Stevie Stone – New Kid Comin’
“Wait A Minute” single
Simmering deep in the middle of America is one of hip-hop’s best kept secrets. Poised and ready to dish and deliver is the 25-year-old Columbia, Missouri native nearly scientifically and all naturally composed of lyrical versatility, broad range, and diverse music. Liken him to hip-hop’s unprecedented bionic man, ready to leap through lyrics and bound through bass at any given moment. A hip-hop hero in the making, Stevie Stone is here to save the day. One spin around his aptly titled New Kid Comin’ album and you’ll understand why.
Before music became the center of his world, Stevie Stone was an enthusiastic baller, but not the type that immediately comes to mind. Instead of a preoccupation with “bling,” physical education ruled his world. As a child, his extracurricular time was usurped primarily by basketball and secondarily football. Stone was raised principally by his hard working mother along with his sisters but at the age of 13, he began spending time with his preacher father who resided in Iowa before passing some time ago. “I had my troubles for the most part, but my father really gave me balance and kept me doing productive stuff and going to church every Sunday,” Stone says about his early years. While Stone spent the majority of his free time active in athletics, music was always the underlying current in his life. “Music was really in my family. My mom plays the piano. My dad played the piano and all my siblings sing.” As Stone grew older and embarked on new paths, ripe with life altering decision making, hip-hop would become his sport of choice. “Around high school, I was in between what I wanted to do. I had a scholarship to play basketball at a college in Iowa but music was pulling me,” Stone admits. It wasn’t until that fateful day in 2001 when Stone stepped on the stage and his future was ultimately determined for him. “It was the first time I performed at a live show,” Stone recollects, opening for several artists including fellow Missouri native Tech9, with whom he would later establish a brotherhood bond. “It was at the Fairgrounds in Fulton, Missouri and me and my clique got on because we knew the promoter of the show and had been making noise around town.” Stone felt the adrenaline of being on stage and everything else paled in comparison. “Once we got done with the set, I knew it was what I wanted to do.” Days after the show, Stone and his friends paraded around their neighborhood like regional rap stars. Living off the rush, Stone was impatient for what was next. And then everything seemed to stand still.
“The next week had come along and nothing was moving and that’s when I realized I had to get out and do some more footwork,” Stone admits humbly. For the next two years, he would pound the pavement, performing at talent shows, booking small concerts at local venues like Columbia’s Blue Note where most big artists came when passing through the town, and trengthening relationships with area entertainment industry folks. Stone reunited with Tech9 along the way and opened for him as well as Snoop Dogg, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Murphy Lee in his hometown. As his popularity began to inflate, Stone made the decision to expand out to St. Louis. While recording at Phat Buddha studios in the Lou’, Stone was eventually recruited as an artist on their Fly Moves Production company roster. He soon recorded the battle anthem for the St. Louis Rams that was played in video and audio format at all the home games throughout the 2005-2006 season. In 2006, Stone traveled to Atlanta, after being accepted to showcase as an up and coming artist at the Billboard Hip-Hop and R&B Conference. It was there that Stone met Tomica Woods-Wright, CEO of the legendary Ruthless Records.
“Tomica met with one of my production people and that was the first time that I caught wind that she liked my lingo and the original joints I had.” But she wouldn’t sign him on the spot. There was still work to be done. “A couple of months later, I was performing in St. Louis and Tomica was there with staff from Ruthless and they let me know they wanted to hear more music.” Stone immediately went back into the studio and effortlessly compiled more demos. By 2007, Tomica had heard enough. Stone was signed to Ruthless Records and the full on construction of his debut album New Kid Commin’ commenced.
