Richmond hip hop mainstay Joey Gallo gives us all the details about his upcoming project with rapper Stalley’s new label, Blue Collar Gang.
Over the summer I had the chance to speak to a longtime friend of mine and RVA veteran emcee, Joey Gallo, at WRIR studios. Gallo, a longtime collaborator with the late, legendary Richmond producer Kleph Dollaz, has been on the Richmond scene for well over ten years now, and has worked with local heavyweights like AGM, Noah-O, Illa Styles, and Chance Fischer.
Gallo has become one of the most respected rhyme writers in the state of Virginia; for those who might not be familiar with the name, you may know his voice as the intro theme for Big Nat on 106.5 The Beat. Lately he has been at work on his latest project with former Maybach Music Group rapper Stalley’s new label, BCG. I had the opportunity to catch up and talk about Gallo’s plans for the future as well as what he’s been up to since his last project.
HipHop Henry: What’s been going on since [2016’s] The Gallory?
Joey Gallo: Since The Gallory, you know, did a lot of shows. A lot of people really love that project. I really pushed that joint, put the videos out, got some good exposure with the videos and some good interviews. And then it was back to just living life, man.
I’m the type of person where I like to live the album before I put it out. You know what I’m saying? Sometimes, artists can oversaturate you with music, and then it tends to kind of fall in the same vein, almost. A lot of my peers always tell me, don’t wait as long, you know, fans that rock with me. But sometimes I just like to live.
But I’m getting better with that too though, because I got like two more projects in the cut. This [upcoming] album right here was just me living and just seeing life from all different vantage points. You know what I’m saying?
HHH: So that’s the name of the album?
JG: The name of the album is Vantage Points. It’s just me experiencing things, from the top of the spectrum all the way to the bottom of the spectrum, realizing that you are that same person from the top to the bottom. And the people that’s at the top, it’s not much separating them from the people that are at the bottom, and vice versa. It’s just seeing life from all of those views.
HHH: So that’s what’s going to be on this album then? We’re getting worldview Joey Gallo?
JG: This album is a little bit more edgy, a little bit harder, but yet at the same time, still getting that world feel. Just to zoom through the spectrum, things that I’ve seen. Like, I’ve been in some great and extraordinary moments because of music, whether it be my music put me in that situation or whether it be music is what formed the relationship to put me in that situation. I’ve experienced some awesome moments. It’s just your perspective of those moments, from your view.
HHH: Working with Ill Maestro again, what’s the role this time around?
JG: Ill Maestro produced the whole project. Me and him have an extraordinary chemistry.
Shout out to my cousin Rio — for those that don’t know, Rio is a Grammy award-winning writer right here from Richmond. Went to John Marshall, he wrote for Ashanti, Diddy, Jill Scott, the list goes on. Me and him were supposed to have been done music together, and he was like “Yo, I want to introduce you to this dude, super dope producer.” And you know me — I’m a realist. I’m like, “Yo, don’t be trying to pawn no little rinky-dink ass producer cause you ain’t trying to work on it.” He was like “Nah, Nah, Nah. Trust me.”
So I linked up with Maestro. He had heard my name before and heard some stuff I did. Then I gave him the vision for The Gallory. We did that and it was beautiful, a lot of love. So many people will be going back to that album before it’s all said and done. And we really appreciate that project more.
HHH: You’re working with Stalley; let’s talk about the relationship right there. How’d that even come about?
JG: It’s crazy, man — the universe works in the most crazy ways. I met Stalley a few weeks after Kleph [Dollaz] passed. Me and Kleph was in the studio together talking about, “Yo, when we link up with Stalley…” Because my manager, BJ, managed Stalley at the time. Stalley was on tour with Kendrick Lamar. The BET Music Matters Tour. Kleph was like “Yo, I got some beats for Stalley, you know what I’m saying?” He was playing joints. Three weeks after he passed, me and Stalley met. Then the relationship and the bond just formed.
HHH: You’re signed to his new label as well, correct?
JG: This is my first project under BCG (Blue Collar Gang). Stalley approached me and was like, “Yo, it only makes sense, because it’s a family thing.” Like, all of us are a family trying to help put each other on.
HHH: Is Stalley on the album?
JG: [Pauses] He might be, might be, he might be. [laughs] But I can tell you who is on the album. Stalley might be on there. My man Truck North from Philly, from The Roots Crew, is on the album. My man Chris Scholar from Richmond, dope singer out there in L.A killing it right now. Me and him got a crazy joint for the ladies. That’s fire. I got Francoise, one of the dopest singers I’ve ever worked with in the world. Francoise is so amazing. She’s on the album. Can’t forget — can forget, I didn’t want to — but I got Nickelus out for the hour. Me and Nick got a crazy joint. Nick is amazing, man. N****s doing what we do on the album, man. Just super dope talent.
HHH: When can we expect Vantage Points?
JG: I’m dropping it early fall or late summer. Early fall. Yeah. Late summer, early fall. It’s seasonal music.
Gallo still has some visuals coming from The Gallory, as well as a teaser for the upcoming project, so watch out for that. You can get all the details by following Joey Gallo on Instagram @joeygallo.
Top Photo via Joey Gallo/Facebook
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