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June 17, 2012 | 6:16 p.m. CST
Stevie Stone’s first release with Strange Music carves out a place for him in the rap scene along with other Midwest natives and Strange Music artists, Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko.
The 16-track Rollin’ Stone begins strong with “Get Buck” and “808 Bendin’.” The two upbeat songs blend nicely together, maybe a little too nicely as the blending makes it hard to distinguish one from the other. However, it’s clear that Stone’s voice stands out against the others featured on this album. Tech N9ne raps in “808 Bendin’” and a clear distinction between the two styles is drawn.
Rollin’ Stone features a handful of other artists, including Krizz Kaliko, Kutt Calhoun, Yelawolf and M.A.G.num P.I. The collaboration with so many artists creates a wide variety in the songs and highlights Stone’s personal style, allowing him a niche in the industry.
“My Remedy (Skit)” consists of simulated voicemail messages overlaid with Stone’s commentary about the issues in his life. The track concludes with his daughter saying simply “I love you” and the song transitions into “My Remedy.” At this point in the album, Stone begins to portray a very different image. Slower then the rest of his songs, Stone sings in the chorus: “Soon as I hit the stage, music becomes my remedy/All of my problems fade away.”
It’s apparent throughout the album that there’s a maturation occurring in his songs. Earlier tracks show Stone’s feelings, but seem to be created more for blasting with the windows down on summer days than deep insight into the rapper’s psyche. “My Life,” sung by Stone alone, invites listeners into a more intimate view of his life. Rollin’ Stone concludes with “The Road” featuring M.A.G.num P.I. and Wrekonize & Bernz. “We traveled the road/Living our dreams through the highs and the lows.”
Mixing vocals from a pantheon of hip-hop artists and a blend of different tracks, Stone’s Strange Music debut is sure to be the starting point of a promising future for the Columbia rapper.