Release Date: Aug 19, 2014
Record label: Duck Down Music
Genre(s): Rap, Underground Rap
With two production showcase albums in just one year, Statik Selektah runs the risk of spreading himself thin, but there's no evidence on that on the prime What Goes Around. From the title track/hypeman opener to the brilliant, Beach Boys-borrowing closer "God Knows" with MCs Bun B, Jared Evan, and Pos from De La Soul, this scattered, roulette wheel-spin of an album offers club cuts, throwbacks, and sullen street numbers all of top quality. The flow of it all isn't perfect, but the short runtime for the tracks and the mixtape style of butting one cut right to the next make this feel like a purposeful whirlwind.
It begins, as so many of his tracks do, with a drop. The provocative-sounding female voice is laced with connotations of Jazz and Soul samples, DJ Premier-esque scratched choruses and the kind of kick drum, snare and high hat combinations reminiscent of a time when A Tribe Called Quest was fresh on the scene. As Hip Hop has gone through phases like “ringtone Rap” and “Drill,” Statik Selektah’s Golden Age-infused style has remained unchanged, influencing a new generation of emcees who have revitalized the boom bap sound.
The title of Statik Selektah’s sixth LP feels particularly appropriate for this point in his career. With his reputation as a skilled and dynamic hip-hop producer in the sample-based tradition of DJ Premier and other East Coast legends firmly established, it’s just a matter of waiting for everyone else to recognize the consistently strong material he’s been putting out for years. Lucky for him, that time might be near.
There’s no denying New York’s locus in hip-hop has found itself beneath a microscope in recent years. Hip-hop heads across the space remember the day the Internet folded when Kendrick Lamar spoke out on “Control,” and the subsequent influx of retorts from MCs who responded either on wax, socially or by some other medium, surged in. Nevertheless, New York City transplant Statik Selektah has been watching and on his latest effort, What Goes Around, released through Showoff Records/Duck Down Music, he delivers a fresh and enthusing offering for those willing to delve deeper than mainstream radio hits.