Following his deejay set during 9th Wonder’s 95 Live New York City debut (February 1st), producer and Massachusetts-native, Statik Selektah said the city of Boston “doesn’t like Hip Hop.”
Speaking exclusively with HipHopDX, the Showoff Records CEO elaborated on his statement. “When I say the city, I mean the government there—the cops, [Mayor Thomas M. Menino],” he said. “They never really embraced Hip Hop with the exception of a couple shows. The clubs that were doing Hip Hop got shut down.”
The City of Boston holds a free Hip Hop concert on City Hall Plaza each August. Previously entitled the Peace Hip Hop Concert, the city shortened the festival to three hours and rebranded the event Boston Urban Music Festival (BUMF) in 2010 with a focus on the 15 to 23 year-old demographic. Outside of BUMF, reports indicate a fractured Hip Hop community with limited venue options and a culture of pay-for-play shows leading some emcees into the city’s Indie Rock scene in search of increased visibility.
Statik described Boston as a “one-of-a-kind place” with a “different breed of people” created by long standing racial tension within the city.
“Whether you’re a White emcee, Black, Puerto Rican, whatever—you come from different values,” he said. “At the end of the day, it created a crazy city. In Boston, there are parts of town where the hood couldn’t perform and there were parts of town where the backpackers couldn’t perform. Everybody’s cool. But I think that definitely created a whole different scene than any other city has.”
Last year, Statik Selektah and fellow Lawerence, Massachusetts-native, Termanology released 2012—the second full length release under their collaborative moniker, 1982. While he feels the duo has created a wide-range of records, Statik says a future 1982 project would have a decidedly rugged sound.
“If we do another 1982 album, it’s gonna be grimey, grimey,” he says. “My new album, I’m going back to the dirt. There’s not commercial records on my new album. Not to say that I make commercial records. But my last album had more up beat stuff. This is like M.O.P. music—rob people shit. My hardcore fanbase is gonna really love this album."
When asked by HipHopDX if his 2011 solo offering, Population Control, disconnected with fans of his grimier work, Statik said that although plenty of grime was included, he “worked with some new cats” that he doesn’t think fit his sound.
As of press time, no release date has been confirmed for Statik Selektah’s upcoming album believed to be titled Extended Play.
The 2013 Boston Urban Music Festival is scheduled for August 3rd from 5PM to 8PM.