Two of Ohio's leading musical exports will bring their road shows back to Columbus this week.

Two of Ohio's leading musical exports will bring their road shows back to Columbus this week.

Blog buzz and celebrity endorsements have Massillon rapper Stalley ascending toward hip-hop's elite class. Hard-touring Athens thrashers Skeletonwitch have been among metal's most respected combos for some time now.

Besides being from Ohio and growing more reputable by the day, these artists share very few common threads. Let's see how they stack up.


Stalley: Massillon

Skeletonwitch: Athens

Area of expertise

Stalley: Thoughtful backpacker ruminations bolstered by classic hip-hop braggadocio

Skeletonwitch: Breakneck speed metal with roots in thrash, black metal and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal

Distinctive look

Stalley: Thick beard, flannel shirts, Ohio sports apparel

Skeletonwitch: Thicker beards, black T-shirts, hair down their backs


Stalley: Like fellow Ohio native Kid Cudi, he made his name by camping out in New York.

Skeletonwitch: The speed freaks moved to Cleveland in 2006 but transferred their home base back to Athens by 2008.

Latest release

Stalley: Columbus triple-threat Rashad lent brassy funk thump and lush textures to "Lincoln Way Nights: Intelligent Trunk Music," Stalley's most assured and impressive set of verses to date.

Skeletonwitch: Produced by Seattle super-producer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden, High on Fire) and mastered by Pig Destroyer's Scott Hull, "Breathing the Fire" manages to be both more melodic and more gruesome.

Famous affiliates

Stalley: Damon Dash helped get him on the radar. He's part of a supergroup called Center Edge Territory with Mos Def, Curren$y and Jay Electronica. Twitter buzz strongly hints that he's signing with Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group.

Skeletonwitch: They've toured with a who's who of metal, including thrash titans Municipal Waste. Glenn Danzig handpicked them for his 2008 "Blackest of the Black" tour, and they commissioned artwork by Baroness' John Baizley for 2006's "Worship the Witch" EP.

Openers this week

Stalley: A generous bounty of Ohio hip-hop talent fills out the docket, including The 3rd, L.e for the Uncool, SoulKlap, James John, Fabrashay A, J. Osceola and J. Rawls.

Skeletonwitch: Vancouver's 3 Inches of Blood join Columbus powerhouse Locusta and local Death tribute band Infernal Death.