Guru is tragically no longer with us, but a Brooklyn-by-way-of-Boston based emcee and deejay/producer tandem are keeping the Gang Starr tradition alive of raw rhyming atop boom bap beats with their debut effort as a duo, Statik Selektah & Termanology Are 1982.
Hot on the heels of Statik Selektah’s third critically-acclaimed compilation, 100 Proof (The Hangover), the heavily in-demand beatmaker/Showoff Records label-head and his longtime lyrical compadre/ST. Records leader are set to unleash another hard-hitting batch of beats and rhymes, this time under the billing of their birth year to symbolize the duo’s destined-to-be musical unification.
Last Thursday, (October 14th), Statik Selektah & Termanology casually chopped it up with HipHopDX about their joint LP droppin’ next Tuesday (October 26th). The friends of over a decade also revealed the details of currently in-the-works projects they each have on deck for 2011. Stat additionally broke some surprising news regarding Saigon, and even more eye-popping information about his collaboration with Nas.
HipHopDX: When are we getting a video for my personal favorite head-nodder from this 1982 album, “The Radio”?
Termanology: To tell you the truth man, there’s a sad story behind that…
Statik Selektah: [Laughs]
Termanology: That was supposed to be the first video on the joint. And, for the last five years I’ve been going to every radio station – I went to [DJ] Kay Slay, I went to Peter Rosenberg [and] Cipha Sounds, I went to Marley Marl, I went to DJ Premier, I went to Green Lantern, I went to…like everybody…Angela Yee. I went all around, and what I was gonna do was take live clips from all of those [appearances] and put ‘em together like a documentary for when I say the lines shouting ‘em out. But my stupid-ass manager Dan Green - this nigga’s mad retarded and stupid – he lost all the videos from the last five years [of] all the hard work that I put in. So that’s the problem with that video. So you’re probably never gonna see it, yo. So you can thank Dan Green for that.
Statik Selektah: [Interrupts] Nah, nah. We’re gonna do something. I have a couple concepts I gotta go over with Term.
Termanology: You can put that on HipHopDX, what I said, please.
Statik Selektah: [Laughs]
Termanology: He needs to be punished for his actions. He ripped my heart and soul out for no reason.
DX: You can still do something. You can still get L.L. Cool J to do that cameo for you [lip-synching the song’s sampled lines from “I Can’t Live Without My Radio”].
Termanology: Wooo! Remix “Mama Said Knock You Out,” let’s get it!
Statik Selektah: That shit would be hot.
DX: I just think it’s a fucking shame joints like “The Radio” don’t actually get played on daytime radio. But “You Should Go Home” should be all over that muthafucka right about now.
Statik Selektah: I mean, really it’s getting crazy spins. It’s getting spinned in [Philadelphia by Power 99 deejay] Cosmic Kev.
Termanology: Definitely in Boston.
DX: Now, having heard the album I should make it clear to anyone reading this that there’s only one other joint, “Wedding Bells,” where we’re getting that L.L. Termanolo J.
DX: [Laughs] Was that purposeful to like keep [the album] centered for the heads [and] just have those couple joints that you could shoot out to radio?
Termanology: I mean, not really. To tell you the truth, I just do what the beat calls. “Wedding Bells” is one of the first records we recorded. And it’s funny, ‘cause when we started the album we just had like three or four jazzy songs and Stat was like, “Yo, this shit is too soft, man. Like, this shit is like real soft. People ain’t expecting this from us, we gotta make some hardcore shit.” And then that’s kinda where the album took a turn and we started making a whole bunch of grimey shit and we got into our little zone of experimenting with drugs and alcohol and just staying up for like five days straight recording. So that’s where the griminess came from. But yeah, “Wedding Bells,” the concept just came to me as a joke. Like, you smashing a shorty and you hearing the bed squeaking and she’s trying to get married. That was kinda more like a joke, but we just put it into a song. And also “You Should Go Home” was a joke too, and that shit ended up being like our banger. That’s the joint everybody’s feeling right now, so sometimes you never know, just playing around and you come up with a hit.
