The past year has unfortunately seen many tragedies that have reminded us that America still has a long way to go as far as policing and race relations. Stevie Stone, being a St. Louis native, surely had to share his perspective on the matter on his most personal album to date, Malta Bend, with the song “Suicidal”.
The song offers a different perspective than you normally expect. Rather than being preachy, Stevie personifies the nihilism that overcomes someone’s perspective when all peaceful options seem futile.
We talked to Stevie to get his perspective on the song and on the state of our nation.
“Suicidal”. What is this song about? You hear the title and you’re automatically going to think it’s wanting to commit suicide, but it’s kind of different.
Yeah, definitely. Especially when you peep out the scene of the skit right prior to. We touched on everything that’s been happening. You understand, with the police and Ferguson and St. Louis and New York. Not only that, but North Carolina and Baltimore and all these different places that’s going on with these things. We’ve all been through it.
My dude King actually came up with the concept of that record and everything. It fit perfectly into the mold of everything. I wanted to touch on that on the album. This is a way that we just decided to do it. It felt good.
“Suicidal”, you know? Everybody feels that way sometimes. Like, “fuck it.” You get drove to feel that way sometimes. I think in the skit, we showed what happens every single day. Everybody’s had that done before. And not necessarily just black people. All races, I guarantee they’ve been characterized and pulled over because of one thing or another. We just had to touch base on that a little bit. It went right with “Suicidal”. That’s Glasses Malone, Me, and King Harris.
What was your background like? You seemed to have come from a decent family, but you also seem like you’re in touch with impoverished conditions – the ghetto.
Yeah, the streets. It’s like this: my mama worked a lot. Mama worked a lot, daddy wasn’t there, what is it going to be?
All my homies, when I was young, are older. I bark into that on “The Homies”. If you hear the song called “The Homies”, I’m paying homage to them and giving shouts out to the homies. I was a young kid that always grew up with people that were older. All my homies were three or four years older than me. Mama worked a lot, so I was in the streets a lot. I had a balance. I went to go see my father in the summertime. My father was the preacher. A crazy balance from a mother that works a lot to provide, so she’s not home a lot. And then you got the streets, and then I go over to visit my dad and it’s a lot of church. It’s a balance and then there’s certain things that stilled with me. Do you understand where you can go and where you can’t go? You’re going to dibble and dabble with anything when you’re out there and you’re amongst it. It’s all about learning, growing. You got to listen to my music, you already know what it is. I’m very transparent in my music.
The events in Ferguson, Baltimore, New York… we’re seeing these incidents pop up on TV for the first time this year, but who knows how long they’ve been happening?
Oh, we know how long it’s been happening. It’s been happening. It never stopped happening.
We’re just now seeing it.
Social media as a motherfucker, man. They got these smartphones, with cameras on smartphones, and now you’re going to get it up close and personal. The people can actually push record and boom! Two second later, it’s everywhere.
Now it’s finally being made a lot more aware in the public eye. Who knows how many of these things people would have got away with without a cameraphone?
The camera phone don’t even mean shit because there’s been times when there’s been a cameraphone and shit happening, nothing still happens!
There’s two sides to it. There’s black communities needing to do good things for themselves because no one’s going to do it for them. There’s also institutionalized racism and the effect it has on someone when automatically… like the skit portrays, you have to almost assume some weird shit might happen in that scenario just because you’re black. What kind of effect does that have on somebody? What kind of perspective can you give on what it does to your mind when you see something like that happen in Ferguson and everywhere else?
You’re seeing what type of effect it has on people to the point where people are getting fed up and they’re like, “fuck it!”
That’s the effect that it’s having on folks. It’s been happening for years. You can’t not… there’s not just bad cops. There’s definitely good cops, I’ll say that. There’s also cops out there and authorities, that’s what I’ll say, authority, that abuse their authority that will sit there and characterize. There’s dirty people in every aspect of life. Just because they got a badge doesn’t mean that some of them ain’t different. There’s a lot of good ones out there, I know that. There’s some of them out there that’s like…. it’s bullshit. You seen the footage of the pool party?
You see that?! Two dudes running like Rambo and turning over everybody’s cars and you pull out your gun? That right there, there’s no room for that type of behavior in that position.
The key thing is to weed those apples out. Another thing you said – we got to take responsibility for us, for our people, for our culture, and be positive role models and spit that positive as much as possible. It ain’t going to happen overnight. It takes a tribe to do it. I was talking with my people, I was like, “Back in the day, there was Malcolm X, there was Martin Luther King.” There were people like that, who people looked up to and they listened. We don’t have that right now. The youngsters, they’re not respecting Al Sharpton. They’re not respecting that. Everything comes back around, but I know we need that person.
To close off this talk on this song, I just want to talk about the features on here and why you chose them. I guess King Harris kind of chose himself in a way by making up the song concept.
Yeah, he made up the song concept and brought it to the table. Seven did the beat.
You got Glasses on there.
I got Glasses on there. King came to me with the record already, I did what I was supposed to do on it. He actually came to me and we had Seven re-do it. I put my verse on it, sent it to Glasses Malone, and he blessed us with a verse also.
King Harris is a guy that I don’t think too many people know about, but he’s dope.
Yeah! You might’ve seen him like, if you came out on the tour when Jay Rock was out. You definitely seen King with Jay Rock. He’s Jay Rock’s cousin. On one tour, he was a DJ and the next tour, he was his hypeman. He was an artist himself. He’s hot, he got some new shit out so look him up.
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