Hip-hop has had many duos and groups that entered the game together, then went on to do solo work on their own. Yung Mal, the 24-year-old New Orleans-born, Atlanta-bred rapper, came into the game in 2017, alongside Lil Quill, kicking off of their Blessed Lil Bastards series. Their time working together paid off, as they signed to Gucci Mane's 1017 Eskimo Records. While Lil Quill did a few months in jail (he's free now), Mal continued working on his music and dropped Iceburg, his first solo project. Spanning 15 tracks, Iceburg features appearances from Gunna, Lil Quill, Lil Gotit, P'ierre Bourne, King Von and more. Yung Mal headed to the XXL office right before Iceburg released and delivered a freestyle, along with some insight into his current mindset.

Mal starts off his verse by questioning the opposition. "I don't know what it is/These pussy niggas can't keep it real," he raps. "Maybe that shit just in they blood, maybe that shit just how they live." He then comes close to the edge, but cooler heads prevail: "Tryna keep my fuckin' mind clear/Got my back against the wall I really kill/These lil' niggas ain't worth a penny, let me get up outta here."

While talking to XXL, Mal revealed that Iceburg is his nickname. "1017, it's cold, everything 'So Icy,' but Iceburg kinda like my alter ego. That guy who do all the flexin' and the talkin' the shit," he shares. Along with the name comes the realization that he's recording on his own and also improving at his craft. "I never rapped alone," Mal shares. "I always rapped with one of my buddies from the neighborhood. It's all about me, that means something."

When it comes to rapping, Yung Mal employed a common analogy for his rising comfort in front of the mic: "Keep on doing it. It's just like if you don't know how to ride a bike. Put training wheels on, take the training wheels off, then you poppin' a wheelie."

Watch Yung Mal's freestyle below, and check out Iceburg on all DSPs.

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