It’s been a productive year for Stevie, who has even more lined up for 2016. We talked to the gruff-voiced emcee to get his take on how 2015 has shaped up and what lies ahead for the future. Stevie also talks about his appearances on Strangeulation Vol. II, including the much-talked-about Cypher.
I know you’re out on tour with The Malta Bend Tour. I gotta ask, how’s that going man?
Man it’s a blessing. It’s dope. It’s a blessing being able to go do my shit and spread the word about this album.
It seems like you guys were able to add to the production value.
Obviously, you’re doing a bunch of songs from the new album. How are those being received out on the road?
The people are coming and they’re wanting to hear them. We’re doing a cluster of the new stuff and some of the older favorites.
With Strangeulation Vol. II, I wanna talk about the two songs you’re on with Tech: “Chilly Rub” and “Fired”. I gotta ask, why are you and Tech always putting out freaky shit? Are you guys the official ho-baggers of Strange music or what?
Ahhhh, [laughs] me and Tech just do really well on those records, and we’ve got that in common. That’s what we do. We go other places too. When me and him get on a record like that, it’s usually some of those female favorites, know what I mean?
Tell us about those songs though: “Chilly Rub” and “Fired”. What are they all about?
Initially I didn’t know what “Chilly Rub” was. As soon as someone told me what “Chilly Rub” was, I thought it was brilliant. I thought it was dope, and I had fun with it. It’s one of those ones where you’re just talking straight to a female, and that was real fun – second nature.
“Fired” – that was dope too, because I had a chance to floss. To talk about the other aspect of it too: from “Chilly Rub” to “Fired”, there are two different recipes. It’s like left and right. One is all lovey dovey and “let’s get together,” and the other one is like, “You’re fired, I ain’t fuckin’ with you anymore.”
I was able to come at it with a different angle, with different patterns. Tech killed the patterns. With how the track was set up, I had to do different patterns than I’m used to, which was dope, because it took me out of what I normally do. I had to do something different. So I think it was dope for Tech to put me on that track.
Definitely man. Now the song I really wanted to talk about is your cypher. It’s got you spitting over the “Come Gangsta” beat. How did you respond initially when Tech approached you with this concept?
Well, actually, he approached me with a different beat. So, I was pondering on that one, but I wasn’t really feeling it. I tried, but I came back and Seven was like, “What do you think about this (the “Come Gangsta” beat)?” “Come Gangsta” was almost not even for me. I actually kind of just stumbled my way upon that and ended up doing that, which was the best thing because I followed my gut instinct. Seven put that in front of me and it was done [snaps fingers] like that.
That was one of those things – it wasn’t conventional. I wasn’t meant to be on there, but I ended up doing it, and it was the perfect thing for us to do.
When you hear it, it feels like it was ultimately meant to be that you’re on that. That’s a track that fits you really well. Your gifts really complement the track.
Seven did a crazy job on it. Seven’s the one that wanted it. He said, “Man what do you think about “Come Gangsta”?” I said, “If you can get me that, it’s over.” So he did it. And an hour later I went and dropped it. I went outside and wrote it – outside the studio at Strangeland – then went in and dropped it. Beautiful. I’m so happy we chose to do that one and it came out that way.
It came out great man. I can tell your verse has a lot of emotion. It seems like you’re getting a lot off your chest. What’s your verse about?
I’m talking about everything. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory. If you sit there and listen to what I’m saying; I’m not metaphorically speaking, I’m to the point. It’s like, [raps verse], I’m telling you exactly what I’m talking about. I’m putting my staff down. I’m here for a reason. I’m going to make sure you remember me. You know what I’m saying? This is what it is. Anybody out there slick talking or slick dissing, they know what it is too. So I just let it be known. No sugar coat.
How do you like how the cypher came out as a whole? I’m sure you’ve heard all of it with CES Cru. I love your collaboration from Malta Bend that you did with CES Cru. I was so happy when you threw them on that track because I think you guys sound great together.
It’s dope man. It’s beautiful. I think Ubi and Godi killed it. It’s a different texture, but it’s beautiful. I came the way I came, Ubi came the way he came, Godi came the way he came, but it still mixes because we’re cohesive with each other.
It all blends together but you still get distinct flavors. Have you heard Strangeulation Vol. II as a whole? Have you listened to the record?
I’ve heard a lot of it but I haven’t listened to the whole record. I got it pre-ordered, you know that. As soon as it comes through my phone I’ll be listening to it.
From what you’ve heard, what do you think about it? What’s your impression of it? I know a lot of fans are eager to hear this record.
It’s crazy man. I think it’s beautiful. Overall, I think it’s better than the last Strangeulation. I think Seven and Ben and every artist on there really did their thing.
I’m going to have to agree with you on that. I think, as far as elite skills and the display of that, it’s pretty on point. Your music brought this cat into the fold. We get to hear Darrein Saffron on this record. He’s been surprising a lot of people, not just outside the camp but inside the camp, with the amount of talent he’s brought.
And I’m glad everybody gets to see him. I don’t know if people really understand, but I’ve been messing with Darrein for a while now. Me and him were on 2 Birds 1 Stone together. I put him on 2 Birds 1 Stone with “Boo Thing”, so I’ve been working with him for years, and I’m glad that they’ve finally seen what he’s done. He’s very talented. What you guys are about to see, I’ve been knowing this for years, and I’m happy he’ll be able to showcase what he can really do. The sky’s the limit for this dude. He’s a star. No doubt about it.
What can you tell the fans about Darrein and what he brings to the table as an artist on Strange Music?
He’s young. He writes his ass off, and he just got it. You know, some people got it. You really can’t explain “it.” Either you got it or you don’t. There’s no gray area. He’s just one of those guys that gets it. Doing music is easy for him – second nature for him. It doesn’t take him really much thought.
I’ll hit him up, like, “Yo Darrein, I’m sending you a beat.” He’ll call back 10 minutes later and have a hook and a verse done – in 10 or 20 minutes and give it to me over the phone. Like, come on man, you ain’t getting that from a lot of people.
Have you heard his song with Tech?
Oh yeah. He’s going to take people by storm.
What are your plans after tour when you get back? What can we expect from Stevie Stone in 2016?
A whole lot of shit, I’ll tell you that. We got that big tour coming up, the Strangulation tour. Your boy’s got his passport now. I’m definitely looking forward to next year. It’s going to be a better year than this year, and this year’s already been a great year.
Let us know in the comments!