Shinobi Stalin
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Shinobi Stalin

Orlando, Florida, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Orlando, Florida, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Hip Hop Hip Hop




"Invisible Man Review"

“Games Should Never Play”
“Granite” feat. Roc Marciano
“His Story”

We’re in the age of heavy drums, synths, and trap beats along with rappers who are struggling to find their own lane and would rather copy and paste someone else’s style so they can “make music”. I’m not sure when or even if this will die but I can stomach some of it. Sadly there aren’t very many original artists anymore, which is one of the reasons why I like Shinobi Stalin. Stalin, from the Orlando area, has been making music for some time and has even been featured on the predecessor of this site; with his gritty flow and boom-bap production he stands out compared to what I’m used to hearing in the submission folder. It also helps that he’s a good story teller with his rhymes. He released Invisible Man in late January and it’s full of everything mentioned earlier.

IM is the story of how Shinobi Stalin became who he currently is today. A song like “Welcome To Ozone” tells the story of racial profiling by police and driving around the rougher areas of Orlando. Luckily he doesn’t get busted in this story; the “cops converge/to let me know/I’m free to go” and he leaves the scene unscathed and without tickets. “Control” echoes these sentiments as well but more along the lines of we’re under control of a corrupt system. The fact that there’s substance to these verses and it’s over headnod inducing beats makes for a high replay value for much of the album. Then you have the “N****r Rican” track, which is a testament to Stalin’s roots. He sets it up by speaking on it at the end of “His Story”, talking about how people expect him to speak Spanish because of the way he looks.

For someone to release an album that resembles a bit of 90’s hip-hop it would be awful for there to not be good lyrics over the loops and kicks but that’s not the case for IM. Stalin is able to hold his own with proven lyricist Roc Marciano on “Granite” as well as with the other features; he doesn’t get out-rapped on any of his songs with features. Lyrically this is one of the better albums to be released in 2014. One of the few knocks on the album though is that the beats begin to run together, with the exception of “His Story”; it features a sped up loop from Chrono Trigger over some kicks and snares, allowing Stalin to rhyme about the future of the world.

Overall Invisible Man is a great listen. The beats make it worthy of replay and Shinobi Stalin is nice with the lyrics; the way he tells stories on songs is enviable for upcoming artists and if you listen you can feel the soul and heart that was put into the making of this album. Outside of the mastering, this is solid. To do a project like this, and to make music like this in a day where it’s not popular due to “trapping out the bando”, is applaudable for the angle that he took for it. If he’s not on your watch list for this year, then you should go ahead and pencil him in…or type it on your notepad on your phone. Just make a note that Shinobi Stalin is nice. - Joe Hova's Mindframe

"Invisible Man Review"

"Invisible Man" is the latest album from Orlando emcee Shinobi Stalin. The album features guest appearances from Roc Marciano, J Biz, Mike Rosa, Kap Kallous and The Vets Of Kin as well as production from Reeplay, Abbott, Tempermental and others. It was released on January 25, 2014 via Fly Def Music Group.

1) Application - The album begins with Shinobi Stalin rapping about his personal flaws and weaknesses over an upbeat Reeplay instrumental that is mainly comprised of some funky synths and softly distorted guitars over energetic drums. The beat has my head nodding and the lyrics are honest and personal, with Stalin trying to turn his negatives into positives while bettering his listeners at the same time. Yeah, I'm feelin' this one. Good way to start off the album.

2) Here Not There Inv - The beat on this track, courtesy of Abbott, features an ethereal vocal sample layered over dreamy synths and pianos that give the beat a real light feel. Lyrically Shinobi Stalin comes through and kicks some rhymes about how he is usually able to fade into the background and not be noticed, relating this feeling into being a ghost and to being "here, but not here." The clever use of a Ghostface Killah sample at the beginning and ending of the song with Ghost basically saying the same thing is well placed and helps to further the point of the song. Dope shit.

