(AllHipHop News Feature) Stalley has been all over the world and recently all over the country. Not far removed from his participation in the BET Music Matters Tour, the Massillon native has taken that momentum and focused it on merchandise.
Just before the holiday, Stalley went from Philadelphia, his first of three launch cities, to Cleveland, Ohio, where a large crowd awaited his arrival at Ruvilla in Tower City. Numerous Blue Collar Gang members, including Detroit’s Boldy James and Columbus native Vada, joined him.
“It’s been great, the reception’s been great.” Stalley said. “Philly was awesome, here, back home the turn out was amazing, and it’s just always good to get that love and support not only with the music but with the line and the brand.”
For one of the first times, fans got to get a glimpse of and purchase BCG apparel and physically represent a movement that helps makes their voices heard.
“I know there’s people that’s been with me since day one that just want to share this moment with me, and it’s beautiful to have them wearing it on they chest and proud to be wearing it,” he said. “It’s for people like myself, the hard workers. We keep it at a low price-point, and we keep it lifestyle, and we keep it affordable for those to be able to wear it and represent it and still look fly a little bit.”
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[Hometown Hero Stalley Returns To Ohio For Blue Collar Gang Clothing Launch from AllHipHop on Vimeo]
A handful of BCG members were on-hand for a performance at the clothing showcase. Boldy James was originally connected to Stalley through mutual friends but their bond goes beyond that and beyond music.
“Chuck Inglish and Mikey Rocks, they was making music with Stalley and I didn’t know that my manager went to college with Stalley so it’s just family ties and six degrees of separation type s###,” said Boldy James. “It’s a Midwest thing; a lot of my Detriot guys we got a lot of family here in the O.”
Stalley says he has even more plans in store for the line in the months and years to come. At the end of the event, a pair of customized Blue Collar Gang Nikes were brought out in a glass case, displaying the brand’s potential.
“This is just a soft opening. We’ve got so much bigger plans for the brand and for the line, but we’re gonna get into the sneakers and the jewelry, into the accessories, more into the cut and sew soon here. But for right now, it’s just more about establishing the brand and getting people familiar with it,” Stalley said.
“I came from a small town, I made something out of nothing, but I didn’t want it to be the typical rags to riches story, I just wanted to speak for all the people in the middle. There so many small towns that get forgotten, and there’s so many of us that work hard and that’s talented, that have artistic minds and that have drive. And I just want to be that voice and that show, and point to see that they can do it, too.”