Maybach Music Group member and XXL Freshman alum Stalley is known to play the background, but looks to step back in the forefront with his new mixtape, Saving Yusuf.

The mixtape, which runs 15 tracks deep, features guest appearances from Big K.R.I..T., Ray Cash, Chuck Inglish, STS, Goldie and Ink, with production by Rashad, Block Beattaz, and Black Diamond.

Saving Yusuf begins with a short intro featuring Stalley's mother bestowing her praises upon her son. Then the Ohio rapper takes over the proceedings and begins to spill couplets over the the kicks and snares with the vigor of an artist that has something to prove. Despite being a capable artist with a solid resume of quality projects, one knock on Stalley has been his tendency to be passive on occasional tracks, but those critiques can be put to rest, as he is fully engaged on Saving Yusuf.

Songs like the Chuck Inglish-assisted "808z," which finds both rappers doing their bidding over a flip of Tony Toni Tone's "Lay Your Head On My Pillow," and "Lay'M Down," a hazy jam perfect for riding out to, are standout selections and showcase the growth in Stalley's delivery on this outing. Another prime cut is "Hunnid Stax," a twangy cut with an eyebrow-raising hook that features Stalley proclaiming, "My label robbed me for a hunnid stax," a line that won't go unnoticed.

Other members of MMG may be more interested in rap squabbles, but Stalley remains out of the fray of the drama and focused on his art, delivering one of the best projects of the month in Saving Yusuf. This should satisfy die-hard fans of the bearded one and new listeners alike.

Listen to Stalley's Saving Yusef Mixtape

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