Backed by his sample-heavy production, Statik has always focused on delivering an authentic product to the masses. His consistency, along with pairing the right rappers for collaborations, is the reason why his co-sign still carries a lot of weight today. Statik’s fifth studio album Extended Play, is due out June 18, but we caught up with Statik this week at the XXL Freshmen concert to chop it up about how this album was pieced together.

“I look at it is an extended play for the kind of boom-bap hip-hop I have been fighting for the last 18 years I’ve been DJing,” Statik says. “For the last ten years, a certain group of people have been fighting to keep it alive, and now we are back.”

Fans of Statik’s Population Control will be pleased to know he didn’t stray too far away from his usual collaborators. Raekwon, Freddie Gibbs, Termanology, Joell Ortiz and a few others return for the album while Statik also taps some newer MCs in the game, notably Joey Bada$$ and his Pro Era crew, the Flatbush Zombies, Mac Miller and Hit-Boy. Extended Play promises to please fans looking for unadulterated hip-hop. Here, Statik gives us a song-by-song preview of his self-produced album, explaining why guys like Busta Rhymes and Macklemore didn’t make the cut, and how the rest of Extended Play came to be.—As told to Eric Diep (@E_Diep)

Photo By: Matt McGinley
Photo By: Matt McGinley

1. "Reloaded" ft. Pain In Da Ass, Action Bronson, Big Body Bes, Termanology & Tony Touch

Statik Selektah: "Action was at my crib and I wanted to get him on the intro. I had the beat and I was like, ‘Yo, just do four bars.' Originally, I was going to have mad rappers do four bars each. He did his four bars. Big Body Bes, [Action's] cousin, who is known to be on his records, he was there: ‘Let me talk shit after his verse.’ So, he talked a little shit. I had Term do the same thing. He came through and did four bars.

I had Pain In Da Ass set it off in the old Reasonable Doubt fashion. I just reached out to Tony Touch, he’s like a big inspiration. He’s like a big brother to me. He’s like family at this point. He finished the record off dope where he says, ‘See? I paved the way and Statik saved the day.’ He’s talking about literally what we do. Tony Touch was the first to make a whole album and put together MCs on real records. Tony was the first to do that. He led the path for me and DJ Revolution and DJ Khaled to try to carry that.

Originally, I wanted to get just the cats that are always at my house. Like, Joey [Bada$$]. It’s not like it didn't happen, I just never really tried for it. It just made sense to have Tony come in and finish the song."

2. "Bird’s Eye View" ft. Raekwon, Joey Bada$$ & Black Thought

Statik Selektah: "I’ve known Black Thought for years. We never did anything. I got Raekwon first. I went out to his studio in Jersey. We just sat there all night and we didn’t get it done. It’s funny because Waka Flocka came through. It was just the most random night. I finally got that verse done.

I was supposed to get Busta on it. There were a couple of people. Busta owes me money from a bet. I am going to say that in every interview. Me and Busta made a bet about the Giants and the Patriots. Before we even got to the money, [he says] 'I am gonna do a verse for your album.' It’s nothing [though]. Busta’s fam.

When I didn’t get that in time, I had to finish it up and Joey happened to be in the studio. ‘Yo, Joey lay this down.’ The same night, I texted Black Thought: ‘Yo, I am leaving on tour.’ I was leaving on tour the next day for like two months. I had to finish my album. I was like, ‘What can we do? Can I send you the record?’ He’s like, ‘Yo, send me your address.’ Black Thought showed up—no lie—walked into my crib. He said. 'I am ready.' And he recorded 32 bars. I thought he was spitting 16, [but] he was spitting 32 bars. And said, ‘Alright, I got to go.’ He was in my crib for four minutes. That was the craziest shit I ever seen."


3. "East Coast" ft. N.O.R.E. & Lil Fame

Statik Selektah: "The song is more like East Coast pride. N.O.R.E. was talking about how when the whole East Coast/West Coast [rivalry] was going down, he was one of the only ones who spoke up. Fame talks about what if back in the day, if him and Danze went to Death Row. It’s like a playful song, but it still reminds you that we are still the East Coast. We still got the hardest shit.

