Dime Q&A: Hip-Hop Star Stalley Speaks On His Favorite NBA Team & Whether His Beard Is Better Than James Harden’s Beard
It’s always a beautiful thing when you encounter a sports fanatic. I mean the ones who bleed their team’s colors and obsess over their city’s self-proclaimed dominance. The reputation of the Ohio State Buckeyes is irrefutable considering their prominence on both the court and the football field. Nobody can question that. Though the Cleveland Cavaliers were a deplorable team struggling since their cornerstone in LeBron James left, fans have been jubilant ever since Kyrie Irving stepped into the Quicken Loans Arena.
One fan would happen to be Maybach’s very own Stalley – the witty Ohio wordsmith. If Stalley – a one-time hooper known for having a wicked jumpshot – could be patient and believe that his Cavs could soon regain form and perform along the same lines as his Buckeyes, the rest of Ohio should be too.
Patient has always been a virtue for Stalley. After succumbing to his injury woes during his playing days, Stalley ventured over to music where he thrived and developed numerous relationships, one resulting in his signing to Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group. The vivacious spitter who touts his Kevin Durant-like skill-set wasn’t shy in letting people know that he could hoop during his interview with Dime. He also spoke on his love for the Ohio State Buckeyes, his playing days, the state of the Cavaliers, his MVP, and why he felt the NCAA should implement a compensation rule to aide college athletes.
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Dime: I’ve heard you’re a lean guard that can handle the rock and has a great jumpshot. Which is your best attribute?
Stalley: (Laughs) I’m definitely a shooter you know what I mean? Like what he say? That I’m lean, could handle, and could shoot?
Stalley: Yeah I definitely wanna say back in my glory days that shooting and defense were two things that were my specialty.
Dime: Who would you compare yourself to playing-wise?
Stalley: Man! I don’t like to say this but people that knew me growing up playing ball would compare me to something kind of like a Kevin Durant but more of a Rip Hamilton. You know the guy who was always moving around and going off screens. You know somebody who was a baseline shooter. I guess my one-on-one slashing game was a little bit better. I mean, he doesn’t really show that no more but I would say somewhere between Rip Hamilton and Kevin Durant.
Dime: I hear you on that. I was reading and I didn’t know you were at Michigan University in the beginning.
Stalley: Yeah for a second. You know, I didn’t get to play unfortunately. I was there but injuries and a lot of things came in the way. I ended up transferring over to Long Island University in downtown Brooklyn. So you know I was recruited out of high school. I had a lot of good opportunities. Out of school I was cut short with a lot of injuries and a lot of different situations. Like my father passed away. You know there was a lot going on. I really had to cut the basketball dream short with that being that my pops died and I was getting injured.
Dime: So while you were in New York, was that when you decided to make the transition over to music?
Stalley: Correct. You know like I said, I was at LIU and I was playing around with some people I ball with. I use to play around – not play around – but freestyle. You know I would write verses and recite the verses to people. I never really got into the studio. So once people found out that I was writing, they were saying that I needed to get into the studio and record because they knew I would rap and write songs. I never recorded music so some friends got me to get in the studio.
Dime: So did playing ball in front of crowds make the transition into performing for a large bunch of people easier for you?
Stalley: I think it did. I honestly think it did with just being in front of big crowds in high school, college, and in stuff like that. I think that it really helped me with my stage performances and just being comfortable in front of people.
Dime: I know you’re a big Ohio State fan.
Stalley: Huge, huge.
Dime: Where did your love for the Buckeyes originate from? Was that just simply based off being from the state of Ohio and repping the city or is there more to it?
Stalley: Yeah just being from Ohio and repping. A lot of my family, older cousins, and older friends that went to high school with me who were into sports went to that school. You know that’s the school in Ohio. I guess it was just deep rooted in me, man. It was just natural for me to pick up. I loved as a kid watching people like Eddie George and David Boston on the football field. I remember a little bit of Jimmy Jackson and Lawrence Funderburke and those guys. I remember watching Brain Brown and Mike Redd and those guys. I just became a big fan.
Dime: I definitely loved Mike Redd back in the day. Who would you consider to be the best Ohio State Buckeye in recent memory? You’ve had Evan Turner, Greg Oden, Mike Redd, Jared Sullinger and more.
Stalley: Man! Evan Turner was tough. He was tough. He was a great college player. He was a stat stuffer. He pretty much did everything. I would say Mike Redd probably man. You know back in the day, Mike Redd did a lot. He led them to the Final Four. You know he did a lot. Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Daequan Cook, and those guys did a lot. They took us to the championship. I think Mike Redd for as far as being consistent and staying for as long as he did. I think he was there for three years. So he definitely had put in some work.
Dime: Definitely. Now that leads me into the professional aspect and the state of your Cleveland Cavaliers. I know you gotta be hurting with the loss of Kyrie, man.
Stalley: Man! It’s stressful. We were looking good man. That backcourt was looking promising. I was actually upset that they got Dion Waiters but he’s been proving me wrong a little bit. He could ball a little bit.
Dime: Who were you aiming for before in the draft?
Stalley: Man I thought that they could have gotten somebody like Jeremy Lamb or even somebody like Thomas Robinson. I don’t know just somebody. I just thought that there were some other picks out there that could have fit a little bit better. You know you had Perry Jones III and Harrison Barnes. There were a lot you know what I mean? But he’s turning out great. So I have no complaints. I really love Tyler Zeller too, man.