This week’s Ones To Watch is none other than Maybach Music signee, Stalley…
For those who had been following the up-and-coming rapper’s career, the signing to Rick Ross’ Maybach Music may have come as a shock. Being known as a voice for the blue collar workers of the US and taking a lot of his story-telling influence from great American novelists like Hunter S. Thompson and Jack Kerouac, Stalley seemed worlds away from his new boss (other than the love of cars that is clearly evident throughout his Lincoln Way Nights [Intelligent Trunk Music] which was the last of three mixtapes released previous to his new deal with MMG).
Garnering a lot of attention as an affiliate of Ski Beatz on his 24 Hour Karate School compilation and Curren$y’s Ski-produced Pilot Talk back in 2010, Stalley had two mixtapes under his belt, the first his 2008 Terry Urban hosted Going Ape and the second his tribute to producer Madlib; MadStalley: The Autobiography. At the time he was part of a group of artists collaborating at Dame Dash’s DD172 building in Ski’s studio (nicknamed the dojo) and was even at one point set to be in a supergroup alongside Mos Def, Jay Electronica and Curren$y called Center Edge Territory.
Unfortunately, with a few splits due to creative differences the group never really got going, and the artists all went their own ways (although both Stalley and Curren$y continue to work with Ski). Stalley teamed up with producer/vocalist Rashad for his Mishka sponsored Lincoln Way Nights project, which attracted the attention of a certain Miami rapper, who added the bearded Cleveland representer to his Maybach Music empire.
Since then Stalley has released a number of tracks with his new label-mates, including two tracks on Ross’ Rich Forever mixtape, and some internet released cuts with the likes of Wale, DJ Khaled, Dungeon Family affiliate Scar and Chad Hugo (of the Neptunes) as well as re-releasing Lincoln Way Nights as a remastered special edition mixed by Jay-Z’s sound engineer; Young Guru.
It seems that Stalley and MMG have proved the sceptics wrong, with no real change to his trademark style and continuous quality output, but only this week will we finally see the real extent of this exciting new venture as he prepares to release his first original project since signing with the label in the form of Savage Journey To The American Dream (which will be available as a free download) this Friday (30th March).
Words by Grant Brydon
Edited by Natalia
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