3) Games Should Never Play - Somewhat similar to the previous song, this track has a real breezy instrumental, also by Abbott, with an airy sample, some soft pianos, strings and minimal drums. The beat is real dope and Stalin bodies it, kicking some vivid stories about the bullshit that goes on in some relationships. I think pretty much everyone can find something to relate to with this one. Nice.

4) New Tone - Shinobi Stalin spits fire over an ill Tone Blare instrumental with a chopped up vocal loop, ambient chimes and strings layered over boom-bap drums. The beat and scratching has got my head nodding like crazy and Stalin's lyrics are real personal, with the Orlando based emcee rapping about chasing fame and success, but always pulling back at the last minute to stay out of the spotlight. Very dope track.

5) Change - Reeplay returns with the production duties on this track, delivering another dope instrumental featuring some distorted pianos and keys over head nodding drums. As far as the lyrics go, Shinobi rides the beat nicely and kicks a story about growing up and eventually parting ways with one of his friends who couldn't seem to let the street life go. So far all of the beats and rhymes on the album have been top notch and this track is no exception. Nice.

6) Granite (featuring Roc Marciano) - The beat on this track, provided by Tempermental, probably has the darkest feel of any of the instrumentals so far, with some ominous strings layered over melodious piano keys and somewhat low key drums. Shinobi Stalin shares the mic with one of my favorite emcees, Roc Marciano, and the end result is straight fire, with both emcees sounding really great over the forlorn instrumental. Despite all of the dope tracks on the album so far, this one stands out as being especially ill for me.

7) Energon - This song has a much lighter vibe to it after the dreary feel of the previous track, as Reeplay delivers a bouncy instrumental full of funky guitars, strings and the occasional vocal sample. Shinobi Stalin comes through and kicks some more introspective rhymes about not always needing to be in the spotlight and about being just fine staying in the back, observing and planning his moves. Nice.

8) Welcome To Ozone - Shinobi Stalin spits about the harsh realities of his hometown over another darker Tempermental beat, this time with some sinister organs and a subtle vocal loop over the boom-bap drums. The beat and lyrics both come together to paint a much bleaker picture of what Orlando is really like, far from all of the postcards and tourist destination attractions. Dope.

9) Control - After a short skit setting up the theme of the song, the beat on this track, by Tone Blare, kicks in and features a stirring string sample that has a slightly melancholy feel to it and is then layered over shuffling drums that lighten the mood a bit. The subject matter of the song, however, is still pretty deep, as Shinobi Stalin spits some rhymes about how the government and those in power strive to control and oppress the populace. Dope shit.

10) His Story - Holy shit. Abbott comes through and laces the beat with a crazy sample from one of my top SNES games ever, "Chrono Trigger", that's got my nodding my head like crazy. I'm really feelin' the beat on this one since I've always been a sucker for "Chrono Trigger" samples (ya know, with it being my favorite video game soundtrack of all time and such). Anyways, the beat is ill and Shinobi Stalin rips it, going through history to make a point that nothing lasts forever and that time will always win out in the end. Nice.

11) Nigger Rican - Shinobi Stalin raps about his mixed heritage and how it affected his life growing up in the Bronx (and eventually Orlando) over a reflective Abbott instrumental that provides the perfect soundscape for Stalin's retelling of his personal journey. The beat is dope, the rhymes are open and forthright, and the scratching from DJ Stranger and DJ YNot just adds an extra layer of lushness to the track. Dope.

12) Defly Fly (featuring J Biz) - Shinobi Stalin and guest J Biz trade off verses over an energetic self-produced instrumental that has a strong old school hip-hop vibe to it. The beat definitely sounds unique on the album, with the ambient sample layered over soft pianos, synths and old school breakbeat drums, and both emcees come correct over it, sticking with the theme and spitting some rhymes utilizing lyrics and wordplay straight out of hip-hops golden era. Very nice.

13) Sing The Blues - The beat on this track, courtesy of Abbott, features some cinematic strings, pianos and a soulful vocal loop for Shinobi Stalin to get busy over. As far as the rhymes go, Stalin doesn't disappoint, kicking some rhymes about how people handle their emotions differently and about how most men are quick to release anger while keeping feelings of sadness to themselves. Dope.

