On Friday (March 30), after build up that included song leaks and two memorable appearances on Rick Ross’ Rich Forever mixtape, Stalley dropped his mixtape Savage Journey To The American Dream. The project is his first since signing with Rozay’s Maybach Music Group, and it gives his fans a chance to get to know him a little better.
“When I first started doing music, I was working at Alife [from 2007 through 2009], and I remember saying to myself, ‘If I could just stop working at Alife and make what I make in a paycheck every two weeks at Alife doing music, I would be happy,’” the Ohio native told XXLMag.com. “[The title is] the same thing: your dream is to get signed to a label or to be a professional and make it to the League. That was a goal, that was a dream and when you get there and accomplish that you want so much more and that’s where the ‘savage’ part comes. We are never satisfied and do we know what the American dream is? That’s what I’m really touching on in this project, wanting people to sit back and feel like, ‘What is it that we want out of life?’ Or, ‘Will we ever be satisfied with what we feel like is the dream of ours once accomplishing that?’ I feel like I touch on that and again I’ve seen a lot of the world, I went overseas, I sold out shows in Poland, Paris and London. I want to bring those topics and views to the listener, too.”
The bulk of the production is handled by The Block Beattaz, and Stalley secured features from MMG brethren Ross, Wale and Meek Mill, as well as Curren$y. Each of those factors helped him step his sound up, he says.
“On this project—conceptually, lyrically and musically all around—I switched it up like a 100 notches,” he added. “I don’t think no song has the same flow, the same tempo. There’s something for everybody, I know everybody says that but there’s literally something for everybody; for the thinkers, for the girls, for the gangsters, for the hip-hop heads, there’s something for everybody.”
Some were surprised when the bearded rapper was scooped up by Ross to join his budding imprint last year, as Stalley has been tagged as a “conscious” rapper in the past. That’s a characterization that he feels doesn’t tell the whole story, though.
“I’m just a man—I go through many emotions,” he continued. “If it sounds intelligent or conscious then that’s what I’m going through at the moment, but there’s different sides of me and different things that I’ve seen. I live life like everybody else, I might just speak about it in a different way but I think on this project people will get to see a lot more of my personality.”