The pressure is on for Stalley who has just released his highly anticipated mixtape “Savage Journey to the American Dream”; his first project since signing with Maybach Music Group. Fellow MMG artists feature heavily throughout, including Wale, Meek Mill and label founder Rick Ross. Signing to MMG was an interesting choice for Stalley, whose style seems to be in stark contrast with Ross’ focus on “bitches and business” (“Hustlin”). 

Despite their stylistic differences, Ross’ impact is certainly felt throughout the mixtape, and he features on three tracks – arguably the weak points of the album. His contribution to the closing track “Party Heart” is little more than a name-dropping intrusion, as he fails to add any musical relevance to the song itself.

There is no question that Stalley comes across as a more authentic artist, many of his tracks suggesting that he is disinterested in the lifestyle of the 21st century hip hop artist, expressing his longing for “a normal life, shoot guns with a pretty wife” (Petrin Hill Peonies). His music offers a refreshing alternative to the machismo misogyny that has become the norm of mainstream hip-hop. 

Although his style is eclectic, Stalley is at his most engaging when he reveals his softer side. And there are certain tracks (Live At Blossom, Home To You, Petrin Hill Peonies) that indicate he is on the right path to a promising career. If he continues in this vein, he may very well follow in the footsteps of artists like Drake, who also worked with Rick Ross early on in his career.

Listening to “Savage Journey to the American Dream”, one catches a glimpse of every facet of Stalley’s personality: the crooner, the gangster, the soulful lyricist. This will no doubt leave the listener wondering – Who is the real Stalley? Clearly he is still in his formative years as an artist, and this mixtape is the result of his experiments with hip-hop. His multiple musical personalities may be regarded as a demonstration of his insecurity, or his versatility. Either way, the tape provides a little something for everyone. 

Overall, the mixtape seems to be a step in the right direction for Stalley. He is breaking new ground and, if nothing else, his association with Rick Ross is providing him with access to a greater potential fan base. As Stalley raps on the opening track, he is “still young in all [his] glory” and therefore has time to grow as an artist. He certainly demonstrates his potential – who knows where he will go from here.


Download Stalley's latest here.