14) Brothers Influence (featuring Mike Rosa) - Robot Oxford delivers an instrumental utilizing a sample that I've heard before, but can't place for some reason. I want to say Prodigy and Alchemist used it on their "Return of the Mac" album, but I'm not sure on that one. Anyways, the beat is ill, with some jazzy horns that distort during the verses, and Shinobi Stalin and guest Mike Rosa both sound good over it, rapping about skateboarding at their favorite skate parks and about all the trouble they would get into while doing it. Nice.

15) N.I.K.E. (featuring Kap Kallous and The Vets Of Kin) - This is the obligatory posse cut on the album and its quite dope. The beat, by Reeplay, has a minimalistic golden era feel to it that I'm diggin' and every featured emcee sounds really good over it. I must admit that I'm not familiar with any of the emcees on here besides Shinobi himself, but I can say that there are no weak verses to be found. The song is quite long, clocking in at over six minutes long, but there is really no filler on here despite the songs length. Hopefully I get to hear more from these guys in the future. Dope shit.

16) Nothing Like It - After the more laid back previous cut, the final song on the album features an energetic Soy Is Real instrumental that I'm definitely feeling. The beat is full of lush violins and strings blended over the hard hitting drums. Lyrically Shinobi Stalin rides the beat nicely and raps about his love of hip-hop and all of its elements, from break dancing to emceeing to graffiti. This shit is fire and is a real good way to close out an already impressive album.

I'm going to rate the album

4.25 / 5

because pretty much every song on here is quality material. The beats are consistently dope throughout, with many having a golden era boom-bap feel that you all know I'm a huge fan of. The album sticks pretty closely to this formula the entire way through, with nary a trap beat or attempted radio hit to be found. I definitely have to give Shinobi Stalin props for keeping it real to both hip-hop and to himself as an artist and individual. Speaking of Stalin, his rhymes are just as strong as the instrumentals, with the Orlando based emcee touching on many personal topics such as his mixed heritage and his hesitation to be in the spotlight. It's rare you hear rhymes so personal and well thought out throughout an entire album, so the project definitely gets some extra points there. Don't sleep on this one guys. Pick it up on iTunes or via the Amazon link below.

Favorite Tracks: Here Not There INV, New Tone, Granite, His Story, Nothing Like It - Rap-Essence

"Zombie Skool Review Carminelitta's World"

I first told you about Shinobi Stalin when I presented his single Spiritual Law featuring his cousin Word Chemist (catch up here) and I have more to share from him. This album isn’t new, it actually came out in 2008, but I think it definitely deserves to be under my spolight and in your collection. Here is why…

The word I would use to describe Zombie Skool is positivity. From the very first notes of YGB to the closing track Soul rap, Shinobi Staling spreads inspiring messages through well-written lyrics and mostly chilled, jazzy productions. Keeping a balance between lighter topics and more personal and ‘serious’ subjects, he manages to come out with a very uplifting and enjoyable album that is easily put on repeat over and over again. It is definitely feel-good music, while staying true to the spirit of hip-hop and ‘educating’ young people and all the listeners. I particularly appreciate the concept of the project and this teaching aspect, which is a reflection of Shinobi’s job and shows how education can take many forms and reach people in different ways.

In the same way as a day in school is made of different periods, some where you need to concentrate and work hard, others where you can relax and enjoy your time off, Zombie Skool enables you to let your mind go through different phases. It can be open to receive some motivational messages and to be fed with interesting ideas but it can also let go and of stress and be relieved from life hardships. The perfect example of the latter is Smoke break, with a very nice and chilled production courtesy of Shinobi himself. This is one of my favourites and it is definitely a great way to relax and to relate to Shinobi’s need to disconnect from the daily routine. The smoke break is taken as a metaphor and I really like the way he played with that, underlining the need to ‘breathe in all the positive energy’ and to ‘blow out all the negative excess’. This relative lightness of subject can also be found in Confessions of a sneaker addict, which title is quite transparent and in SNM, another one of my favourites, partly because of the great jazzy and uplifting prod, where Shionobi makes a comparison between skating and being an MC, stressing the fact that they are both part of him and different ways for him to express himself.