DX: “Tell Me Lies” is a dope concept joint, but Grandmaster Caz already beat y’all to the punch 31 years earlier with the verse he ghostwrote for Big Bank Hank on “Rapper’s Delight”: “So after school, I take a dip in the pool, which is really on the wall.” [Laughs]
Termanology: You know what’s crazy about that [is] we weren’t even born yet [when “Rapper’s Delight” came out], so I dunno. But that’s dope. Yeah, fuck it, we always trying to reinvent shit. That’s actually my favorite concept on the whole album. And Styles P is also one of my favorite emcees, [so] that’s why I had Statik reach out to him and make that happen with him on it, and it just sealed the deal. It made it amazing.
DX: Did you guys see anything in particular going on in the game that inspired that?
Termanology: It was more the beat. The [vocal sample in the] beat says “tell me lies.” It says “make up anything you want, tell me lies, tell me lies.” So like, Statik gave me the beat and – Actually, that beat wasn’t even supposed to be for our album, that was for one of my artists from [my label] ST. [Records], his name’s Clip, and he just had the beat sitting around for awhile. He never did nothing with it so I snatched it up and made it something. But the sample I had in my head I wanted to use for a long time – the Dr. Dre sample in the middle – [and so] I brought that to Stat, and we just put it in there and it all worked out. But yeah man, all these rappers be lying anyway, so that’s pretty much what it’s about.
DX: I just wanna mention that I love that Jazz-tinged boom bap sound of “The Street Life,” but the sonic standout on this album I think is “The Hood Is On Fire” [featuring Inspectah Deck]. You agree, Statik? Was that the joint you put ya elbows into?
Statik Selektah: Uh, I don’t think so, man. I think “Goin Back” [featuring Cassidy and Xzibit] is. I think “Goin Back” is crazy ‘cause it’s like, there’s so many different styles in the beat. But I mean, “Hood On Fire” is cool. I actually was never crazy about that -
Termanology: [Interrupts] He wanted to cut that joint. He tried to cut that…
Statik Selektah: Yeah, I wanted to take it off the album.
Termanology: We was like, “Yo, what should we cut? We’re gonna cut one joint.” And Stat said that [one] and I was like, “Nah, man. We gotta keep that, that’s a standout right there.” To me, sonically I think “Help” is like the most breakthrough beat on there to me – the last joint [on the album].
DX: I just love those – On “Hood Is On Fire” it’s like a ghetto symphony sound with them strings…
Termanology: Yeah…I love that joint. Even those little girls I got to go in there and sing that shit [for the chorus] – that shit was crazy.
DX: Saigon, he gets it in on the Soul-Funk driven “Life Is What You Make It.” I was starting to think he walked off the face of the earth -
Statik Selektah: Yo it’s funny, Saigon called me like 10 minutes ago talking about his new deal. I don’t know if I’m even supposed to talk about it, but the [The Greatest Story Never Told] album [he did] with Just Blaze is coming out. I’m not about to say on what label or when, but it’s coming out like soon.
DX: What about All In Another Day with Sai Giddy, when’s that coming?
Statik Selektah: He was actually just talking about that too. We’re gonna do that probably [in] like March or April. We’re gonna make an event out of it. Like, it’s gonna be broadcast live on the Internet as we make it.
DX: Reks is another dude that’s coming out of the shadows on this  album, over the slow-simmering Soul of “Freedom.” When are we getting that EP warm-up to his R.E.K.S. LP?
Statik Selektah: The EP will be out the end of November. And then the album will be out March 8th.
DX: That’s another dude [where] I’m like constantly biggin’ him up to people, [but] then I have to point ‘em back to joints from a year or two ago. It’s like…ya know –
Statik Selektah: Nah, I hear you. We got a lot of new music [ready to go]. We got about 15 [full songs] done right now that are all coming out, whether it’s on the mixtape, [In Between The Lines Vol. 2], or the album or the EP. The album’s been done for a year.
