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Nyj Evans

Interview: Statik Selektah Reflects On The Overwhelming Success Of His '8' Album

Statik Selektah speaks on his eighth studio album, how he linked with Joyner Lucas & more at Art Basel In Miami. 

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.

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Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, Drake And More Pay Tribute To Pop Smoke

The hip-hop world is in mourning after the tragic and shocking death of rising Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke. Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, Drake, Rich the Kid, Chance the Rapper and more paid tribute to the slain 20-year-old recording artist on Wednesday (Feb. 18) with many responding in disbelief.

“The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Unbelievable,” Minaj, who collaborated with Pop on his “Welcome to the Party” remix, wrote on Instagram. “Rest In Peace, Pop.”

The Brooklyn native, whose birth names was Bashar Barakah Jackson, was shot and killed inside his Hollywood Hills rental home early Wednesday. Two masked men broke into the home at around 4:30 a.m, sources told TMZ. Police arrived at 4:55 a.m. after responding to a call from the East Coast alerting them to a home invasion at the location. Pop was transported to Cedars-Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“No such thing as success [without] jealousy,” tweeted 50 Cent. “Treachery comes from those who are close. RIP.”

Rich the Kid revealed that he spoke with Pop hours before his death. “I don’t wanna believe it, we literally spoke less than 24 hours ago I’m lost for word [sic] tryna type this message love you bro this s**t hurt me so bad that you gone already I’m tryna stop the tears.”

Drake took to his Instagram Story with a message on being grateful for life. “Sit by some good energy tonight in these unwelcoming times. Be with some good people and express how grateful you are for life. RIP Pop.”

“Rest Up Pop Smoke, you were too young,” tweeted Chance the Rapper. “God Bless and comfort your family. What a crazy trajectory you were on man smh.”

A candlelight vigil was held for the “Gatti ” rapper in Brooklyn on Wednesday night.

They outside turning up for #PopSmoke in Brooklyn 🔥💫 pic.twitter.com/KTA1UWSUKB

— Pop Smoke Central (@PopSmokeCentral) February 20, 2020

Candlelight vigil for #PopSmoke in Canarsie, Brooklyn 🙏 pic.twitter.com/bekh8TZqC2

— Pop Smoke Central (@PopSmokeCentral) February 20, 2020

Authorities have yet to officially confirm a motive for the murder as the investigation is ongoing.

Read tributes to Pop below.

No such thing as success with out jealousy, treachery comes from those who are close. R.i.P pic.twitter.com/OZxKtpPZog

— 50cent (@50cent) February 19, 2020

 

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Been shot at in San Fran , got arrested in Maryland , La , New York and Oklahoma , had a so call stand off with police in Oklahoma , Cali spot got broken into 4 times alll on tape and one of them even left they phone 😯😒ALLL SINCE I BEEN A “RAPPER” you literally gotta Pray 🙏🏿that you make it back home safe !! But then you not even safe at home.. 🙏🏿🙏🏿 my condolences

A post shared by 2 Chainz Aka Tity Boi (@2chainz) on Feb 19, 2020 at 6:08pm PST

 

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The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Unbelievable. Rest In Peace, Pop.

A post shared by Barbie (@nickiminaj) on Feb 19, 2020 at 6:57am PST

Rest Up Pop Smoke, you were too young. God Bless and comfort your family. What a crazy trajectory you were on man smh 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) February 19, 2020

 

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This is heart breaking. He was just getting started. Prayers to his family 🙏🏽

A post shared by Hot Girl Meg (@theestallion) on Feb 19, 2020 at 9:42am PST

Travis Scott reacts to the death of Pop Smoke.

The two first met at Travis’ Astroworld music festival. pic.twitter.com/xyEO8dKWuo

— Only Hip Hop Facts (@OnlyHipHopFacts) February 19, 2020

 

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R. I. P. Lil homie. ✨🎤💙🙏🏽 damn I’m hurt all ova again 💫✨🌟 Gone2soon🌹💙

A post shared by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on Feb 19, 2020 at 7:54am PST

 

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Damn pop..... 🙏🏾

A post shared by Meek Mill (@meekmill) on Feb 19, 2020 at 8:48am PST

 

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I don’t wanna believe it, we literally spoke less than 24 hours ago I’m lost for word tryna type this message love you bro this shit hurt me so bad that you gone already I’m tryna stop the tears I’m tryna stop this chest pain that I got at 7 am when gramz texted me we gone miss you bro RIP @realpopsmoke 4L 💙💫

A post shared by BOSS MAN 🤵🏽💰 (@richthekid) on Feb 19, 2020 at 7:56am PST

 

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Lost for words right now! Smh 🤦🏽‍♂️ Brooklyn King! Rest up! 💙 this shit right here hit home!

