Rick Ross has taught his Maybach Music Group artists well. The spirit of hard work is evident in each of them, in particular Stalley. The Massillon, Ohio native has been touring for much of 2012, promoting his Savage Journey to the American Dream project, both in the states as well as in Europe.

While on tour, he told The BoomBox that he'd begun working on an EP for his fans. However, on the BET Hip Hop Awards red carpet Saturday (Sept. 29), the rapper retracted that statement. "Right now we put the EP to the side," he tells The BoomBox with a grin. "'Cause I've been working on the album. It's halfway done and should be coming at the top of next year."

The "Petrin Hill Peonies" creator is making a return to his roots on the as-yet-untitled LP and intends on officially introducing himself to the world the same way he did years ago with his very first mixtape, Goin Ape.

"I'm really excited about the live instrumentation," he reveals. "I got back to that. On my previous mixtapes and even while performing, I used to perform with a live band. So now I'm back to getting that live instrumentation back into the music with that big bass, 808-feel. It's something that hasn't been heard before."

He says that the album will teach new Stalley fans what he's all about, from his humble beginnings to his superstardom in Europe and now his success as part of MMG.

"What I wanted to do was to bring all the elements that made me the artist that I am right now," he shares. "I wanted to build off of them and put it into this album for the people so they don't get any missing elements. If they missed any of the previous mixtapes at least they'll get that sound on the album."

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Watch Stalley in Ski Beatz's "S.T.A.L.L.E.Y." Video