Behind the Mic and On the Court, Malik Edwards’ Star Is RisingMar 29, 2023 02:51PM ● By Jag Mishra
Over 100 million streams on Spotify. 61 million views on Youtube. 100,000's of followers. Not many students at Diablo Valley College can boast numbers like business major, point guard and renowned rapper Malik Edwards.
Edwards, also known by his rap name “Likybo,” may be most well-known to DVC students as the team captain of the men’s basketball team, where he averaged 14.1 points per game, and led the Vikings to their first winning season in three years. But it’s outside of school where Edwards has gained an even wider following by producing hit songs, like “Kraazy” which has so far captured 94 million streams on Spotify.
In recent years, he’s brought his authentic lyrics and sound mix of R&B and Hip-Hop to performances across California. “I just rap my life and what I know people can relate to,” Edwards said. “I don’t really rap about things that I feel like don’t fit me. I feel like I’m versatile and have my own unique flow."
Edwards learned to adapt at an early age. Born in Oakland in 1997, he moved around throughout childhood, living in states as far away as Arkansas. Along the way, he battled adversity and learned to persevere through traumatic experiences. In particular, losing his father at a young age and confronting systemic racism pushed him to find a way out.
Edwards said he always had a passion for music and sports. He grew up playing baseball, but was deemed ineligible to play in his final year of high school. “During my senior year when they told me I couldn’t hoop, I was just at the house rapping with my boys,” Edwards recalled. “One day I told my friend to record me rapping over a beat. The people around me were encouraging me and I just kept going and going.”
Once he began to gain a following, the views kept rolling in and his numbers grew. In video after video, he delivered a persona and a voice that was all his own, and the grind didn’t stop. Edwards released his first song on Spotify in 2017, and has since produced several albums, EP’s and numerous singles that have put him on the map.
Following the birth of his first child, Edwards felt inspired to get back on the court. “I wanted to show my sons that anything is possible,” he said. When he enrolled as a business major at DVC, he caught the attention of basketball coach Ervin Anderson, who said, “I just want to see him play.” Edwards didn’t disappoint. In his two seasons with the Vikings, he averaged double digits in scoring and notched several 20-point games.
After completing his sophomore year, Edwards said he wants to focus more on music, and plans to release another single by the end of March. Accomplishing his goals has taken grit, he said, and required him to stay true to himself—something he tells younger people who are trying to chart their own path. “Don’t base your life on what you see the next person do,” he said. “Stop feeding into social media, because social media is a highlight tape. You only see when people are doing good.”“Don’t be distracted,” Edwards added. “Stay down. Your time is coming.”
Reprinted with permission from The DVC Inquirer