NY’s prodigal son: Smooky Margielaa [A$AP]


Chosen One

Smooky Margielaa grew up a part of a musically inclined family. Being that he spent his time either in The Boogie Down Bronx, or on the road with his father on tour, he was destined to become a star. His father introduced him to the musical scene when he was only seven-years-old. His father,Abdoulaye Diabaté, brought his son alongside while he performed, and the child accompanied the Malian singer by rhythmically pounding on African drums such as the onbalafon and djembe.

Once back on American soil, Margielaa played the role of influencer without even knowing what he was doing. He became his own man fast by growing up in The Bronx. By telling stories, sharing experiences and creating music to be passed around by his classmates, he was executing the role of an artist simply by being himself. To grow up in an environment surrounded by leaders and positive mentors with musical talent certainly directed his trajectory into the limelight. One of the early superstars that impacted  Margielaa was Michael Jackson. His father showed him the glory of, “The King” at a young age and ever since he wished to imitate his dance moves and ability to enthrall a crowd.

Although Margielaa is not pop-oriented, he learned significant cues from his idol, Michael Jackson. As a matter of fact, his persistence to get into the rap game came about from constant grinding. The way that he came about entering the game and pursuing a career in hip-hop came about very organically. At school, his tutor had access to a studio with high quality equipment and recording tools. The rapper and his friend, Drew Drippy, would tell their parents that they were attending an after school program. In reality, their tutor who is now their manager, Jelly Man, was grooming them into the amazing artists that they are today. With consistent effort and an undying hunger, Margielaa has become one of the youngest rappers to burst upon the scene at only 15 years old.

Early start, early rise

This Bronx native began rapping with the music-making software program called “Garage Band” at age 13. He knew he had a chance to be great because his classmates would continuously play his music and give him positive reinforcement. Wisely, he arrived in the hip-hop game properly by first building a steady fan base in high school. The constructive feedback from his peers coupled with his outpouring of trial runs in the studio gives him an advantage.


A few years back, he was able to enter a nightclub with some of his friends due to the good rapport he had built with the club owner. The only rule was that he and his entourage had to leave the function at midnight once alcohol began to be served. Upon leaving, three black SUV’s pulled up, each one transporting members of the A$AP Mob. Eventually, Margielaa and his crew went in the back door and he went on to perform onstage. He courageously introduced himself to A$AP Rocky and let him know of his performance that would take place later that evening. Rocky stuck around and was impressed by Margielaa’s first-ever performance so much that the two exchanged information. Today, he is apart of the A$AP Mob and continues to elevate his game by surrounding himself with like-minded successful individuals.

Jelly Grape

Margielaa’s own clique goes by the name of Jelly or GRAPE. G.R.A.P.E. stands for Get Rich and Pray Everyday and consists of himself, Drew Drippy, and his manager, the Jelly Man, who helps keep Margielaa’s formal education up-to-date while they travel around the country for performances.

Ascension through trial and error

Margielaa describes his sound as melodic and his vocals flow smoothly over every track that he releases. He has gawky confidence and his unbothered disposition shines through every song, performance and interview that he gives. He fits in very well to the A$AP lifestyle because he has experimental rhymes, dresses to the nines and is unafraid to take chances within the realms of music, fashion and entertainment. It is a very strategic method of Rocky to bring this youngster onto his roster and will pay dividends for years to come.


Some ways that Margielaa tries to improve his abilities are through freestyling and collaboration. By freestyling instead of writing, he finds that he can express his thoughts in a more open manner. This approach allows him to boost his creative ability and try new things at once such as adlibs or different rhyme schemes and cadences that he may not have developed with the pen and pad method. King Combs (P Diddy’s son) is someone that is very similar to Margielaa and they would complement each other very well on any potential track.


Smooky, although young, preaches to those who are aspiring artists to stay out of trouble and focus on their goals. For proof of where that might land you, look no further than his placement on A$AP Mob’s Cozy Tapes Volume 2. He is featured on songs such as Bahamas and Black Card. Some of his more popular songs are Come Up and Mozart. He will soon be releasing his projects, Margielaa Mad Man (Produced by CashMoneyAP) and a Tribe Called Grape. Check out his most recent single featuring Juicy J, Chris Brown and A$AP Rocky titled, “Flight to Memphis.” For the word on all the latest releases and rising stars, keep it locked with Lemonwire.


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