Interview: Statik Selektah Reflects On The Overwhelming Success Of His '8' Album
Less than 24 hours after dropping his 8 album, Statik Selektah spent the night doing what he does best. When I pulled up to the crowded block, Statik Selektah was already in the mix at the helm of the Effen Vodka stage inside Basel House. He was surrounded by dozens of murals as he entertained the crowd of rap fans and art connoisseurs, both of which nodding their heads in unison. His set ended at 11 PM, and he was on the way to his next gig by 11:01.
“The feedback today has been overwhelming,” Statik said as we were walking out of Basel House. “I’m not gonna lie; I wasn’t expecting it. I thought people were going to be like “Oh I like this song or that song, but people are hitting me like ‘I listened to the whole album 20 times.’ People I really look up to are still hitting me too. Buckwild hit me up and was like ‘I have so many ideas! This is the best album I’ve heard in years.’“
The Boston native and his crew walked to the Bushwick Collective’s “Ciroc House” party as he reflects on his eighth studio album, which loyal fans thought they’d never get to hear. Over two years ago, Statik claimed that Lucky 7 would be his “final” album. The outro of his seventh studio LP featured the first of many heartbeats from his first-born daughter, Harley. After a brief hiatus and a fresh management deal with Roc Nation, Statik simply picked up where he left off for his 8 album.
“Her [Harley] heartbeat was on the last one. The intro is the last song on the last album fading in because it faded out on the last one. I said the last album was my last album but obviously I changed my mind. She was a big part of that.”
The follow-up to Lucky 7 is an unforgettable collection of records that not only features some of the best artists in the game, but also offers refreshing songs that are unlike anything he’s served up before. After fueling the hype with “Man Of The Hour” featuring 2 Chainz and Wiz Khalifa, Statik continued to broaden his horizons by linking up with fresh faces like G-Eazy, PnB Rock Connecticut’s ANoyd, Nick Grant, Chris Rivers, and Joyner Lucas. Unlike G-Eazy, Nick Grant, and PnB Rock, it wasn’t the first time Lucas, who’s “I’m Not Racist” video went viral across the world, worked with Statik.
“It’s kind of ironic but the way I found out about Joyner Lucas was because he tried to get the “Detroit Vs. Everybody” beat from me. I was like ‘Nah I’m doing my own version called ‘Boston Vs. Everybody.’ I remember Paul [Rosenberg] was like ‘Don’t give it out.’ The Shady camp keeps everything tight knit. So I was like ‘Nah.’ We were going through another person so through third-person arguing, he said he was going to do his own version, and I was like ‘No you’re not.’ He said he was going to use some fake beat. I don’t know if he ever put it out or not but I was like ‘Don’t do it.’ I was mad from the get-go but I didn’t know how ill he was. Then I got put on to his joint “Ross Capicchioni.” The video was amazing and I was blown away by it. Then he came to Shady 45, and then he came by the crib to do a joint. Later on, I did a joint for his last album that just came out called “Way To Go.”
Statik didn’t totally stray away from his classic approach to making pure, unapologetic hip-hop. He reached out to other seasoned wordsmiths like Curren$y, No Malice of The Clipse, Run The Jewels, The LOX, Termanology, Westside Gunn, Conway, and Juelz Santana to throw down on the LP. However, he couldn’t release the album without including the spirit of two MC’s who passed away during his hiatus: Sean Price and Prodigy of Mobb Deep. Statik revived Sean P’s gritty voice and put him alongside Wais P and Tek of Smiff-N-Wessun in “Go Gettas.” In “Disrespekt,” Prodigy returns from the grave to remind his haters that they’re “soft like a Drake song” thus proving he can still rip the mic in the afterlife.
“I’m just happy that the fans got excited about that because it’s about keeping their lives going,” Statik said. “None of these dudes really die; their music is played everyday.”
Facts. With another album under his belt, Statik Selektah enters the Bushwick Collective’s “Ciroc House” and prepares to shut the party down with his next set. The venue is decked out with various graffiti murals, which reminds the Showoff Records founder of his infamous studio in Bushwick. While he waits for his set time at his poorly lit V.I.P. section, someone manages to swipe an entire bottle of Ciroc from his table. He’s visibly annoyed, but he doesn’t let his anger stop him from bringing his brand new album to life one party at a time.