Stone’s album is complete with smart and witty lyricism, neologisms known as “Himmi Hyme” come from Stone’s “Himmihyminary” (a dictionary of self-created lingo), bumping baselines, and an uncanny yet appealing sound that just cannot be pigeonholed. From the title track and certified arrival anthem that boasts of impacting vocals over sparse yet percolating percussion to the dance-inciting, hard hitting, and hypnotizing melodic arrangement of “Rap Gamez Callin’,” Stone shows his dues debt has paid off. His first album and he’s already locked down collaborations with Murphy Lee on “Gotta Love G’s,” the St. Louis anthem with the contagious chorus, Tech9 on the head bobbing banger “Midwest Explosion,” and the iconic funk doctor George Clinton on the Stone’s remake of “Red Wine.” “That was a blessing,” Stone declares. “I did the joint (“Red Wine”) and the chief engineer on the song was able to get it to George Clinton. George thought it was hot and offered to jump on it. We sent him the track and he sent us the finished files back. I believe he was in Moscow when we got the track back.” Now that’s a feat even the most talented of established artists would have a hard time accomplishing. ‘Nuff said? Just throw a cape on this man’s back because with the release of New Kid Comin’, Stevie Stone solidifies his spot as more than just a savior to hip-hop, he’s a certified superstar.
Street Runnaz Click
“Get Low” single
After creating a significant buzz performing in their hometown of Atlanta, it was only a matter of time before the Street Runnaz Click would blow from kiddies faves to opening act for several national artist, while securing a deal with Ruthless Records. The group members consist of producer/rapper The Trillest Beatz, Free Sinatra and J-Riva. The 19 year olds lyrics are positive and do not eschews foul and graphic language. Jig Wit It, an undeniably catchy song, is already being hailed as a club favorite and is poised to becoming a national hit.
The 3-man collective became an underground sensation, due to receiving over three-hundred thousand hits and close to a million plays on their MySpace website. The results were compelling enough to get an offer from Ruthless Records. “We held the #1 spot for two years straight on MySpace for unsigned artist”, exclaims J-Riva. “The reason it took so long is because no one believed we did not already have a deal, so we were overlooked.”
Instead of the predictable gangsta musical blueprint, the trio opts to make danceable tunes such as Get Low, Monty Carlo and Feel Good which are included on their forthcoming, untitled album. Additionally, the group is taking full advantage of the booming digital-era to click their way into several potentially historic deals with their unique nature and worldwide Internet presence.
From the crowded hallways of Creekside High, where each individual met, to the flourishing rap scene in Atlanta, to winning virtually every hip-hop performance competiotion they ever entered in Atlanta, youtube and myspace generation junkie’s body limbs moved to their addictive southern style music. The group also has their own social networking site called “The Fam Club,” which is a social networking site with a purpose. “The Fam Club” helps users with what they need and not just the things that they want.
Street Runnaz Click’s music continues to foster Atlanta’s many definitive styles with their embrace of the snap music craze. “My father use to manage Mook B (D4L) back in the days,” Sinatra explains. “We were doing the music and dance before it became popular to the masses,” he continues.
Their rapid ascent to stardom was almost a decade in the making. “It started off in 8th grade with me and J-Riva; it was just something to do, to pass time, sort of like a hobby. We met free when he came to the school and put him on the team and the rest is history,” states Trillest.
The high energy performance from the group helped them to appear on the stage along side, some of the industry leading acts; including Dem Franchize Boyz, Young Dro, Boyz N Da Hood, Lil Jon, Lil Wayne, Killer Mike, Mike Jones, Slim Thug, T.I., Young Jeezy and many more.
Street Runnaz Click has also begun honing their acting chops by taking on acting roles and making appearances in a hard hitting, hip-hop stage play called “Speak, I’m Listening,” which was written and directed by actor/director Tyga Graham of Tyler Perry Fame. Their future includes more work with Mr. Graham including an upcoming movie called, “Reciprocity,” and a new Atlanta-based cable/Internet series titles, “Cascade Heights,” anticipated to debut in the late fall.
The group has set the bar extremely high for their career aspirations. For each milestone achieved, they set another. “…you never accomplish all of your life’s goals until you die.” Says Free Sinatra. That mindset keeps the group constantly striving for more.
With just enough life experience under their belt, the trio is sure to enter manhood with an album that not only bolsters their reputation, but will set their foundation as a much needed addition to the Atlanta hip-hop realm.