MadeinTYO made his name rapping about the simple things in life: Chuck E. Cheese, The Simpsons character Ned Flanders, and taking Ubers everywhere. MadeinTYO, a.k.a. Malcolm Jamaal Davis, was born into a military family in Honolulu in 1992 and spent most of his youth in Atlanta. His older brother, the rapper 24hrs, got him to pick up the mic, and a stint in Tokyo inspired his alias. MadeinTYO’s early single “I Want” captured his paradoxical nature, expressing boundless ambition in his sleepy drawl. He recorded his breakthrough single, 2016’s “Uber Everywhere,” in his kitchen, and while the results were even more laidback, from that point on, his momentum was unstoppable. He recruited Travis Scott for an “Uber Everywhere” verse on his debut mixtape, You Are Forgiven, and soon was linking up with Gunna, A$AP Ferg, Tinashe, and Blood Orange, who all contributed to his 2018 album, Sincerely, Tokyo, which made the most of his playful flow and springy, spacious beats. The guest list was even more diverse on 2020’s Never Forgotten, where J Balvin rubbed elbows with Toro y Moi, Chance the Rapper, and Cam’ron; but no matter how far his ambition has taken him, MadeinTYO has never let his music get too complicated. His signature talent remains a knack for flipping everyday phrases into hooks stickier than a taxicab floor, lodging songs like “Paris Fashion Week” and “Coogi Shorts For the Summer” deep in listeners’ minds.
BORNApril 12, 1992