Studio Time: Stalley
After releasing five mixtapes and shining on Maybach Music Group’s Self Made series, the Ohio rapper is ready to rise to the occasion with his debut LP.
Words Eric Diep

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the October/November 2014 issue of XXL Magazine.

Stalley signed to Rick Ross’s Maybach Music Group in 2011 and has since delivered consistent projects that capture his Midwest sound. The bearded MC, who teased his album Ohio earlier this summer with the trunk-rattler “Jackin’ Chevys” and the smooth “Always Into Something,” is determined to make his fall release worth the wait. Stalley breaks down which tracks stand out.

“One More Shot” featuring Rick Ross and August Alsina
“One More Shot” sounds like it would be a record about a gun or something like that, but it’s basically just you being at a club with your friends, your homies, your girls, and y’all just havin’ a good time. It’s produced by 1985, the same producer group that produced “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake.

“Problems”
We come from limited resources. I’m from Massillon, Ohio, very blue collar; it’s like 30,000 people, if that. People such as myself, especially minorities, we were brought to drug dealing, or doing drugs or something like that. So that’s like, “We don’t got too many options.” That whole song really speaks for the typical kid that’s coming up between the ages of 15-30 years old.

“What It Be Like” featuring Nipsey Hu$$le
It’s a good vibe. It’s more just me talkin’ shit. I knew Nipsey when I was still working with Alife. I’ve known him for a while, so we always rock with each other. I usually don’t play everybody the music, but that’s the homie, so I played him some records and he really liked that one and jumped on it.

“Ball”
We call it The Big Three: Stalley, Johnny Manziel, and LeBron. That record is definitely touching on Cleveland sports, and the whole energy that’s behind the city of Cleveland right now and the state of Ohio. That’s produced by Rashad and the joint is a banger. —Eric Diep