I worked with N.O.R.E.and Lil Fame before. I am in a crew with N.O.R.E. called The Drink Champs. We are turning into alcoholics, but we only have done two songs together. I did a song with him and Bumpy Knuckles. They had a small beef back in the day. It was the first time they ever did a song together. I was happy to do that. That was a couple of years ago. This is the first time he did something for one of my albums. Fame—that’s family. I’ve done a bunch of records with M.O.P."

4. "21 & Over" ft. Sean Price & Mac Miller

Statik Selektah: "It was actually Mac’s idea [to do a song with Sean Price], but Sean had been waiting to do a song with him too. We knew the reaction that we were going to get. That it's a bunch of angry backpack nerds all upset, but it’s awesome though. Sean blocked like 200 people when the record came out. It was just fun. Sean and Mac have been cool for at least two years via Twitter. They never did a record. When I was working on the album, Mac had come up to my show. ‘Mac, I know you are busy, but I need you on the album.’ He’s like, ‘You know who I always wanted to do a song with? Sean Price.’ I already had the record. It’s perfect man. It’s called “21 & Over.” When he did his verse, he just turned 21 like a week before.

Sean loves it. It was perfect. I named some legendary rappers and Sean was like, ‘Hell no.’ Sean will hate on every rapper ever. So when I said, ‘Mac Miller?’ He said, ‘Perfect.’"


5. "The Spark" ft. Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$ & Mike Posner

Statik Selektah: "'The Spark' was the first record I did for the album. Really, it was just me and Action chilling. Smoking. I played him a beat, he goes, ‘Yo, record it.’ And he did the verse. Me and Action work real relaxed.

A couple months later...I think it was the first night I ever did something with Joey. Maybe, it was the second time Joey ever came through. This was probably a little bit less than a year ago. He got on it.

I reached out to Mike Posner randomly. Alchemist told me he was friends with him. Actually, we reached out to Clinton Sparks who works with him a lot too on some dance music. I heard Mike was really into boom-bap shit. He sent it back in ten minutes. He didn’t even say, 'Yes, I’ll do it.' He just sent it back.

The record that really inspired me to get him on this is song was “French Inhale,” by Snoop and Wiz Khalifa. He’s on that hook and that just reminds me of it."


6. "Make Believe" ft. Freddie Gibbs, Termanology & Ea$y Money

Statik Selektah: "Ea$y has been down with Term. We all known each other since we were 16, 17 years old. Ea$y was kind of in the backdrop when Term was doing his thing throughout the years. He’s focused and he’s ready. It’s his time now. He got an album with Nottz. DJ Premier did the single. I am all over it. He got Action on it. Term’s all over it. We haven’t really launched him officially yet, but I think that this album is gonna help put him on.

"I like how Gibbs brings a Bun B, Scarface mix. He does a Midwest version of what Bun and Face do. It’s lyrical, but still has a lean to it. He has a certain flavor to it. I think Gibbs is a one-of-a-kind in hip-hop right now. Term and Ea$y were on the record, we did it a while back, probably right towards the beginning of the album. Finishing up the album, I was like, ‘I gotta get Gibbs.’ Gibbs is on all my shit. I just heard him on the beat, and he set it off dope.

Termanalogy: "I like Gibbs because he is a real gangster. 95 percent of rappers are fake gangsters. It’s all fake. Even if you are from the hood, that doesn’t mean you are a gangster. You can be hood and not be a gangster. Gibbs is like for real. You could tell he’s really the guy he is in his raps. The song is called “Make Believe.” It’s all about the shit me and Easy did on the streets. Real facts, what we really did in the streets. Gibbs is the perfect guy. He’s really that guy, you know?"


