Hailing from Massillion, Ohio, Kyle Myricks aka Stalley is the latest addition to the forever budding roster of Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group. He joins the likes of Meek Mill, Wale and others.
Lyrically, the young upstart has been grinding for awhile. From his 2008 debut mixtape, Goin Ape to Mad Stalley: The Autobiography and Lincoln Way Nights (Intelligent Trunk Music) to 2012’s A Savage Journey To The American Dream, Stalley has graced stages from Beijing to Brooklyn. He has also shared stages with everyone from Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Styles P and too many more to mention. His eclectic style of rhyme separates him from a lot of other artists and lyrically, Stalley is simply the truth. After a short lived Division 1 basketball career at Michigan due to an injury Stalley came to Long Island University in NYC. After a second injury ended his hoop dreams, Stalley picked up a microphone and started spitting bars. Lucky for us he did!
Yo! Raps got a chance to build with Stalley about signing with MMG, his inspirations and him headlining Hot97’s Who’s Next show, sponsored by Heineken at NYC’s SOB's on April 4th 2012.
I’ve often said to myself that MMG is like the new ROC and it’s also ironic that you would link up with Dame Dash and Ski Beatz who produced the classic Dead Presidents by Jay-Z. So tell me how was that first initial meeting with two legends like Dame and Ski?
It was different and unexpected. Basically, I did a show at BB Kings with Curren$y, Wiz Khalifa and Styles P and a few other people and after the show all of us and Mickey Facts ended up at DD172 and we just started choppin’ it up and rhyming. Dame was kicking it to us about how we should always remain friends and come up in the game together and how to stay humble.
On your joint, Creative Control, you used a lot strings, keys and airy loops in the production, which was very innovative. How important is creative control to you?
Creative control is everything to me. That was a key selling point for me and just to be able to hook up with Dame and Ski and have my own voice and to have my visuals behind the camera lens and also to be hands on with the music with somebody like Ski Beats who is amazing and has had a lot of hits was a beautiful thing. To be able to craft the beat with him and have input on what to leave or take out of the beat and to have him being humble enough to work with me and take my opinions was amazing. So for me creative control is everything and on this latest mixtape I had total control from the beats to the concepts to who I wanted to feature to the track listings and everything so it was great.
You have a saying called Intelligent Trunk Music, break that down for us...
It’s just a genre and I don’t even know if I created it [laughs]. It’s just me basically saying I don’t like to be put in a box, I don’t like to say I’m a gangster rapper or a conscious rapper. People always ask me to describe my music so I call it Intelligent Trunk Music because it’s intelligent, conceptually, lyrically, and musically even all the way down to the artwork. The trunk music is obvious because I was inspired by that Bay Area, West Coast, Down South bump in the trunk sound. I had a lot of my partners and older homies and cousins and brothers that spent countless amounts of time fixing up their systems in their cars. I just wanted to bring that element back to the game. I know people like to take that ride with the music and I feel like the most intimate place you can be with someone is in their car.
You also stated that you love East Coast lyricism and Down South trunk rattling, so who would you like to work with from each region that you haven’t worked with yet?
Aw man, from the East with that lyricism I’d love to work with Nas and in the South I‘d love to work with Andre 3000.
What did you take from Nas and how did you apply it to your style?
The honesty. Nas brought a lot of honesty and he’s been through some things and people used to say he contradicted his self but as a man that’s what we go through. Some days when we wake up and we wanna save the world and some days we’re like fuck the world. Some days we wake up and we’re like I love my woman and other days we’re like fuck bitches. So as a man I took that honesty from Nas and also how he brought his neighborhood. I feel like with Nas and Andre 3000, who are two of my favorite lyricists, when they came out they brought you their City. You know, like Nas didn’t even bring you New York he brought you Queensbridge. He had everybody across the world shouting QB and with Outkast they brought you Savannah and Atlanta and they gave you their language and their style of dress. Nas gave you names like Jungle and Wizzard and it made you feel like you knew them.
What’s the best thing about being on MMG? You’re on a roster with the likes of Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Wale, Masspike Miles and Tedra Moses, how does that feel?
Man, it’s just a beautiful thing. Like you said it’s like the new ROC. It’s just a great thing to be with a collective of artists because they are all amazing in their own right. We all have our own lane and our own style and we all bring our individual pieces together to make the whole thing cohesive. Just being around great work ethic and seeing them all put in hours and hours on their music is a great thing. Just being around the quality of the music is a blessing I couldn’t pick a better group of artists to be around. Ross is the hardest working person I’ve ever been around within music or out of music. Ross still works like he hasn’t sold one record before and to be around and soak up that game is just a blessing for me.
If you had one thing that you had to pick today from your life to leave your mark on Hip-Hop for life, what would that one thing be?
Wow, that’s a great question. I would have to say that story that the average person can relate to and be inspired by to make changes in their life would be the best thing I could leave Hip-Hop with.
In the tradition of James Lipton (Inside The Actors Studio) and Michael Kay (New York Yankees Broadcaster and host of Centerstage) I’d like to ask you a set of questions and have you shout out the first answer that comes to your mind.
What’s your favorite sports team?
What’s your favorite food?
The song that made you want to rap?
It Ain’t Hard To Tell [Nas].
The basketball player you liked the most during your college career at Long Island University?
What’s next up for Stalley?
More work with ESPN and Nike, we did jerseys for Nike also. We have the apparel coming called The Blue Collar Gang. I want to help other artists as soon as I get situated. There are a lot of talented artists out there that just want to stay true to themselves, keep the realness within their music and not conform. I know what that feels like so I want to help them achieve that and I’ll also be headlining the Who’s Next show at NYC’s SOB'son April 4th for Hot97 and it’s sponsored by Heineken
Any parting words for the people?
I wanna shout Yo! Raps out for giving me the opportunity to have a voice on your platform. I wanna thank everybody who supported me and if this is your first time reading or hearing about me follow me at @Stalley on Twitter and heck out Stalley330.com because that’s where everything is from music to videos to calendar dates for tours.
- By K.B. Tindal