Maybach Music is one of the strongest labels in the game. Ya’ll already know about Rick Ross, Meek Mill and Wale.
But let’s talk about Stalley, who’s been grindin’ for a while now.
The MMG artist is more focused than most, with his new single “Swangin,” featuring Scarface, hitting the streets and helping to solidify his already extremely loyal fanbase.
Very laidback and down-to-earth, the rapper sat down with GlobalGrind, where we talked about a lot of simple yet compelling things – wanting to bring arts education to the high school in his hometown, being an artist who pays attention to every little detail, and becoming more honest on his records.
He even commented on what an amazing guy Charles Ramsey is!
We instantly fell in love with his humility, and we’re sure you will too. Check out our chat, as well as some dope photos from his “Swangin” video.
GlobalGrind: Most important question first, why no Twitter followers?
Stalley: It was just a conscious decision that I made when I came in, because I’m not real big on social networks and Twitter was something that I wanted to do for the fans. I definitely wanted fans to be able to get things from me first, songs, videos, blogs, whatever it was. That’s really why I set it up. Like I tell everybody, I really follow anybody that follows me, because if you say something worth replying to, I’m going to reply to you.
We heard you had problems shooting your new video.
Basically we planned on shooting the video in Massillon, Ohio, where I’m from. It wasn’t brought up in the original treatment. Where I‘m from, it’s a small town – the high school and the stadium are the main attractions. The stadium fits somewhere around 17,000 people in it.
So somebody came up to me and asked me if I was interested in using it. They reached out to the athletic department and coach about using the facilities. They said that we could use the gym, we could use the stadium with our guests during the day. They happened to ask higher up, the superintendent shut it down, said that my music was violent and it wasn’t for the kids.
It’s been a big thing back home. They’re riding – the city’s behind it, the newspapers behind it, the radio stations. It’s absurd, because last April I went into the school and spoke to the kids. The whole student body, sat in front of them in the auditorium, spoke to them, got a Q&A, let everybody ask me questions, rapped for them, took pictures with everybody, shook hands. I wasn’t violent then, you know what I mean?
It’s cool that you have Scarface on your new single “Swangin.”
It’s very important to have him on that record because it’s such a Midwest record. I felt there was nobody better than him to get on that record, and kind of paint that picture and tell the story of swanging. He’s very educated on it. Luckily he was a fan and respected my craft enough to get on the record. I was in the studio with him while he did this record. He did it fairly fast, and as he was doing it, he was breaking down the history of swanging. It’s very cool to see that and to actually be in the studio as he recorded the lyrics.
How’s the album?
Man, it’s amazing! I have great producers. I’ve been working with a lot of producers that I came up with. It’s very cohesive and very well put together. Anyone who’s followed my career or followed my mixtapes, they know it’s always a sound. This is showing the growth, getting a little bit more into my personal life, and basically just expanding on everything musically. I’m taking the sounds that I borrowed and created and just making them bigger.
It’s real. It’s going to make some people want to smile, some people want to dance and some of those people cry. I touch on a lot of issues that I haven’t before, letting people see the community I grew up with – let them meet my mom, let them meet my child, let them meet my sister, my brother and just kind of give them the history of where I came from and the struggles that I did have to go through. Any obstacle I overcame, whether it was good or bad, to get to where I am right now.
Are you competitive with the other MMG dudes? How does it compare to Wale’s album or Meek’s album?
I haven’t even heard Wale’s album, but I’m sure it’s amazing. French’s album is dope, but of course my album is the best album. I truly and honestly believe that though. I don’t think any artist in the game right now is taking the time and paying as much attention to detail as I am when it comes to the music. I’m really taking my time, really crafting my sound, bringing in live session musicians to play things over.
What is a night on the town with MMG like?
Fun, man. Jokes, laughs, you know everybody in the club – they’re going to have a thousand bottles. Everybody’s probably getting on the mic and doing their songs, talking to the crowd, and just having a good time, man. That’s really a night with MMG. We all just like to have fun, party, enjoy each other and, you know, just vibe out. Or you can catch us in the studio – we’re probably at Ross’ house in Miami. He has a studio in there. All of us in there going through beats, smoking, drinking and just writing raps.
You’re from Ohio, did you have a Charles Ramsey in your neighborhood growing up?
I grew up with a couple of Charles Ramseys in my neighborhood. (Laughs) That’s why when I seen Charles Ramsey I said: ‘I know that guy.’ Not literally, but I know that guy. I’ve seen him before and he’s an amazing, amazing, amazing dude. It’s funny, we were just talking about him earlier, and he has a good heart and he’s been through a lot. You can tell he honestly did that out of the kindness of his heart. He don’t want no type of exposure. I can tell he’s genuinely happy that he helped save someone’s life. That’s the community of Ohio. We’re all like that. It’s all family. Even if someone’s a dope addict they’re still going to tell you don’t do what I’m doing, don’t live like I’m living, don’t go down that path. Not saying he’s a dope addict, I’m just giving an example. We all look out for each other, even the dope man. You might see him on the block, he might have fancy cars and jewelry but he’s going to be like ‘you don’t want to get these things how I got these things.’