DX: You just wanted to shift to the 1982 project first or - ?
Statik Selektah: It wasn’t that. We were just waiting on certain mixes from certain producers. ‘Cause like the songs have been done, but dealing with some of these – Like, his whole album is superstar producers. I know Term’s been through it when he did Politics As Usual – it’s a real pain in the ass waiting for some of these cats to mix records. But when it happens, it’s worth it.
DX: So just for clarification, songs from the [R.E.K.S.] LP, will they be on the EP…?
Statik Selektah: Songs from the EP will be on the [In Between The Lines Vol. 2] mixtape with Green Lantern, but the album is gonna be all brand new material. The only song that’s probably gonna be on the album is “Self-Titled.” And I know it’s kinda old, but we’re putting the video up this week and the video is amazing... Nas knows [about] the record, but Nas ain’t in the video. But he doesn’t need to be, when you see the video you’re gonna be like, “Wow.” ‘Cause it’s Reks telling – He’s rappin’ like a nursery rhyme to his son. And his son looks just like him, it’s real crazy.
DX: I just wanna note here [that] “Thugathon” originally leaked back in late ’08 but you added a verse from Billy Danze to it for this 1982 album. I understand we’re not getting an M.O.P. LP on Showoff but we will soon be getting some Fizzyology?
Statik Selektah: That’ll be on ST. Records. That’s Term’s situation.
Termanology: Yeah, the Fizzyology [project with Lil Fame] will be my next LP. We’ve been done [with it]. We’ve been done like before we even finished ’82… It’s just that ’82 made more sense to drop right now. So, I think we’re just gonna get one beat from [DJ] Premier and then we’re gonna wrap it up. We got about 17 joints that we’re happy with. All of the production is from Fame, [a/k/a] Fizzy Womack, and we got two beats from Statik and one from Alchemist. So, I think at this point Fame wants to wrap it up…’cause I was trying to add some new producers and he was like, “Nah.” He wanted to do all the beats. But, hopefully [I’ll] sneak a Premier joint on there and [then] we’ll have that [Fizzyology album] out probably like late 1st quarter, early second quarter next year.
DX: I’m trying to get a sense of the vibe of the album, is it y’all like going Run-DMC back and forth, or is it you doing verses and him coming with the crazy choruses?
Termanology: It’s both. It’s everything. He has four solo records on it. And I have two solo records on it. And then we have ten [songs] together. We got some where we’re going back and forth. We got some where I’m doing the rhymes and he’s doing the hook. We got some where it’s just 16 for 16. So far we only got two guests on it. We were trying to keep the guests limited, but we got Sticky Fingaz and we got Bun B on it.
DX: Now while I’m getting this rundown of what y’all got coming up, Statik, last time we spoke, for the Showoff feature, you told me there wasn’t gonna be a follow-up to a 100 Proof unless it was “monumental” and you said, “I’m not gonna drop it unless I have Jay-Z and Nas or some shit like that.” And, I just saw your Twitter feed and I understand that there is gonna be a follow-up to 100 Proof so…?
Statik Selektah: It’s not a follow-up though, that’s the thing. It’s a completely different album. It’s all new artists. I’m not doing no more compilations with like [established artists]. I’m basically doing a concept album where I showcase cats like Freddie Gibbs and Mac Miller and Big K.R.I.T. and all these new cats. I think we have a more promising rookie lineup [in Hip Hop] than we have [seen] in a long time… I’m working with a lot of cats that even like some people haven’t heard of yet like this kid Jon Connor that Nas is really co-signing. I just did a record with him. He’s real dope. We did a record. Freddie already did a record. I sent a record to J. Cole. I got Mac Miller – I got Mac on two records right now. I got some crazy records for it, so -
DX: You got a tentative title for the album?
Statik Selektah: Nah, not yet. I’m not even gonna talk about [the official album details] until probably January. I’m gonna finish most of the album before January, and then I’m just gonna be ready to rock for like April. We’re gonna put it out in April. But I mean, right now the focus is ’82.
