Stalley, ‘Honest Cowboy’ – Mixtape Review
Just weeks before the release of Maybach Music Group's compilation album, ‘Self Made Vol. 3,’ Stalley releases a new mixtape, ‘Honest Cowboy.’
The project includes features from Schoolboy Q, Joi Tiffany and the legend himself, Scarface, throughout the 11-track sampling of what's to come from the Ohio rapper.
In a trailer for the project, he explains the inspiration for the effort's title. “Cowboys is some of the most honest people that you could meet, there’s no in between with them," he shares. "It’s really they tell you how it is whether you like it or not.”
‘Honest Cowboy’ starts off with the relaxing sounds of a harp, as Stalley lets his fans know “this one’s for y’all.” Then the smooth sounds and soft rap of ‘Spaceships & Woodgrain’ sets off the ambiance of the entire project.
The biggest highlight of 'Honest Cowboy' comes quickly as Scarface joins Stalley and Joi Tiffany on ‘Swaggin'.’ The song brings you back to 1995, with its laid-back instrumentals and screwed hook. Scarface helps bring that vibe in the third verse, reminding everyone of a fallen hip-hop star. "Back when DJ Screw had the city slowed down, three in the morning, drink was pouring out.”
Songs like ‘The Highest’ showcase Stalley's versatility as he lays out his true feelings for his “girl” Mary Jane while Crystal Torres hypnotizes listeners with her voice. “She seems to be all that I think about, all I fiend for, all I’m seeking out / She gives me cotton mouth,” he raps.
‘NineteenEighty7’ brings a crazy feature from Schoolboy Q as a saxophone and drums give a feel similar to Beanie Sigel’s 2005 track ‘Wanted.’ This song brings the whole cowboy theme together as the two compete for the best line on the mixtape. Schoolboy Q blacks out on the track, even comparing his actions to the show '24.' “Million dollar phone calls on the black celly / Black power tryna escape Jack Bauer on the federalis," the TDE member rhymes.
The powerful ‘Raise Your Weapons’ really puts some realism into the mixtape as Stalley sends an important message in trying to fix the problems of this generation. “They saying I'm the last of a dying breed / And this generation is in a dire need of a voice like me / Somebody to embody the glory, I guess that’s me,” he delivers.
He goes on to speak about the problems of poverty, the broken dreams of the children and how hard it can be in the ghetto: “But we God’s children, civilians of the ghetto / But cry so loud, I’d be damned if they throw this echo / They tellin’ me to let go, ask me, 'Why am I upset for?' / Yeah, I’m upset, yo, 'cause you won’t except the people that I rep for.”
Stalley really shines on ‘Honest Cowboy’ as he mixes in solid lyricism with great laid-back beats to not only give you a sample of his potential, but to create a well-rounded project. This is easily one of the best mixtapes of the year and is worth a listen for anyone who isn’t yet up on this rising lyricist.
Listen to Stalley's 'Honest Cowboy' Mixtape