Written By: Jordan Smith
Originality: (3.5 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (4.0 / 5) Lyrics: (3.0 / 5) Production: (5.0 / 5) Average: (3.9 / 5)
Blue Collar Gang lyricist Stalley’s new project Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil saw him abandon his innocent Midwest persona in favor for more of a braggadocios demeanor. The lyrical content is more dynamic, but he remains true to his roots with raps about loyalty to friends, family & Chevy’s. He makes numerous anecdotes recalling his humble beginnings which fans should be familiar with, but what sets this project apart is that there’s more to the tale now than remaining humble. It’s now about enjoying the fruits of hard work, and the many luxuries over five years of sustained success in the rap game provides. Most of his past projects revolved around remaining humble in the face of said success, but Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil is where the buck stops.
The production was nothing to write home about, but it meshed well with Stalley’s delivery. The choice of features suited the focus of the album well. Stalley was able to recruit Migos and Young Scooter to provide verses to help guide the direction of the new album. The most standout tracks of the album, though were unassisted. “1 Deep (Solo)” set the tone of the album with its dark tone, and aggressive hard-hitting introductory lyrics.
“I’m not sending shots I’m sending scud misses” is an example of the kind of punchlines, he’s delivering on this project. As stated earlier, if you’ve been following Stalley for the near decade he’s been releasing music in a completely new style. The thing is he makes it work, and even parlays it into some catchy hooks as we see on “Turtle Van”. It seems as though he made a rather abrupt shift in direction that’s not been perfected yet. The hooks that were catchy basically run out by the time the EP ends. Some of the ad-libs seem forced, and so do some of the punchlines. The verse we get from Young Scooter is that it works surprisingly well, which could make you wonder if this shift in direction has upside.
Overall, it’s a perfect length of a project of its type. Experimental, but recognizable. At the end of the day though, it likely won’t be remembered as one of the top pieces of work that was released this year, but it is fair to say that it is one of the better Stalley project’s that’s been released since his debut several years ago.