Stalley’s main strength isn’t how he raps but what he raps about. On the Ski Beatz-produced number “Gentlemen’s Quarterly,” Stalley uses the “Tastemaker for the tastemakers…” chorus to capture his boldness while simultaneously referencing himself as “a revolutionary that loves the dough, America’s nightmare in the wicker chair.” He persistently reminds us that, much like Nas many years before him, the Midwest MC plays the middle by alternating between a focus on individual and community, dreaming big for self while idealizing the thoughts of many who grew up with and surround him. Stalley carries the torch lit by the aforementioned God MC’s “Project Windows” and runs with it through the same potholed streets full of “bookworms and pimps with cooked perms” that have paid off well by giving him rhyme fodder for days and a lifetime of inspiration.
While Stalley bases his lyrics on the detail and insights regarding a life lived close enough to the action without succumbing to the perils of it, the details and simple introspection (“Been a rich man and been a broke, that’s why I still pistol tote and ride Chevy’s with a hundred spokes”) are what make what he does stand out above the crowd. And it’s all delivered in the calmest of voices, proving to be the anti-thesis of Shakespeare’s “sound and fury.” Again, the passion comes not from the how, but from the what. Listen closely and it can felt.
Also included below is the newly released “City Of 30,000 Wolves,” featuring a ghoulish, synthetic soundbed provided by DJ Toomp and with Khaled’s commenterary lightly sprinkled across the track. The song is more of social commentary, this time dedicated to Stalley’s hometown of Massillon, Ohio and said to be part of Songs By Me, Stalley, a series of warm-up tracks for the upcoming Savage Journey To The American Dream project. And if “Wolves…, “Gentlemen’s…” and previous works are any indications, we can expect continued greatness and growth on Savage….
Stalley – “Gentlemen’s Quarterly” (Prod. By Ski Beatz)
Stalley Feat. DJ Khaled – “City Of 30,000 Wolves” (Prod. By DJ Toomp)