how some things are going to go in 2019.

And with that, let’s segway into this.

Enjoy!

The story I tell most often when asked for a Hollywood anecdote is when I chose to work with a still up and coming Issa Rae over the fried chicken commercial my agent at the time tried to talk me into. It’s funny, it’s a name my people recognize, it’s a good anecdote.

As this year comes to a close though, there’s another story that now feels like the definitive ‘Malik in Hollywood’ episode to this point. It’s not funny in the same way, it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But looking back, it says so much more about how my life has played out.

Early in my acting days, I was hired to work background for a courtroom scene. Easy money, make some new connections. That was the plan.

Number one on the call sheet was a white comedian. I wouldn’t say I was a fan but I knew his style: goofy stuff. Didn’t give it a second thought until he came out dressed as the judge.

In full blackface.

And when I say full, I mean not just the makeup, but the voice, the mannerisms: I was having a full Tropic Thunder moment. At this point, I could care less about the money (remember that for later). But I also lost any desire to ‘play along’…

I fell back into my film school knowledge for the most dignified solution: I figured out which camera was focused on me, and as soon as the director called ‘Action’, I deliberately sat up/slouched/leaned forward or leaned backward so there was never a clear view of my face during the scene.

I have to give credit where credit is due; someone in Video Village noticed.

The highest ranking brother there was playing the bailiff: six foot four, forearms like tree trunks, a smile for everyone in the cast and crew. He’s who they sent over to get me on board.

And he told me about his life: he gets cast in all of Comedian X’s projects. He has a place out in Malibu. He runs into Emma Stone all the time at the grocery store.

The message was clear: You play ball, and everything you want is on a silver platter. So come on Malik, let’s get you on camera smiling and laughing at this white boy doing blackface!

To this day, I believe that brother thought he was serving my best interests. Consistent work in an industry that pretty much guarantees the exact opposite? A place on the beach? Hanging out with movie stars on the weekends? That’s ‘the Dream’ right?

As this year ends, I think of how much faster I could have made it to financial stability. The path I’ve chosen, in the most literal sense, has meant I have yet to permanently sell out the Muslim community or the black community for personal gain. My base feels stronger than its ever been. And it’s growing.

The people closest to me know I also end 2018 with a Muse. I sincerely stopped planning for ‘that’ years ago. Not through any particular cynicism, I just came to the conclusion that just wasn’t part of Allah’s plan for me. So by my own admission, the storyteller in me can appreciate watching my heart go through every romantic comedy cliche: ignorance, denial, self-sabotage, annoyance at my inability to turn it off, and finally, sitting on the 101 in wall to wall traffic, singing along to ‘Footsteps in the Dark’ like nothing else in the world matters.

Submitting to whatever or whoever decides to put in my life now feels inherently right. I feel completely set in my individual Calling. The dirty secret behind me building a public persona as ‘Batman’ is this: perhaps the single greatest achievement of my life has been surrounding myself with mutually respectful, sincerely loving relationships of every possible type. In my mind at least, I’m genuinely not looking to fill an ’empty’ space. I have been opened up again to the idea of sharing what I’m building with a woman I’m passionate about.

Maybe in 2019.

Happy Holidays everyone. See you next year.