Born in New York and raised in Harlem, Abdul Malik Abbott at an early age decided to follow in the footsteps of his father to become a filmmaker and photographer. Abdul attended the acclaimed High School of Music & Art as a painter and illustrator. After high school he went to the college, (SVA) School of Visual Arts with film being his major and worked during the summers as a P.A. on several feature films as well as studying documentary production at DCTV (Downtown Community Television) and Educational Video Center. Abdul graduated from SVA at the top of his class with a Bachelor degree in fine arts and a completed thesis short film entitled “99%”.
Abdul’s big break came when Jive records gave him a chance to direct a video for “2 Too Many”, a rap group formed and produced by Will Smith. Soon after he was commissioned to direct a video for a hip-hop trio called Original Flavor -“All that”, where he met the group’s manager Damon Dash and his partner Jay-Z of the newly formed Roc-a-fella records. Abdul was soon hired to Direct and Produce Jay-Z’s first video, “I Can’t Get Wit That”, followed by both versions of Jay-Z’s “In My Lifetime” videos. In the next few years Abdul directed several other videos for Jay-Z including the #1 videos for the songs “Ain’t No”(featuring Foxy Brown) & “Dead Presidents” as well videos for other established and up & coming rap, R&B and gospel artists.
In the ’98 Abdul collaborated with Damon Dash and Jay-Z to direct a series of “B-side” videos interwoven with narrative skits for Jay-Z’s new album. The project was shot over an eight-day period with an extremely modest budget. The project was entitled “Streets Is Watching”. It was a huge hit amongst new and old fans, earning the #1 slot for several weeks in Billboard magazine’s “long form music video category” and eventually certified platinum earning over 7 million on home video. “State Property”- (Lions Gate) marked the feature film directorial debut for Abdul Malik Abbott. It was released in theaters in several major U.S cities and has become an underground classic. The hip-hop driven gangster film was shot for under a million and has earned almost 11 million to date. After being released on home video and DVD, “State Property” rose to be the 10th top selling video in the U.S. according to Videoscan and Billboard and continues to air on B.E.T. In 2003 Abdul was invited to join the prestigious Director’s Guild of America as a feature film director and is currently Co-Chairman of the African American Steering Committee at the DGA as well as being a member of the WGA(w)’s Committee of Black Writers.
Mr. Abbott resides in L.A and spends time in NYC and ATL.