Devy Stonez - Rolling Stonez-cover

“His storytelling has small hints of the Native Tongue vibe as well as sneered identity a la Kanye West… he figures to play heavy in Dallas’ future.”

These are the words editor-in-chief Brandon Caldwell used to describe Devy Stonez last June. It’s a stretch to call the EIC a prophet, but here we are one year and some months later, with Stonez now a fixture in the New Dallas movement and fresh off the release of his debut LP, Rolling Stonez. The album, released on all major outlets last week, serves as the follow-up to the Louisiana-made but Dallas-residing’s Stepping Stonez EP last December. It’s fitting, in fact – because Stonez appeared to “step up” his production value and delivery in every way.

Propelled forward by lead singles “The Invite” and “Slow It Down,” Rolling Stonez clocks in at double the length of its predecessor (nine tracks compared to Stepping’s four). Production is handled by some of Devy Stonez’s usual suspects – Adot, Larce Blake, and Berry Bank$ – with two new faces in DJ Flipp (who laces “Life” with a monstrous beat) and Nyce. The album’s features are limited to just Danny Cainco and KissedKilled; both provide solid contributions, but the minimal features ensure that Stonez isn’t drowned out by a crowd.

Not that the emcee need worry about that, given how talented Devy is. From album opener track “Geaux” (aptly titled after Stonez’s Louisiana roots), Rolling Stonez functions as one continuous ride that encompasses an array of moods and sounds. On “Life” thumps and bangs as Stonez snarls, “You got me f*cked up!” on the track’s hook. But then Devy Stonez talks his shit and anoints himself as the bearer of greatness on standout cut “Been A Winner.”

Even smokers will find themselves rolling up to Stepping Stonez just because it’s seamless without being redundant. The way “Slow It Down” eases into “Target,” for example, is a thing of beauty, and “Eight Thirty One” is absolutely worth lighting up to. So that by the time listeners arrive to the country-rap outro bonus track “Southside,” Rolling Stonez appears to cut its ride short. It ends before it begins. Or, maybe, Rolling Stonez’ abrupt ending intends to sound the beginning of Devy Stonez’s rise. Not just in Dallas, but in the South period.

Stream Devy Stonez’s Rolling Stonez LP guilt-free for yourself down below. Rolling Stonez is out now on iTunes.