A post shared by Young M.A (@youngma) on Feb 19, 2020 at 7:08am PST

 

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See You In Paradise Cuz 💙✌🏽💙

A post shared by MALIK & MUGGA 🌎 HUSSLE 🏁 (@daveeast) on Feb 19, 2020 at 11:05am PST

 

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F L Y H I G H W O O 🕊@realpopsmoke Got To Kno This Kid! Very Talented Humble Respectful And Appreciative Always Ask Questions Big Sponge To Knowledge Fast Learning Young Boss And The Huncho Was Here To Share That Anytime You Called Me! R.I.P 🙏🏾💫#MEETTHEWOO

A post shared by QuavoHuncho (@quavohuncho) on Feb 19, 2020 at 7:03am PST

 

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Damn bro just talked to u.💔Can’t believe it.you was on yo way. You was a real star bro. Yo energy was crazy. We needed ur energy n sound! Rest In Peace broski 😢😢💔💔

A post shared by T-Raww (@tyga) on Feb 19, 2020 at 7:49am PST

Texting me worried I love you for that !!!!!!! But rip pop smoke

— DURKIOOO🦅 (@lildurk) February 19, 2020

We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of @POPSMOKE10. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together. pic.twitter.com/nVnv9ESZOs

— Republic Records (@RepublicRecords) February 19, 2020

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CBS Los Angeles

Eric Holder Trial Date Could Coincide With Anniversary Of Nipsey Hussle’s Murder

A trial date has reportedly been set for Eric Holder, the man accused of killing Nipsey Hussle. Holder’s two-week trial is likely to begin in early April and is expected to end by April 14, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry said in court on Wednesday (Feb. 19).

There’s a possibility that the trail could start in late March, which would coincide with the one-year anniversary of Hussle’s murder.

Judge Perry noted the seriousness of the case while addressing Holder in court. “These cases take time to get ready for trial,” Perry said according to the New York Daily News. “You have a right to a speedy trial.”

The case has been continued until March 18. Perry told Holder that the court would its best to begin the trial within 30 days. Holder agreed to the continuance and is scheduled to return to court next month.

Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was gunned down in the parking lot of his South Los Angeles clothing store on March 31, 2019. Holder was arrested two days later in Bellflower, Calif., which is roughly 20 miles away from the murder scene.

Last November, Judge Perry denied a motion to have two of Holder's charges dismissed sighting that there was enough evidence to go to trial. Holder, 30, has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, one count of assault with a firearm, and one count of possession of a firearm by felon.

Holder allegedly reached out to a podcaster last week and vowed to share his story after the trial.

If convicted, Holder faces a maximum of life in prison.

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LeBron James Sets Children's Book For Release This Summer

A man of many talents, LeBron James is adding author to his stacked resume. According to Entertainment Weekly, the three-time NBA champion joined literary forces with HarperCollins Publishers to create a children's book titled I PROMISE. The book will be released in August.

"Books have the ability to teach, inspire, and bring people together. That's why these books, and the opportunity to get children and parents reading together, mean so much to me," he said. "Most importantly, we wanted to make sure these stories are ones that every single kid can see themselves in. I PROMISE is powerful in that way and I can't wait for people to read it." On Instagram, James expounded upon his statement, hoping that the text will inspire its young readers and encourage the next game-changer.

"Man, the beauty of this is the process in how we got here," he wrote. "Never settling no matter the opportunities or chapters we add to this journey and now we get to share our promise and our story with kids and families everywhere. I can’t wait for everyone to read this, share this, feel empowered, and strive for greatness the same way my kids from Akron do every day." The book is illustrated by Nina Mata and will focus on giving back to communities and a reminder to always bet on yourself.

 

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Our own children’s book⁉️ What!! @ljfamfoundation @ipromiseschool Man, the beauty of this is the process in how we got here. Never settling no matter the opportunities or chapters we add to this journey and now we get to share our promise and our story with kids and families everywhere. I can’t wait for everyone to read this, share this, feel empowered, and strive for greatness the same way my kids from Akron do every day. 🙏🏾 Middle school edition next. 👀 👑 @harpercollins

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on Feb 18, 2020 at 9:10am PST

EW also notes the book will be followed by "a middle-grade novel" in 2021. The news follows another feat for the pro-athlete off the hardwood. After opening a public elementary school in his home state of Ohio in 2018, James' self-titled foundation partnered with Kent State University to offer free tuition for four years to the school's first graduating class.

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