Behind the Mic and On the Court, Malik Edwards’s Star Is Rising


Over 100 million streams on Spotify. Sixty-one million views on Youtube. Hundreds of thousands of followers. Not many students at Diablo Valley College can boast numbers like these, but the business major, point guard and renowned rapper Malik Edwards can. 

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 this winter 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—his biggest being “Kraazy,” which so far captured 94 million streams on Spotify. In recent years he’s brought his authentic lyrics and sound that mix RnB 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 also feel like I’m versatile and have my own unique flow.

“We ain’t have it growing up,” he added. “Malik Edwards is someone out here grinding—trying to make a name for everybody around me, not just myself.”

Edwards had to adapt to a lot 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, Edwards battled adversity and learned to persevere through traumatic experiences that shaped the person he became. In particular, losing his father at a young age and confronting systemic racism in his community pushed him to find a way out.

Edwards said he always had a passion for music and sports. He grew up playing baseball, football and basketball, but ultimately settled on basketball, he joked, because in football, “the girls can’t see me. I got a helmet on at all the times.”

Then, after he was deemed ineligible to play basketball in his final year of high school, Edwards made a hard pivot. 

“During my senior year of high school 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 Edwards 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.

Edwards hadn’t played basketball since high school, but following the birth of his first child he felt inspired to get back on the court. “I wanted to have something to show my sons. I wanted to show my sons that anything is possible,” he said. 

When Edwards 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.” Once given the chance, Edwards didn’t disappoint.

In two seasons with the Vikings, he averaged double digits in scoring and notched several 20-point games. Edwards said he’s been able to succeed by living in the moment, remaining humble and believing in himself.

“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.”

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 be distracted,” Edwards added. “Stay down. Your time is coming.”