In rap, some artists are omnipresent and seem to always be in the public eye, while others tend to keep it more low-key and stay under the radar. Maybach Music Group rapper Stalley personality trends more towards the latter, as the Ohio native forgoes the spotlight in comparison to his more high-profile label mates Rick Ross, Wale and Meek Mill, while consistently churning out music releases as one of the more unsung lyricists in the game.
Spending the late-aughts building his buzz with acclaimed mixtapes and guest appearances, including a standout feature on Curren$y's Pilot Talk album, Stalley's 2011 mixtape, Lincoln Way Nights, caught the attention of Rick Ross, who recruited the bearded spitter to become a part of his Maybach Music Group stable that same year.
Appearing on the first three volumes of MMG's Self Made compilation series, as well as appearances on projects from Rick Ross, Stalley unleashed his debut album, Ohio, in 2014, which featured appearances Nipsey Hussle, Rick Ross, August Alsina, Ty Dolla Sign, Rashad and De La Soul. Since then, Stalley has continued to pound the pavement, dropping a pair of mixtapes, 2015's The Laughing Introvert and last year's Saving Yusuf, but 2017 marks the arrival of his long-awaited sophomore album, New Wave, which comes nearly three years after his debut.
Released independently on Real Talk Entertainment, New Wave is a long player rife with Stalley's signature off-kilter flow, as he delivers a number of intricate rhyme schemes throughout the album's 14 tracks. XXL's dug through New Wave and picked out 20 of the hottest lyrics on Stalley's latest.
"The summer coming and we need that summer music/You know that intelligent trunk ish that be booming/We need them jams so we can ride and tuck the roof in/That feel-good joyride with a cute friend/Soft skin, brown skin, passenger seat companion/I captured the scene so well like it was shot by Jon Mannion"
"She wanna hop on the wave I told her cheer from the sideline/She wanna live wild and dangerous, I told her that is a fine line/I can hear angels talking, I'm up on the skyline/I was down, I'm way up, I guess it's about time/I gotta flex like listen/Goyard wings on the Tesla/Goyard belt like a wrestler/Send thanks to God, he blessed us"
"When the rain came, I got the whip with umbrella/That first check came, I took it straight to the teller/Chase Manhattan, back bracking/Stacks got my pants sagging/G-Wagon on Fiorgis, whiter than the grand dragon"
"Life's golden, I be rolling up expensive shit/Everybody always talking what they finna get/ Shit, I'm getting rich with niggas I been sinning with/Same niggas I was with playing Genesis/’96 Madden, ’96 Impalas/Street scholars, sold dope through college/We was trying to stack dollars, fuck do the knowledge/Word to mama's we ran the streets like Rottweilers"
"Hard-headed with car fetish/We'll toss a nigga for raw lettuce/Trying to see 1,000 Islands, passport crazy mileage/Cigarette boats on a Caayman Islands/Bad Blasian eating Cajun Salmon/Bumping Sizzla at crazy volumes/Cry cry Martinique/Smoking til my eyes Chinese, pepper-pot Guyanese/Everything exquisite to these ’95 Nike's/Put it all on Periscope for live feed"
"Lost fathers to prison systems, we been a victim/ Mama evicted, we been restricted to product pitching/Products of our environment, that's how the projects get us/Pyrex vision, we rock solid/Killing our own people to rock diamonds/Real tyrants on skinny tires, drug suppliers turned rap rhymers"
"Old Durangos and Kangols, I'm on some player ish/In the streets Hustle Hard, on my Maino shit/War-ready, the boy ready, nothing to tangle with/Middle of things, beautiful wife, word to that single kid/When it comes to mic fights, I'm known to strangle shit/Don't try and size me up, line me up, no angles with/ No slip, my hold on life is vice grip"
"In all honesty, the flow godly, I been anointed/The one chosen, the kick game like Neymar/Was low-key, now I'm back on everybody's radar/The ones sleep, I don't pay y'all no mind/I still shine like the brightest light source divine/Intervention, my suspension got my Chevy sitting high"
"Let's Talk About It"Stalley