DX: Real quick though, while I got you, can I get a rundown on just a couple other names real quick: AZ, what you did specifically for Doe or Die 2…?
Statik Selektah: Um…yeah…well, here’s the thing, AZ’s coming over tomorrow and I’m remixing “Gimme Yours” and “Doe Or Die.” But that’s for the 15th anniversary shit. I think everybody’s confused, ‘cause he’s doing Doe or Die 2, but all the records that leaked so far are just on that 15th anniversary [project]. So I don’t think he’s even started [work on Doe Or Die 2] yet.
Termanology: Nah, he hasn’t started it yet. He hasn’t started Doe or Die 2 yet.
Statik Selektah: So, basically I’m gonna do a couple of remixes for the 15th anniversary of [the original] Doe Or Die. And then, I’m sure – I know he picked out some beats [from me] for Doe Or Die 2. But, he’s coming over tomorrow, so I mean, no matter what I’m definitely on both projects.
DX: Xzibit? I saw on your Twitter there you got something coming with him?
Statik Selektah: Yeah, it’s coming out next month. I did like a mixtape [with him]. And there’s like ten new songs, and the rest of it is all of his classics blended together. It’s pretty dope.
DX: Did you do anything for his new album?
Statik Selektah: He told me he’s not really focusing on an album right now. He’s just gonna put out like singles, and maybe an EP. That’s with a lot of artists [now]. I’m getting the vibe from a lot of people that they don’t wanna necessarily make albums and they just wanna put out singles occasionally… I think you’re just gonna start seeing a lot of iTunes singles and stuff.
DX: Speaking of mixtapes, from your Twitter again, I saw you got something coming called Selektions?
Statik Selektah: Yeah, that’s a mixtape that I did with Frank Da Butcher. He’s the creative control guy over at Concepts. It’s a sneaker store in Cambridge, [Massachusetts], at Harvard Square. And basically the mixtape is all like some of my more memorable beats with a lot of cats just freestyling on ‘em… We got Consequence, Sean Price, Term’s on there…Reks is on there, Phonte – There’s actually a record with Truck North, Phonte, Reks and STS. It’s real dope. There’s a lot of like weird collaborations that Frank made happen. He spearheaded that, he did it on his own, and [so] I know he has some surprises for me. So, I don’t know the rest of the names, but I know he had everybody do the freestyles and I’m just gonna mix it all together.
DX: Another name real quick – last time we spoke you told me Souls Of Mischief was gonna be a project you were gonna be working on?
Statik Selektah: Yeah, I think they did it. Like, I think they finished it up… All the beats were picked out like a year ago, so I dunno – I gotta figure out what’s going on, but every time I talk to A-Plus he’s all excited. And the guys hit me up individually once in awhile. So that’s gonna happen. I’m excited about that, ‘cause I always looked at Souls Of Mischief [as] a group that could make dope albums, like all the way through.
DX: Yeah, [and] “Laughin’” [from 100 Proof] was a crazy joint.
Statik Selektah: Yeah…and we’re doing a lot with the Showoff Digital thing. Kali’s EP is out now. J.F.K.’s coming next. And we got this group out of Denver called Food Chain. They got a bunch of records with like [Talib] Kweli, and like Little Brother. So that’s coming real soon too.
DX: But no Jay-Z and Nas joint? [Laughs]
Statik Selektah: Oh there’s a Nas joint, don’t get it twisted. I just did a couple of records with Nas. I fill in deejaying for him sometimes. When Green Lantern can’t do it, I fill in. [So] me and Nas [working together], yeah, that’s a go… When he starts his next album, he already picked two beats for that. And I think he recorded [to] those two [beats already]. As far as Jay-Z, that’s like been my goal right now. I don’t think I’ve made the beat for [him] yet, but when I make it, it’s going straight to him.
Writer’s Note: A free bonus EP with songs like “The Lottery” and “82-92” will be sent to anyone who provides proof of purchasing the 1982 album by emailing a scan of their receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org.