Careful What You Wish For is the warning issued in this witty, “Umpa-Loompa” styled tale of ambition, success and the price that comes with it. It depicts a story of one’s desire for greatness, and the path followed to attain it. In doing so, one finds out that being successful creates just as many obstacles and problems as the journey itself presents; leading to the realisation that all that glitters isn’t gold.
Toronto rapper Staalin has been quietly ripping through the underground. Often describe as “the most underrated emcee in the game”, he has finally decided to step out from the shadows to take his rightful position among Hip Hop’s hottest artists.
Staalin first gained notoriety on the S.A.R.S 4 (Sick Artists Running Shit) mix tape, destroying a Just Blaze instrumental with a body blowing freestyle. He went on to drop verses for various DJ’s in the city such as DJ’s Law, Mensa, P Plus and 4 Korners. However, it was the release of his first single “Burn Slow” which highlighted Staalin’s effortless wordplay and flow.
His talent caught the eye of not only a hungry growing fan base, but other artists in the rap community. Not only has Staalin collaborated with fellow Torontonians Drake, Tona, and JD Era on the underground banger’s “416” and “Dial Tone Remix”, but he has also built relationships internationally recording music with American artists Mistah Fab, Aaron Staccato, and DV alias Khryst.
In December 2012, Staalin debuted his first studio album IRON KURTAIN 2.0 with the release of it’s single the club and radio banger “Get ‘Em All”. The track which features North Carolina rappers PGR Boyz and Jess J from LA, was nominated in 2013 for H.N.S Radio’s Song of the Year, finishing second in a tightly contested final vote. However, the Toronto MC remained undeterred.
Since his runner up placing, Staalin went on to win season three of Hottest N’ Sexiest Magazine’s Hottest Verse Contest, appearing on the cover of the aforementioned publication’s Summer 2013 issue. He followed that victory by obtaining the inaugural Hype 1 Video Contest Championship for his song “Bully Be Gone”, the artist’s vivid depiction of adolescents victimized by bullying, which can be found on his first mix tape FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE vol. 1 or F.R.W.L.
As skilled as he is on wax, Staalin’s ability to rock a crowd has garnered him many accolades and opportunities. He has been an opening act for some of Hip Hop’s elite MC’s. Killah Priest, Canibus, Jeru the Damaja and Obie Trice are just a few of those he has had the privilege of sharing a stage with.
As his popularity grew, so did his desire to be the very best artist in the industry. So, in the May of 2015, Staalin crafted his critically acclaimed sophomore album IRON KURTAIN 3: MAN OF STEEL. “IK3” as it is commonly referred to as, displayed a balance of the traditional Boom Bap inspired beats and rhymes, with flashes of the new school vibe. With songs such as “Young, Gifted and Black”, “W.A.S (We Are Slaves)” and the controversial lead single and video “Grand Entrance”, it is not hard to envision Staalin’s desires becoming a reality.
Despite the positive reviews of his album singles, it wasn’t until the release of his track “State of Emergency” in 2015 on the critically acclaimed Top Left Recordings produced M.I.C Series (Made In Canada) volume 9 mix tape, that sky rocketed the stock of the unsigned rapper. Ultimately leading him to opportunities to open for the likes of Obie Trice, JD Era and Ghettosocks at the Big Ticket Hip Hop showcase in Toronto.
Staalin continues to run through the underground circuit by asserting the notion that he is in fact the “best rapper period”. This proclaimation was again put to the test and reconfirmed with his victory at the 2nd annual T Dot Showdown Hip Hop Competition, taking on a field of young up and coming artists who were no match for the his lyrical song writing abilities.
It is becoming increasingly clear that Staalin can no longer be contained, and is ready for mainstream success while ushering in a new golden era in Hip Hop.