Make no mistake: Rick Ross is a hip-hop fan through and through. So when the Bawse recruits new talent for his Maybach Music Group roster, he reverts to fan mode.
Take, for instance, MMG's Stalley. "He's just an uncut lyricist, he's just a pure MC," Rozay told MTV News on the black carpet for the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta. "When I listen to Stalley's music, it takes me back to the early days of A Tribe Called Quest."
Stalley is an Ohio MC who migrated to New York and first got some fame with 2009's MadStalley: The Autobiography mixtape, on which he rhymed over beats from the much-celebrated Mad-Lib. From there, he linked up with Curren$y and a collective of artists who worked out of Dame Dash's DD172 workspace.
This year, Stalley dropped Lincoln Way Nights (Intelligent Trunk Music), and around the same time, he caught the attention of Rozay. After a brief Twitter convo between Ross and Stalley fueled speculation about their working relationship, the rumors that Stalley had signed to MMG started to become more prevalent. The rookie spitter would eventually join Ross on the first leg of Lil Wayne's I Am Still Music Tour, and the relationship grew, leading to a deal for the Ohio rapper.
While Stalley has some serious work to do before he gets to Ross' level, he does best the Bawse in one category. Known for his lengthy beard, Ross now has to play number two his new artist. "I can't front: He got that length on me on the beard, he most definitely got that," Ross said, laughing. "And not only that, the music that he's making is incredible."
Are you looking forward to Stalley's MMG debut? Let us know in the comments!