If you listened to A$AP Mob‘s Cozy Tapes, Vol. 2: Too Cozy, the one question you’re probably asking yourself when looking at the credits is who is Smooky MarGielaa?
The 15-year-old Bronx native, who appears on Vol. 2 tracks “Black Card” and “BYF,” is the son of Malian singer Abdoulaye Diabaté. With music in his blood, Smooky started rapping two years ago when he was 13. As his popularity grew (thanks to the music he’d release on the internet), fate brought him to A$AP Rocky, which eventually led to him being a part of the Harlem native’s AWGE collective and an affiliate of A$AP Mob.
“I had a show in the Bronx and A$AP Twelvyy was performing,” Smooky says while in New York City. “It was me and him that were performing and on the flyer. I didn’t know A$AP Rocky was coming to the show. They kicked us out the show too because we were too young in the club. They kicked us out like, ‘Oh, it’s after 12. Y’all got to get out.’ So we outside chilling and two big vans pulled up out of nowhere.”
That is when he saw the Mob leader and made the moment count. “I see A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, so I’m like, ‘Yo,’” the teen shares. “We started talking and I started telling them my shit, I’m Smooky Margeilaa, I’m from the Bronx, you know. Then I asked can he get me back into the club and he said he couldn’t. I saw a back door and one of [my manger’s friends] was with his girl and we told them to open the back door. They opened the back door and out of nowhere they called out names and we started performing inside. And Rocky was like, ‘I fuck with this kid.’”
Since Cozy Tapes, Vol. 2: Too Cozy dropped, Smooky MarGielaa has been the talk of New York City. He is gearing up to release his debut mixtape, A Tribe Called Grape, and will formally introduce his crew, G.R.A.P.E., which stands for Get Rich and Pray Everyday.
Name: Smooky MarGielaa
I grew up listening to: “I grew up listening to Michael Jackson. My dad was watching him one day on TV and I was mad young. He was just showing me and telling me that ‘I know you’re going to like him.’ I started listening and, you know, Michael Jackson is fire.
“My dad is African and he’s famous in Africa. He sings and his brother sing; it runs in the blood. I’ve been playing drums, Balafon, it’s an instrument. I used to play that too. My father is from Mali and his name is Abdoulaye Diabaté.
“I started to rap like two years ago. I downloaded an app called Garage Band on my phone. I used to play with the drums on it then one day I made a beat on it and one day I made a rap. Then I just started putting it out every time I did and I was getting mad views. I started shooting videos. My first video was ‘We Be Getting Right to It.’ The second video I did, ‘Out My Face,’ is what really became popular. Then the third video, ‘Computers,’ really put us on the map. I started getting shows and more fans.
“It was crazy making Cozy [Tapes], Vol. 2, we were working hard that whole week. We were just in the studio laying down verses, four songs a day. What separates me [from my peers] is that I’m young, and I’m doing it better than a lot of people out here.”
My style has been compared to: “I don’t know, I was looking under the comments of some of the A$AP songs and [people] were saying all the people with the melodies. I would describe my sound as melodic.”
Most people don’t know: “I’m African and I play the Balafon. I used to perform with my dad. I used to perform Michael Jackson.”
My standout moment to date has been: “Being on the Cozy Tapes, that put me on the map. My following went up, my plays going up. I FaceTimed with Diddy.”
My goal in hip-hop is: “To go far, there’s no limit. At the end of this year, I want to have a Lambo, all the fans in the world and I want to make sure I’m on tours this year.”
I’m going to be the next: “The next superstar.”