7. "Pinky Ring" ft. Prodigy

Statik Selektah:"'Pinky Ring' was [recorded] in the middle of the Mobb Deep quarrel that was going on. I always wanted to do an official Mobb Deep record. I did the remixes and stuff. Prodigy, when he was locked up, I would always go to Alchemist’s crib and I talked to him for like 30 minutes at a time whenever he called up. I asked him questions about how he was writing in jail. He said people would mail him tapes with beats and stuff.  When he got out, he appreciated that I would talk to him when he called to Alc’s crib, so we  talked. ‘Yo, we need to do something.’

He came out to my radio show. He started coming to the clubs a lot. I do Bungalow 8 in New York and a lot of people can’t get in there. Prodigy would call me up, ‘Hey, are you doing number eight tonight?’ We just bug out and drink and have a good time. Eventually, that led to late night sessions in the crib. Literally, that song was done within two sessions at six in the morning after the club."


8. "Funeral Season" ft. Styles P, Bun B & Hit-Boy

Statik Selektah: "I got Styles on it because I heard him first and foremost. Raekwon wanted to be on it, but somehow I got Styles. I didn’t want to ask Rae for too much. He already did a verse for me, so Styles got it. Then, I reached out to Bun. I think they did one other song. The sample in the record comes from this rare choir. It said Houston on it, so I thought 'I gotta reach out to Bun B.' He loved it, so he got on.

I needed a third person and I was on tour with Joey. I think it was the first day of the tour. We were in Portland. We were looking for the “1 Train” beat. No one had the “1 Train” beat. Even Action was rapping on a fake version that he found online. None of the people on the song [had the "1 Train" beat.]

So I just hit Hit-Boy up, ‘Yo, DM me your info on Twitter.’ He wasn’t following me at the time. He immediately sent me his e-mail and I e-mailed him. I was like, ‘Yo, I am on tour with Joey, we need the “1 Train” beat. We are trying to perform “1 Train.”’ He’s like, ‘Word, I’ll send you the beat.’ I was like, ‘By the way, I am working on my album. I know you are doing your rap thing. You should jump on something.’ He hit me back immediately—like two seconds later—and he’s like, ‘Send something.’ I sent him the record with Styles and Bun. He sent it right back and that was easy. Obviously, Styles and Bun respect Hit-Boy. I mixed the song on the road and everything."


9. "Bring Em Up Dead" ft. Joell Ortiz

Statik Selektah: "I would have got Royce on there without a question. The only reason I didn’t was because the hook says, ‘And you say New York City.’ It just sounded so New York to me. I mean, I could have put him on it. Honestly, I kept coming up with ideas and so did Joell for the second verse. And finally he was just like, ‘Dude, I am just gonna come through and do the second verse.’ Every verse is like 24 bars and he just goes in. The hook is the Onyx cut, but we had to redo it. It’s me, Slaine and Term trying to act like Onyx."


10. "Camouflage Dons" ft. Smif-N-Wessun & Flatbush Zombies

Statik Selektah: "Basically, it’s the two Brooklyn duos. That was Duck Down’s idea. I was on tour with Flatbush Zombies and I wanted to do something with them. Me and Smif-N-Wessun go back almost ten years. I’ve done a bunch of stuff with them. That was easy.

Flatbush Zombies are like a mix of Boot Camp and Gravediggaz. They got a certain Southern bounce to them. They got their own thing going. The energy is dope."

Troy Ave

11. "Big City of Dreams" ft. Troy Ave, Push!, Meyhem Lauren & AG Da Coroner

Statik Selektah: "That was just another New York record. Troy had come through one time and did the verse. I don’t even know what it was for. I just took it for my shit and put everybody else on it. It’s some grimy, New York, rob people shit. It’s on some New York pride shit. I am going on my tenth year here. I consider myself a New Yorker at this point, but Boston is always home."


12. "Gz, Pimps, Hustlers" ft. Wais P & Slaine

Statik Selektah: "We were just bugging out doing that record. It wasn’t even for the album. At the last minute, I was like, 'I like this shit so much I want to put it on the album.' Slaine was a last minute addition. Slaine’s family too. I wanted to get him on the album and he killed it. It came together dope. Literally [the title means], Wais P is a pimp. Slaine gets his hustle on with movies, acting, music and everything. We rolling nothing but Gs so it’s all dope."


