Cynthia K. Cortes

Pardon The Introduction: Ohio's Stalley Rises From Hoop To Rap Dreams

Stalley holds Massillon, Ohio close to his heart and brings that passion through his music with an organic blend of sounds from all coasts. He meshes them togetherto create a unique sound for himself and a listening experience like no other. With influences that rangefrom  from Nas, Ice Cube, Scarface and Andre 3000, Stalley is a throwback in terms of lyricism, flow and stage presence to the 90’s hip-hop experience. With friends and advisors like Mos Def and Dame Dash, he is maneuvering this new age blueprint of hip-hop by taking  the grassroots approach via social networking and mixtapes but with the same care and dedication if it were a major album deal. —Storm

VIBE:
What was your intial plan when you decided to pursue music after your basketball dream didn't pan out?

Stalley: Initially,  I was just a fan of music; someone who music just represented throughout my life, whether it was studying or playing basketball or whatever. It was just the soundtrack to my life. All music not just hip-hop. As far as hip-hop goes one of the people that stood out for me and made me want to pursue the music thing was Nas. Growing up as a kid I saw his videos and just listened to his albums and he was such a great representation of hip-hop to me, being a young black male growing up in a poverty-stricken area—he was kind of  that definition of it and was someone I had admired growing up. After basketball and school, I kind of just stayed in New York; stayed around not knowing what I was doing or where I would take my career path to. Because growing up and playing sports and going to school you have a whole different outlook on life period. You have different plans and those were cut short due to injuries and just me leaving school.

I was just trying to make my way through New York City and I had few friends of mine who knew I did music and listened to my music prior,  just me rapping not music just me writing rhymes or free styling and stuff like that. They kind of convinced me to get into the studio. I recorded a six track EP  in the studio and I took it by the store where all my friends kind of hung out at in the Soho area. We just listened to project one day in the store; I had just got it thirty minutes before that from the engineer that actually mixed it down. I went from the studio and getting that [EP] directly to the store, played the music and maybe a couple of minutes later Mos Def walked in. He basically said “Yo, this is nice, it‘s dope and I like it!” Me and him exchanged information and he was like “keep doing your thing,” “you got a talent, you got a gift.”  That was like the seal of approval because Mos is also someone, like Nas,  whom I admired growing up and listened to growing up and I watched closely. As an artist he’s amazing and for someone of that caliber that I look up to say that I’m what hip-hop needed and had what hip-hop needed was amazing and it was like this is what I need to be doing.

I was going to ask you what that initial bond/contact was like between you and Mos Def as well as Jay Electronica? Can we expect anything from all of you collectively in the near future?

We have music that we have recorded it’s just not out. Hopefully, in the future we will actually be able to sit down with all of our busy schedules and make more music or create a project that we can give out to the world. But right now it’s on hold because everyone is doing their own individual projects. At the time, when were kind of bonding and around working in the studio we were able to knock out a few songs together. I mean Mos is always someone who has been a friend and who has given me good advice; kind of told me I’m doing the right thing and to keep doing my thing type of guy. He’s been a great person’ kind of like mentor I would say. He might not even know how much of an impact he has had and me having the courage to continue to do what I’ve been doing after our initial conversation. He’s definitely a great part of that and someone who gave me that kick in the butt to keep doing it.

Being that you make your home in NYC now, how do you stay connected to your hometown?

I’m able to keep Ohio with me everywhere because Ohio is just a big part of my life and my growth. Where I come from is very prideful; it’s a small city. Everybody represents that city no matter how hard it has been to come up through that city or you know the trials and tribulations that we all go through coming from that kind of makes you happy and proud; but it make you sad sometimes too where you came from because of the situations that you were dealt but it’s something that I want the people to know that this is me and Massillon, Ohio is what made me into the person that I am. You know it’s not where you’re from but where you’re at.

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Throughout their performance, a bevy of beautiful women have brief interludes that go from talking in a vaporized infused telephone booth to breaking into a sexy dance group sequence. "We are very happy to be able to share this new single with the fans of the reggaetón genre, we are sure that they will enjoy this song as much as we do,” Nicky said in a press release.

Despite the video featuring a slew of women, it's worth noting that it looks sexy but classic. Jam prides himself in creating this type of imagery in his visuals. In 2017, he told Billboard, "Our audience is so broad that we have to make videos where women look beautiful and conservative and are treated with respect because the videos are seen by kids and adults," he said. "Other reggaetóneros who do what they do are targeting one audience. They don’t have the same responsibility we do."

In addition to releasing new music, Nicky Jam is kicking off his "Intimo Tour 2019" on April 11 in Chicago and will go through the month of May. Watch the video for "Te Robare" above.

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Premiere: Tommie of 'Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta' Calls On Anthony Hamilton For 'Truth' Music Video

"With every trial is a testimony!" Tommie tells VIBE. "Here is mine."

With that, the The Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta star drops her new music video for "Truth." The song sees her recounting a lifetime of struggles - sexual assault, birthing her child in jail, homelessness, and more, while a soulful Anthony Hamilton sings a hook that congratulates her for how far she's come. The video, directed by illHD and Tommie herself, splits between its own storyline and vintage footage of her life.

“This is/was my real life! Beyond the lights. I wanted to share with the people the back story, my whole truth," Tommie said. "In doing so I hope to motivate others struggling with their truth to not be afraid and be inspired to not give up!”

Watch the video for Tommie and Anthony Hamilton's "Truth" above.

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Rich The Kid, Nav, And More Friday Music Releases You Need To Hear

Mar. 2019 was a pretty slow month, but we are back with a new list of the hottest Friday releases. From Rich the Kid to Nav and more, here are all of the Friday music releases that you need to hear below.

Enjoy!

Rich The Kid – The World Is Yours 2

Rich the Kid is back with The World Is Yours 2. The 16-track project features Offset, Big Sean, Tory Lanez, Gunna, Ty Dolla $ign, and more. The album also includes the pre-released singles, "Splashin'" and "4 Phones."

This is Rich the Kid's second studio album. It is a sequel to The World Is Yours, which was released in Mar. 2018.

Listen to Rich the Kid's new album below.

Apple Music  Spotify Tidal

Nav – Bad Habits

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Nav dropped the tracklist and video teaser ahead of the album's release. The preview includes behind-the-scenes footage of the rapper's past live concerts.

The album is completely produced by The Weeknd. Listen to Bad Habits below.

Spotify Apple Music Tidal

Cantrell – DEVIL NEVER EVEN LIVED

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Spotify Apple Music Tidal

Megan Thee Stallion – "Sex Talk"

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Jacquees ft. Lil Baby – "Your Peace"

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