There are a few faces who've been instrumental in the meteoric rise of the purple-haired North Philly trap artist known as Lil Uzi Vert. There's Don Cannon and DJ Drama, two of the industry's leading mixtape DJs, both from Philly and both currently working out of Atlanta, where they made sure to focus Uzi's come-up. Back in Philly, another key member of Uzi's team is Maaly Raw, the 21-year-old producer who's only been making beats for a few years. In the past year, he's been behind a handful of Uzi's hottest tracks, including "Safe House," "Hi Roller," and the biggest one yet, "Money Longer." When a track begins with a helium-stoned Uzi bleating out "Dat Be Maaly Raw," fans have learned to expect automatic fire. 

Maaly is close to the opposite of Uzi both in looks and personality. He doesn't watch anime or listen to Marilyn Manson. Whereas Uzi comes across as a ditzy extrovert, Maaly is shy and deeply focused. He prefers to be alone when he's coming up with a beat, admitting that Uzi's in-studio antics can disrupt his workflow. He laughed when asked about what it's like to record with his closest collaborator. "Uzi annoying," he says with a smile. "I can't make no beats in front of Uzi." 

Our interview took place on the same day as the NFL Draft, and word had just broken that Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys' No. 4 pick, had walked up to accept his jersey to the tune of "Hi Roller." Maaly arrived right as Zaytoven, a recent subject of Behind the Beat, had finished his interview. Maaly walked up to Zay, whom he has long idolized, and earnestly asked, "You got any advice for a young n*gga?" "Just keep grinding," replied the Atlanta vet. Maaly took those words to heart, though that advice has been instilled within him ever since he began getting serious about his craft.