Stevie Stone is Definitely “Raising the Bar” (Album Review)

This is the 7th full-length album from Missouri emcee Stevie Stone. Garnering attention attention as one of the very last 2 artists to ever sign with Ruthless Records alongside Hopsin, both of their full-length debuts New Kid Comin’ & Gazing at the Moonlight received little to no promotion leading both artists to leave the crumbling label. Hopsin went on to form Funk Volume shortly after before closing shop in 2016 whereas Stevie signed to Strange Music in 2012. He eventually became one of the label’s flagship artists up until he left last spring to form his own label Ahdasee Records following his previous album Black Lion. But to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of being fully independent, Stevie is back in full-effect for Raising the Bar.

“Hostile Stone” kicks off the album with a thunderous trap banger about putting his foot on these other rappers’ necks whereas “Raise the Bar” with Flawless Real Talk, JL, Locksmith, Spaide R.I.P.P.E.R. & Statik G finds the 6 on top of a Hellish beat flexing their lyrical prowesses. “Sincerly Smokin’” comes through with a cloudy weed-smoker’s theme, but then Daun P tags along for the sensual “Sex Flex Yes” which is probably my least favorite cut on the album. Meanwhile on “M.O.T.F. (Money on the Floor)”, we have Krizz Kaliko & Sage the Gemini joining Stevie for a decent party starter just before “Don’t Be Late” takes a more melodic route talking about how “this our song”.

“B.S.P. (Big Shit Poppin’)” returns into cloudy trap territory explaining that he makes this look easy, but then Daun P & Lyrikal TMG come into the picture for the gritty “Minding My Business” talking about how they don’t got time for fuckery. The penultimate track “East I-70” comes through by reflecting while driving down the titular highway & “Cold Revenge” ends the album with a piano ballad by dissing all the “friends” of his that betrayed him.

For this to be his 1st musical statement since leaving Strange, I think fans will be more than satisfied with it. There are some weak points for sure, but Stevie does manage to increase the stakes with his raw lyricism & knack for neck-snapping production.

Score: 7/10

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Legends Will Never Die

Just a 27 year old guy from Detroit, Michigan who passionately loves hip hop culture & music as a whole

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