"Being a junkie is the new cool ish/Or carrying automatics long as pool-sticks/Niggas really don't want beef unless it come from Ruth Chris/Loose lips ain't saying nothing/A whole bunch of gun bars, but ain't spraying nothing/I swear niggas stay fronting, but who am I to talk about it/Let niggas hang themselves, who am I to talk 'em out it/The coupe red, the rims powdered, I stunt too/It's art in this war, Stalley Sun Tzu"
"Let's Talk About It"Stalley
"Every joint long as a metric ruler/I flex, Lex Luger, you flex and still a loser, what a drag/No comparison, I'm Micky Arison with the bag/I'm on South Beach, lobster and crab/Joe Stones with millionaire blacks/It's a blessing what I made from these tracks/Never take it for granted, granted I been the man since I seen through those cracks/Beautiful rose with the pricklies/How I made it, should be on Ripley's"
"I been wave surfing while these other niggas can't surface/Don't compare me to nary rapper out, we don't serve the same purpose/I be with the lions and the tigers, these monkey in a whole different circus/I'm putting on a show, tell 'em hold for the curtains/Gotta pastor-like flow, I be giving out sermons"
"Stand alone on my own two/What a man that I've grown to/They say patience is a virtue, I nurture all that pain I go through/And dance in all the rain just to show moves/I break laws, bend rules/Ten toes, I be running to the check like a track meet/Not to anyone I'll take a back seat"
"My mama said be ready when your numbers called/And ball out until you're ready to take that number off/Watch what them haters say, watch what them leeches pray/Peel your ears back, don't listen what the haters say/’Cause when you start worrying about them, that's when you lose focus/Don't worry Tez, I already know, why you think your boy wrote this/A bunch of tag-a-longs pulling on my coattails/Them same lames now trying to wish a nigga well"
"The foreign coupe is panda/I drop the roof then stand up/Like ’Pac out Impala/I blow smoke in the parlor/I grab a pen, thoughts follow/A smooth criminal, scholar/At 15, we moved scama, that's what we called it then/Spoiler Benz, 6 series shine, jewelry Cortez/Post in front of granny's house like some porch-heads"
"Big budget, no mileage on the bucket/Jewels truck it, hoes love it, I been thugging/Sweatpants, long beard, I been rugged/Big bands, 38, I'm a tuck it/That little advance, yo', I spend that on a Cutlass/If it ain't 100, boy you ain't talking about nothing/Your girl talking suck it, so she talking something/I let her passenger seat ride and hit the buttons"
I been popping, tatted up like Dennis Rodman/No bullshit, I hit the lot and then I cop it/Inside the whip is like a cockpit, money ain't an option/Put your money on me, that's a stock tip/Closet stocked with all black like I'm gothic/30K in each pocket, that's to shop with/Keep my name out your mouth, I don't do gossip/30 on the small of my back, bet I pop it"
"Feed the Streets"Stalley
"A hustler told me you only when you need to/And make sure you feed the streets, please dont let them feed you/And don't listen to those snakes, they'll tell you anything to lead you right in their garden so they can squeeze you/With the most venomous approach and they'll hang you with them ropes/They be acting like they clean, but they be mingling with dopes/Just some addicts in the sky and you can see it in they eyes/Plus they come across so real in their lies"
"I was on the corner with the 8-Ball/Pray I never catch a fed or a state charge/Sweatpants stagging from the 8-long/Middle fingers up, fuck the state law/12 ride by, man, I hate y'all/Rich nigga, guess the feeling is mutual/I was in the vacants and the Uber too/Diamonds on me wet, need a scuba suit"
"I be in the hills in the mountains, counting bills by the thousands/Talking to my lawyers and accountants/Cuban links dripping like fountains, Vegas nights, standing on the couches/Smoking on gas by the ounces, all my niggas looking like the bouncers/My new shit got the club bouncing/My old shit got the Chevy's bouncing/Nearly lost my breath when I seen my new balance"
Ya wife's all on me like a ice bucket challenge/They stand and stare like a mannequin challenge/Counting all this money, now my hand got callous/Came from section 8, now I'm shopping for a palace/Ribs was touching, now my pockets on Khaled/Was Ramen noodles, now it's steak in my palette/High stakes I devoured, mama gets showered/Everything she want, from the house to the flowers"