Sto The Last Lyricist: A Real Hip Hopper

Sto The Last Lyricist is a hip hopper you need to know. I throw the phrase hip hopper around a lot, but with Sto it is perhaps as apt as can be. Not content with creating exclusively in the sonic realm, Sto is a prose wordsmith as well. He started out with his own blog, writing about music he felt was being overlooked. He built from there until he was interviewing artists of interest and now is the managing editor over at Dead End Hip Hop keen to continue building.

Musically, Sto delivers autobiographical lyricism with razor sharp pronunciation and an unadulterated tonality. Among his inspirations is a personal favorite of mine Red Pill from whom Sto assumes reflective, near-dejected, rhymes. With eleven projects under his belt, Sto has gone from writing about artists like The Scribbling Idiots, to collaborating with them. His next project is an EP titled the [warmup] which promises to feature both a host of artists as well as a bit of a deviation from what Sto's fans have come to expect from him. Read on to get a more complete understanding of Sto The Last Lyricist as a writer, an artist, and an all around hip hop head. 

What are the intended implications of calling yourself “The Last Lyricist”?

Sto: There are two different meanings to the name. On one hand, I genuinely am the last “Stover” (my last name and part of where my name derives from) in my family tree. On the other hand, I do genuinely believe I am the last or one of the last lyricists to come around. I do battle raps, I write personal music, I tell stories. I can do it all. Not many emcees in the market can say that.

What is the best concert you’ve ever been to?

Sto: In 2011 I saw Childish Gambino for the first time and that show changed my life. Childish was personable, relatable, and unequivocally himself. Seeing him be comfortable in his own skin as a young black man growing up, it meant so much to me to see that. 

What do you see as the golden age of hip hop?

Sto: In all honesty, I don’t think there’s a true true golden era. I mean yes, we can attribute a certain sound to the 90s or whatever. However, there has been so much great music and classic music that has been released since the “golden age.” Little Brother, Kendrick Lamar, Tanya Morgan are just a few examples of artists creating different sounds in hip hop that could be considered classic.

Who are your inspirations both within and without hip hop?

Sto: Inside of hip hop, I have too many inspirations, Scribbling Idiots, Cunninlynguists, The Roots, Humble Beast, Mello Music Group, Red Pill, DeepSpace5, Jean P, The Underestimated, Nasa8 the list goes on and on. 

Without hip hop, obviously my Mom, the struggles we all go through, my friends who have my back. But, most importantly, I’m inspired by the need to serve the people around me. The world is in a really dark place and it’s only getting darker and it’s so hard to believe in yourself or others when the government is bending us over backward. People are getting divorced at an alarming rate, kids are being left without parents, we can’t even be different without someone legitimately hating you and wanting to make you feel like nothing. I just want people to understand that we’re all destined for greatness regardless of what anyone tells us.  

Describe the path that led you to your current position as a hip hopper.

Sto: I honestly didn’t really listen to hip hop until about 2005 when my cousin introduced me to “real” hip hop. I had no idea that lyrics in rap songs existed like this. I remember thinking to myself “Why doesn’t anyone listen to this music?” I had always been interested in writing and started a blog on WordPress where I’d review records. Eventually, that grew to where I got to interview artists and people were looking for coverage on my blog.

During that time, I was applying to write for a bunch of sites, I just knew I had to promote the good music that so many have missed out on. Fast forward to 2013, Beezy (of Dead End Hip Hop) hit me up and gave me a chance to write for the site as a supplement to the videos. In January of this year, Kinge approached me with the opportunity to be the Managing Editor of the site. The chance to help a startup like Dead End Hip Hop grow into a Premier spot for Hip-Hop has always been my dream. I’m where I wanna be, just need a paycheck haha.

Top five albums?

Sto: Right now?
1.     Theory Hazit - Lord Fire
2.     Red Pill - Look What This World Did To Us
3.     Earl Sweatshirt - I Don’t Like Shit I Don’t Go Outside
4.     Cunninlynguists - Oneirology
5.     Childish Gambino - Camp

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

Sto: Definitely the writing and planning. Creating a vision from scratch and figuring out how to make it a reality is my favorite part of the process. I have a love/hate relationship with recording because I can never nail a verse in one take and then I get frustrated and then computer problems haha. However, taking something that you’ve been inspired by or something you’ve come up with and turning it into something for people to absorb is everything to me.

Tell me more about the work you do for Dead End Hip Hop.

Sto: As managing editor, any written piece you see that isn’t handled by Kinge, Beezy, Feefo or Myke is edited by me before it goes up on the site. I’m also able to bring ideas to the table about how to advance our brand. We’re working on a radio show, different podcasts etc. Lastly, I manage around 20 writers to help push content and help advance their brand too.

What did you think about the whole situation between Apollo Brown and Chance?

Sto: I don’t think there was a situation per se. I just think it’s another chapter in the continued discussion of how underrated producers can be. Without producers, rappers don’t exist. We need to be aware of that.

What do you want to do when you “grow up”?

Sto: I just want to keep writing, and pushing records that keep getting overlooked. I want to be the emcee that everybody thought I couldn’t be. Lastly, I just want to be the best father and husband I could possibly be.

Which article of yours are you the most proud of? Which song?

Sto: I wrote a review for KevinNottingham when I first started off about the Evidence and Alchemist album, it was my first review for the site and I spent days working on it. I sent it into my editor and he wasn’t pleased and told me to rewrite it. I was a bit down on myself because I thought I did a great job. After rewriting the review, my editor was pleased and my confidence as a writer sky-rocketed. Plus the Stepbrothers album is dope.

My favorite song is ProPain VI. My fam Tek.Lun gave me permission to rap over a beat he made years ago that struck me really hard. That track chronicles 2015 and the struggles that came with it. It really was a turning point not just for me mentally, but for my confidence as a rapper and for my fanbase who actually really liked and related to the track.

I saw on Twitter that you are excited about the production on your upcoming EP. Tell me more about the project.

Sto: Right now I’m working on the [warmup] EP that will feature production from JAHSHOOTA, Scott Xylo, BEAU and Ale from Summerclub, Tek.Lun, Fonlon and more. It’ll be more of a different sound than what most of my fans and listeners are used to hearing me on. Still personal at times, still nerdy at times but the sounds will be different.

The EP you’re speaking of though is the solo project I’m working on with production by a number of the Scribbling Idiots. I hit up Reflex about doing a project together, he sent me a batch of beats. I wrote to them but wasn’t pleased with the turnout, so I scrapped the lyrics. Since then, Theory Hazit has contributed some beats and I’ve gotten confirmation from some cool guests about guest verses. I was intimidated at first to work with such great names in music, but now it’s fueled my drive to create something great.

I was blessed to link up with nasa8 (an international hip-hop group of at least 7 members if not more) about 3 years ago. I started as just the PR guy, but I was able to lay down some verses for Ale from Summerclub’s solo project. They’d toss me beats on the side and I was going to make an LP out of it, but an EP seems more focused given the production I have. You’ll hear how well we mesh when the project drops.

When is it dropping and where can people get it?

Sto: No release date yet. I want to release it alongside some other stuff I haven’t really talked about yet. However, you can download all of my music and future solo releases at