13. "My Hoe" ft. Blu, Evidence & Reks

Statik Selektah: "Blu had sent it in early in the album and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. Reks did the hook and the verse. I sent that to Evidence first and he’s like, ‘I can’t come up with anything.’ I sent him three other beats and he’s like, ‘Alright, I’m writing to this. I’m writing to this. I’m writing to this.’ And he just went back and sent me that. He was like, ‘I just did the first one.’ That record came out really dope actually. Originally, I didn’t know what I was going to do with it but Reks did a dope hook."


14. "Love & War" ft. Ea$y Money & Freeway

Statik Selektah: "Ea$y was in the studio with me. We came up with it and it came out so dope. I thought 'You know what? I am taking this for my album.' It was for Ea$y’s shit. That was Ea$y Money’s whole slogan, 'Spread love, not war.' We called it "Love & War" because the cut and everything. Freeway went in. He took what Ea$y did and kind of formatted his rhyme around it."


15. "100 Stacks" ft. JFK & Strong Arm Steady

Statik Selektah: "I got a whole album with Strong Arm Steady. JFK, anytime we go out to LA, we go to the studio. Strong Arm Steady and JFK smoke so much weed  I have to go outside. Because the weed that they smoke is no joke. They smoke some other shit. People have anxiety attacks in their studio.

I called it "100 Stacks," because Phil Da Agony says that in the opening verse. They are all going in. There is not a specific topic on the record. It’s straight no hooks, just raps."


16. "Live From the Era" ft. Pro Era (co-produced by Alchemist)

Statik Selektah: "Me and Alchemist did the beat together in L.A. about a year ago. I just had the beat in the stash. One night, Joey and the Pros were over, just hanging out. I was like, ‘Peep these beats that me and Alchemist did.’ And they did it. I wanted to put Pro Era on my album. They really haven’t got a look like that on a retail album, especially from a DJ. I want to showcase everybody in the crew. Only person that I wish was on there is obviously Captial STEEZ, rest in peace. But, Nyck Caution is not on the record. Dirty Sanchez isn’t on it and Rokamouth. From everybody that was there that night, they were all on it.

Pro Era are really smart kids. I just see the passion and energy that I had when I was that age. Not even when I was that age, but as a teenager. They study hip-hop. They’ll sit there and listen to MF Doom. We’ll be on the bus and all they’ll be playing is Black Moon. They study that. They are really into it. Like I said, they are really smart. They say rhymes that I don’t catch and I’ll go on a website and see someone make a comment about a line. I be like, ‘Whoa, I didn’t even see that they were saying that.’ They say some wild shit."


17. "Game Break" ft. Lecrae, Termanology & Posdnuos (of De La Soul)

Statik Selektah: "I sent it to Lecrae and he set it off first. Actually, Macklemore was supposed to be on the song. Anybody that knows what he’s doing right now understands that he can’t just jump in the studio. That dude literally does three shows a day. I never really bugged him for it. He was like, ‘I never really worked with De La. Posdnuos reached out and said, ‘I'd like to be on the album.’ So I thought 'Fuck it, I’ll put him on the song.' And at the last moment, I put Term on there to balance it out. I can’t chase down Macklemore and Term killed it. He had the highlight verse on the song.

I am happy I put Lecrae with some other rappers. My last album, he was on it, but it was a solo song. Even on his album, he’ll work with someone like K.R.I.T. who can do a gospel, soulful joint. Or Phonte. He doesn’t usually get put with the older cats or a Term. Term might be one of the most street rappers that have done a song with Lecrae."


18. "Home" ft. Talib Kweli

Statik Selektah: "It’s called "Home." You get home at the end of the album. The vibe of the song is different than the album. It’s kind of more laid back. That was recorded for his new album more than a year ago. I just had it. He was like, ‘Yo, you can use it and so I took it.’ I wasn’t in the studio with him. “Home” was the only record that I did like that.