If you don’t know who Stalley is, he’s an artist who is signed under Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group hailing from Ohio. I heard of him through someone (I don’t remember who) and they sent me a couple of YouTube videos from him. I didn’t think he was that bad; has a decent flow, some bars, and is really laid back at times. He’s not going to give you the aggressive delivery like Ross, Gunplay or even Meek Mill, but he has his own style and runs with it. He has 4 mixtapes, but I listened to Lincoln Way Nights & Savage Journey to the American Dream. Both are pretty good, so when I heard about his concert through Vibonics’ frontman, Alborz, he told me that his band was opening for him and asked me to cover the concert. I planned on going anyways, since I had got a flyer after the Casey Veggies concert, but to be asked to review it? I couldn’t say no.
The concert was at El Mocambo, which is like a small bar, but a locally known one in the heart of downtown Toronto. As usual, I arrived early (it’s a habit that I’m never ashamed of), but once I got in, it was a small venue, but it wasn’t anything I wasn’t expecting. It’s sort of the same type of venue from the ScHoolboy Q concert in Buffalo that I went to in May, either way, I felt like it was going to be a good night anyways.
The DJ was playing TDE music (ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and Kendrick Lamar in this case), Big K.R.I.T, and surprisingly even played a song by a newcomer to the game, Joey Bada$$, so I was glad that the music that I was listening to was getting appreciation in my city, because I know that the fan base is still pretty small when it comes to those artists (I would know, because I went to the K.R.I.T & Kendrick Lamar concerts in 2011).
Music was playing, more people were filing in, getting their drinks, and preparing for the night. By the time the opening acts happened, it was a bit after 10:30 or so, and on the bill, there was supposed to be 4 openers, so I guessed that Stalley would come on at about 12, but we would see how the night would progress.
First up was a cypher of local rappers, who all showed off their written songs, then freestyled on the spot while using words held up by one of the MCs for them to start off with. I won’t lie, the written portion was better than a lot of the freestyles, but at the same time, only a few of the rappers had good written songs, but I’ll leave it at that. I felt like the cipher went on longer than it should have, but that’s just the nature of the business. .
Next up was a duo called the ‘Antiheroes.’ I’ve never heard of them in my life, but when they came to perform, they brought a raw energy and their songs were pretty good, I won’t lie. Did their best to get the crowd rocking with them, and as I was looking around, the people were bopping their heads in motion that they were feeling the set.
It was a good time; I should look into their music, because I did hear some stuff that I liked. It reminded me sort of like a Beastie Boys feel, and I’m not just saying that because they’re white, I’m actually being genuine. They were entertaining.
Vibonics was up next and that was pretty much one reason why I was there in the first place – to see them. As a band, I liked how they sounded.
They sound better live, and seeing the constant output of energy given to the crowd, I could definitely tell that people were enjoying themselves, so I was happy for the band they were able to move the crowd, because in Toronto, that’s not an easy task at all. They did a great job.
I’ve seen Rich Kidd perform like 5 times, so I don’t even have to write about his set. He’s always great and delivers on point.
When Stalley came out, it was 1am, so I was a little off on my estimation. He came on stage and the crowd got energetic (which always happens, because no one really cares for opening acts, to be quite honest) and dove right into it.
He performed songs from both Savage Journey & Lincoln Way Nights. He was really into his music as if he was in a trance the whole time, but it was pretty cool. Until that night, I had no idea that Stalley had a fan base up here. Even though a lot of people weren’t in the venue, a lot of people (a good majority) knew the words to his songs and were going nuts, especially when he performed Slapp, 330, Hercules, Pound, and his verses for MMG The World Is Ours & Party Heart.
Stalley is a humble guy, and he was adamant on telling the audience to give a round of applause for themselves. He was grateful for the people who came out, and even after he left the stage, he came back for an encore to perform a couple of more songs. It was a good crowd, and it was overall a good time, even though it dragged on until 2am. I wouldn’t have minded if I didn’t have work at 10am, but you know it’s all good. I was glad to be in attendance, to see some more Toronto talent shine and yet another artist from my iTunes come to life. No regrets at all. Until the next concert,
That’s My Word & It STiXX