By Nick Stern, Senior Reporter | Photos by Sandi K. Esque
Mechanical Engineering major Malcolm Shelby, also known as MXK, is an Albuquerque-born rapper whose music is meant to be the complete opposite of being meaningless and negative, he said.
Shelby said he has made it a point to create music that is inspirational in positive ways and can be the target of different audiences with broader tastes in music.
“I really try to create music that is in a sense universal and something that has a positive message in it. I am trying to create something positive so everyone can enjoy it,” Shelby said.
Shelby has been writing poetry since elementary school, which he said is where the evolution of his music began, and he also played the saxophone for band starting in middle school.
Eventually Shelby became a student at CNM in 2012 where he discovered a way to improve his music and stage presence while still being able to focus on his education, he said.
His improvement methods at school were practiced during his free time, between classes, when he and his friends would walk around Main campus and find random people to perform for without any warning whatsoever, he said.
This method not only helped Shelby boost his own creativity but it also taught him how to be a better performer by learning to become personal with his audience, he said.
“We would sit in the elevators, my friends and I, and we would wait for somebody to come in and then we would just start singing to them. That is like the most personal singing you can get, is right there in the elevator,” Shelby said.
Shelby not only raps but he also does party promotions for local businesses, records music, produces music, and even DJ’s house parties, weddings, skating rings, and just about anything he can get his talents on, he said.
He also has a YouTube channel called MXKS5, where he has uploaded quite a few music videos and even has one called the ‘Albuquerque Anthem,’ which is meant to represent his hometown in a positive way and also has had more than 11,000 views, he said.
Being a native of Albuquerque, Shelby saw the chance to write a song that could be listened to and appreciated by the Duke City as a whole, so he went with it, he said.
“I was born and raised here and that is where the origins of ‘Albuquerque Anthem’ came from. I really just wanted to create a song that all of Albuquerque can relate to and enjoy,” Shelby said.
While Shelby has been heavily involved in his music, he also has a job as a full-time employee with First Convenience Bank and is still a part-time student working hard towards getting his degree, he said.
Shelby said he has had a passion for engineering since he was a child and wanted to build spaceships or cars, and he also has dreams of working for NASA or an aviation company at some point in his career, he said.
Shelby said he still has intentions to perform and work on his music whenever he can, but he also wants to work at an engineering firm, because he believes that, like his music, he can seek to improve the lives of people with mechanical engineering.
“It also falls into wanting to help build up society and help others in a way because with technology I would be helping other people. So it is more than just my music I want to use to help people with,” he said.
Shelby said that on top of his music, CNM has truly helped him to be tough and persistent in pursuing his career goals and his time spent at college has taught him a lot in his intended field and also has taught him to work hard for his degree.
For more information on Shelby’s music, go to facebook. com/MXKTG4T.