After the break, you can come back to the classroom to enjoy Shinobi’s lessons on life and music, as well as his story-telling and introspective moments. With tracks like the opening YGB (Young, Gifted & Brown), Close driven or Messiah complex the MC delivers positive and inspiring messages to the youth, especially from minorities, encouraging them to keep pushing and never giving up on their dreams and goals, reminding them that they can achieve anything if they put their mind to it. Shinobi then shares his take on music and explains how he is doing it with his soul and ‘for the love in the first place’ (Soul rap). He also reminds people that being an MC isn’t for everyone (Circle master) and how there is a need for hustling and grinding until you can ‘reach the top’ (Hustle and flow). Joined by Vets of Kin, he indulges in ego-tripping with SG1, which is an appropriate title that reflects the martial dimension of their message and the images they use.

Shinobi Stalin finally gets ‘deeper’ and more personal with tracks like My life in life which is a very honest and open piece where he tells us about being rejected and being alone, while pushing to make it in this world. Other important subjects he touches upon are violence and guns and the need to fight ignorance with knowledge, using the power of the mind (Gunz, Prophet). Finally he draws a sad but not completely dark picture of society in What a shame, describing different ways how people can fail to cherish life and make the most of it, sinking in very deeps waters of despair and negativity. This is definitely not the choice he is making, and Zombie Skool is a way for him to focus on optimism and faith in a better world. Listening to the album makes me feel good for sure, it gives me hope and lift my spirits and that alone is a very good reason why you should do the same and on a regular basis too!

Now that you know a little bit more about the album and if you need any more encouragement to support Shinobi Stalin’s music. Enjoy and spread the word.

- Carminelitta

"Zombie Skool Album Review Insomniac Mag"


By combining the elements of Jazz, Soul, Punk aesthetics, and traditional Hip Hop, Shinobi Stalin’s debut full-length shines forth with a lyrical prowess that many would agree is missing in today’s hip hop shuffle. In other words, the music (lyrically and production-wise) takes on a style of its own. “Zombie School” strikes a balance between light and dark, happiness and misery, content and discontent. Built around a wide array of samples, the album is aesthetically based in mid-90s hip hop production without falling to the boredom that comes with most “throw back” rap music. Shunning the clichés that have become staples of hip hop music, Shinobi tackles concepts including ethnicity (Y.G.B. & My Life In Life) , corrupt gun laws (Gunz) and his own mortality to name a few.

The production throughout the album is excellent, with everyone handing in some of his best work. Juniali impresses on “Y.G.B., SNM (SK8) & Us Them”; K Delight & DJ Solo on all their cuts on the tracks “Prophet” and “Gunz”, Tony Blare, Vision Quest, Domingo and Reeplay on the ones they do, while Am I Am wouldn’t let his partner down, with his lyrical prowess and beat fitting the mood of SS perfectly on the track “Hustle and Flow”. And Shinobi himself even finds the time to do some production on the rest. With “Zombie School” you get no frills, no fronts and no fake shit.

Shinobi is in your face with the realness of a true hip hop artist that has paid his dues and put in his work to get where he is today. He’s got a holier than thou’ rhyme style, neck breaking beats, and a continued sarcastic undertone, all of that wrapping this up in a distilled micro style of what Central Florida has to offer. What could also explain the affiliation with many artists; check the sick posse cut “SG1? with Vets of Kin. The beats are incredible and the variety in content allows the listener to enjoy the album through and through. Great beats are one thing, but he really rides them well with a fine tuned flow.

