featured interview

Statik Selektah Sticks to the script Wikipedia teaches us that his real name is Patrick Baril, that he’s born on the 23rd of January 1982 and that he’s the son of Owen and Kathleen Baril. His discography teaches us that he’s been doing collaborations with hip-hop’s finest and famous, that he’s been doing a series of highly anticipated mix CD’s under the name ‘Spell My Name Right’ and that he released a debut album under the same name on his own Showoff label. Now, October 21st, Statik Selektah drops his sophomore solo record with appearances by M.O.P., Redman, Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, Little Brother, CL Smooth, Peedi Crakk, Freeway, and many more…

Stick 2 The Script'…could you briefly describe the ideal script to which an artist has to stick?

I just mean stay in your lane, especially to all the great hip-hop artists that disappoint the fans by doing some left-field garbage. Just make good music. All the extra hype isn't necessary because at the end of the day, the music ain’t good 9 out of 10 times. All the new cats are hype and no substance. You can still be creative and have fun. Just stick to the script, make good hip-hop!

Are you involved in the themes and topics 'your' lyricists write about or do you give them carte blanche?

I give them the idea or vibe of the song most of the time, then I let them do their thing.

With all those features on your album, how difficult was it to encounter all the practical problems that come along with it?

Just clearing certain artists, that’s it. None played any politics or games, everybody on the album was real supportive of my movement.

Are all of them friends or people from your close network? How important is networking for a DJ/producer these days?

Yeah, networking is everything. You can tell the artists and DJ’s that don’t and the ones that do. I hold dudes down and they hold me down. I break a lot of records and go in on the radio, so at the end of the day they show the love back.

So was moving to NY like a 'business decision'?

I knew a lot of these guys when I was in Boston, but when I moved to New York I worked that much harder and was more visible. It was a career decision.

How would you compare the Boston vs NY hip-hop scene?

NY IS HIP-HOP. it ain't a scene. Everything here is hip hop. Boston has a little scene but everyone hates on each other and no one gets nowhere. In the late 90’s there was a dope scene but some cats moved on and others faded away. There’s a LOT of talent there though, dudes gotta just learn how to channel it and stay out of unnecessary drama.

You're now settled in the NY scene but you still run with Brick Records…?

Well they partner with Traffic Ent. on a lot and Karma is my man, he co-owns it with Papa D. He is a big part of our movement and we’ve known each other for 10 years. They know what they are doing, getting the CD in stores too.

The album is released on your own Showoff Records, what's the advantage of being able to release your albums on your own label?

Everything. Creative control. marketing control. every possible way. I run the show. I am in control of every single part of Showoff Records: the beats, A&R side, the Marketing, helping with PR, distro, everything! Publishing. The contracts. Everything.

At one point the market was flooded with mixtapes, even to the point where emcees rather released a half assed mixtape than a decent album. How hard is it to stand out in the masses?

Not hard. I don’t think. Quality hip-hop really stands out because it is rare in 2008. There’s a lot of integrity in our music. The whole crew. We just gotta work extra hard to get it noticed by some of these so-called ‘hip-hop’ fans and DJ’s etc.

For a lot of emcees releasing mixtapes is the fastest way to get material out to the public, but on the other hand the fast pace forces 'em to not spend that much time on the recording/creative process. Does this cause a lack of quality or do you believe there's no quality difference between the mix-cd's and official ones?

Of course if it is rushed and done half-ass, then it will probably suck and not have much longevity and will be forgotten about in a week. I see it every day.

Name 5 things that made Statik Selektah a household name and why you succeeded in people to hear your CD's instead of the mixtape from everyone and their cousin?

I wouldn’t go that far and say it’s a household name (laughs) but I appreciate it: that’s the goal. I think I am just a fan that turned into someone with creative control and I can create the kind of records that people wanna hear. I can bring good artists together on good beats, that’s it.

Would you state that the whole 'mixtape culture' has become less and less stronger since the disappearance of the audio tape?

Naw, it got BIGGER since then. But after the DJ Drama thing a lot of DJ’s just said ‘fuck it’ and didn’t want any problems. Plus the internet really soured the game. Exclusives barely exist now and some of these mixtape ‘DJ’s’ got no shame, they will take a joint right off the radio or someone else’s mixtape!

Will DJ'ing take over again or will you stick to producing, stop DJ'ing even?

I will do both evenly till I’m done, I love both areas. I grew up off DJ Premier and Pete rock etc. so that was always what I wanted to do.

Are you still doing radio work?

Yeah, I’m syndicated in the South on FM stations and also on Eminem’s ‘Shade 45 Sirius’ station every Thursday 10-12. That’s my favorite cuz I play what I want! That’s my weekly mixtape.

I was impressed by the material you did for the Reks album. Seems like the beats are made for his voice and cadence. Did you make those especially with Reks in mind or is Reks a good beat picker?

I pretty much picked 90% of the beats on that album. He just goes in on whatever I ask him to. It’s real dope working with him. We do songs in 20 minutes that would take hours with other artists. When I make a beat for him, I know what to make to sound right.

How did you connect with Termanology?

In 1999, we were 17, he used to come to my club I DJ’ed at and get on the open mic at the end of the night.

Could you tell us something more about Granite State?

They are my 2 good friends from goin’ to High School in New Hampshire. We started together, DJ’ing, rapping etc. It was just fun back then, no money, no bullshit. We witnessed some of the best rap music to ever come out back then and lived for it.

Who are your biggest role models:

-         Dj-wise? DJ Premier, Q-Bert, DJ Revolution, Kid Capri.

-         Production-wise? DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Dr Dre, Alchemist, Kanye.

-         Business-wise? Russell Simmons, Clinton Sparks, 50 Cent.

Are people spelling your name right by now?

More than ever... but it still gets messed up alot. (laughs)

What was the first rap album you bought?

Probably MC Hammer when I was 8... but the first real underground CD I fell in love with was either ‘93 ‘til Infinity’ or ‘Midnight Marauders’.

Tell us how you got down with Q-Tip and how's it like to work with someone you looked up to as a kid?

It’s incredible. He’s a good friend now, it’s bugged out. I met him through my cousin Ellie. Then I was on the Tribe tour DJ’ing for 2k sports in 2006 and we just got cool...I ended up DJ’ing for him, along with DJ Scratch, who’s another legend.

The same goes for DJ Premier I can imagine..?

Yeah, that’s another really good dude. A good friend. He is the illest ever. The way he DJs, chops samples, everything. It’s crazy building friendships with people you grew up studying. I’m sure Preem feels the same with Marley Marl etc.

What's next for Statik?

The album Oct 21st! Then Joel Ortiz album I did a bunch of joints on. I got some work in video games coming up, as well as touring.


The whole Showoff crew... my fiancée Jenny Marie, Term, Bubba, Bamf, Bedlam, Wally, Dan Green, Tip, Prem, Reks, and especially y’all!



POSTED 09|04|2008
conducted by Cpf & Wulf

latest interviews

Bryan Ford:'I like how hip-hop has continued to incorporate different types of music.'
Onry Ozzborn:'My fav rap duo of all time? Outkast.'
Factor:'I focus more on mixing and editing now'
Random:'I was tempted to strike while the iron was hot'
Kriswontwo:'Sound waves are some really cool beings'
P.SO the Earth Tone King:'I always liked Dali'
eMC:'Best Tonight Show moment? The Roots doing a Sean Price tribute.'
B. Dolan:'I want things to sound like a 10'
Warning: mysqli_free_result(): Couldn't fetch mysqli_result in /customers/b/a/b/platform8470.com/httpd.www/interviews/interview.php on line 185