The album accomplishes to combine several styles, from the straight up bragging and boasting with a strong straightforward undertone, to the surprisingly open reciting of content that comes straight from the heart. You never get the sense that this LP is forced or put on. So to finally receive a product from a relatively unknown artist not only provides hope that good music still exists but that some artists actually understand that a first impression is important to a listener. SS truly is comparable to many of the more heralded underground artists of today. Since this is just the beginning, I am anxiously awaiting to see what is yet to come from a young, gifted and brown individual in Shinobi Stalin.

- Insomnaic Magazine

"Zombie Skool Album Review AboveGround Mag"

So I was given the task to review Shinobi Stalin’s “Zombie Skool” today and a couple things intrigued me. For one, this cats MC name, Shinobi Stalin is a very unique alias. Those of you that know me know I have a little knowledge about MC’s with crazy names (shout out my boy, Taiyamo Denku). Two, the album title: Zombie Skool. I won’t front, I didn’t know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. I usually look for a banger to open an album, but Shinobi throws us a curve ball and opens with a positive and uplifting track called: “YGB” (Young, Gifted and Brown). Over a mellow horn laced head-nodder he drops knowledge with lines like: “I was predicted by these eighty fivers to fail/on the fact of my heritage, either dead or in jail/I proved them wrong at least for the moment I thought I did/this track is dedicated to the kids, it’s how you live that matters most.”

It was extremely refreshing to listen to this album because, as any hip-hop head knows, it’s really difficult to find the gems in the garbage. So, it was a real treat to have this hand delivered to me. Shinobi was Bronx-born, but grew up in Orlando. You can hear the New York influence throughout the record and this is not a bad thing at all. “Zombie Skool” is packed with mid-tempo head-nodders, knowledge-laden hooks and most importantly, this kid feels what he is trying to present to the listener. Sometimes you come across MC’s that try to convey an emotional message and paint a picture, but fail miserably because you can tell they don’t even believe what they are talking about. Shinobi Stalin nails it dead-on, he puts you there; he paints the picture and makes you see what he feels and now-a-days there are not many MC’s that can do this anymore.

“Close Driven” is one of the standouts on the album, it is a retrospective about Shinobi’s everyday struggles and doubts about his place in society. Lines like: “Just listen, I don’t expect much/a little effort, learn early not to post up and front,” remind himself and the listener, “I know where I’m at, but I know I am capable of more.” I really enjoyed this track because I could relate to it wholeheartedly and I try to stay away from comparisons, but in this case it’s warranted; the sound and style reminds me of Black Moon.

The production perfectly complements his flow and delivery. “Messiah Complex”, “My Life In Life” and “USTHEM” are more of my favorites and I feel like these tracks do the best job of showcasing Shinobi’s skill. Even overdone concepts like one’s love for sneakers (I myself am a sneaker addict), “Confessions of a Sneaker Addict”, was done well because of the production and lyrical content. Plus, I can’t front on the Nas scratch sample at the end of the track.

Overall, this is a great album. The mixes are more than solid, the production works together perfectly, and most importantly Shinobi Stalin’s ability is apparent throughout. This will for sure stay in rotation for a while and you should cop this album if you get the chance.
- Above Ground Magazine


Shinobi Stalin "Invisible Man"

Shinibi Stalin "Zombie Skool"
Shinobi Stalin "Meet your Teacher Day mixtape"
Caveman theory "Cromagnum mixtape"
Beat Ministry "Vol 1"
J Biz" Real Audio"
Dj Slique "Kellys hero's mixtape"
Ridiculous Reeplay "Come With Me"
Civil Mics Movement "Mixtape We Shall Over Come"
Guerilla Platoon "welcome to the jungle"
Derelict "Underground vol 1"



 Shinobi Stalin is a Bronx born Orlando Raised Emcee.  Rhyming since a youth he has been in the Hip Hop consciousness for several years now, releasing two critically acclaimed albums. With his Partners Marz Mello, WordChemist, and DJ Stranger they Have created Beer Money UNLTD; a family unit who's mission statement is "Too cool for Nerds, Too nerdy for Cool".

Band Members