Statik Selektah - What Goes Around...

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Statik Selektah enlists Hip Hop's best on "What Goes Around...," bringing a scratch-heavy, Jazz-tinged sound back into the spotlight.

It begins, as so many of his tracks do, with a drop. The provocative-sounding female voice is laced with connotations of Jazz and Soul samples, DJ Premier-esque scratched choruses and the kind of kick drum, snare and high hat combinations reminiscent of a time when A Tribe Called Quest was fresh on the scene. As Hip Hop has gone through phases like “ringtone Rap” and “Drill,” Statik Selektah’s Golden Age-infused style has remained unchanged, influencing a new generation of emcees who have revitalized the boom bap sound.

Over a lengthy 20 tracks, the veteran enlists both Hip Hop legends like De La Soul and Snoop Dogg, to newcomers and frequent collaborators Action Bronson and Joey Bada$$, creating an album that serves as a crash course in today’s youth movement combined with the prodigious sampling and, at times, delightful improvisation that adds a certain nostalgia without descending into a straight-up homage. And while last year’s offering, Extended Play—released on a day in June most remember for the release of Yeezus, Born Sinner and Watching Movies with the Sound Off—was notable for its Gospel samples, Statik Selektah’s latest, What Goes Around… draws heavily upon Jazz, one of Hip Hop’s closest sampling companions.

It starts off with a bang. Blaring horns, heavy hitting drums and the kind of energy most reserve for when they unexpectedly hear M.O.P.’s “Ante Up.” Even without his partner in rhyme Billy Danze, Lil Fame, a member of the aforementioned ‘90s duo, takes the reins on the title track, serving as the album’s hype man by laying down a passionate verse that “explodes like Mentos in a Pepsi.”

Those looking for a less aggressive beat will be more comfortable with the album’s second track, “Carry On,” which features a lyrical dual between Brooklyn-native Joey Bada$$ and ESGN’s own Freddie Gibbs. The hard snare hit and thumping bass, both signifiers of underground-style beats, is a constant between the two distinct tracks, a trick employed often by Statik Selektah throughout his latest project. It’s this connection that makes What Goes Around such an enjoyable album to listen to.

“The Thrill Is Back,” driven by shifting piano chords and the rhymes of Styles P and Talib Kweli, is another testament to the versatility found on What Goes Around… Once again, Statik Selektah manages to craft a beat perfectly suited to the styles of the track’s chosen emcees, creating a common ground between the hard-nosed member of The Lox and the intellectual Brooklyn rapper, who begins his verse with an homage to the Notorious B.I.G. This track also offers us our first true taste of Selektah’s scratching abilities, which come at both the beginning and end of the song.

Shifting away from Bronsalino’s bravado, “All The Way” allows Snoop Dogg to add his pimpish falsetto to the mix. It is here, along with tracks like “My Time,” featuring rappers Black Dave and Xantus along with Pro Era members CJ Fly and Nyck Caution; “Slum Villain,” featuring Joey Bada$$, and “God Knows,” featuring UGK’s torch bearer Bun B, crooner Jared Evan and Posdnuos of De La Soul, where the influence of Jazz is most openly apparent. It also becomes a bit stagnant, as the Jazz riffs blend seamlessly into the voices of the combatants, sometimes overpowering their flows. At times, as on “Chopper,” the looping saxaphone feels forced and redundant. As you move through the 20-track behemoth, you can’t help but think the sound is crossing the line between being consistent and homogenous,  but it’s also this firm adherence to a particular aesthetic that is the albums blessing and curse.

If Extended Play was Statik Selektah’s way of stating that he could compete with Hip Hop’s best, What Goes Around… is his way of letting the world know that Hip Hop’s Golden Age is alive and well. And while the compilation deejay/producer album tends to have it’s share of woes as too many cooks spoil the broth, Statik Selektah balances out this tendency with solid production that invokes images of the days of Hip Hop yore.

46 Comments

  • clarkkid

    This cat on here talking about no drake.... dissing this album. Must b a skinny jean Mohawk type of listener. lmao. Don't know what HIP HOP is. Stick to blue grass Country music. Probably like the thrift shop song too. S seletah is one of the best new producers In

  • KingKnown

    I give Statik Selektah What Goes Around A-91. This is a real hip hop album. Cohesive project. Lots of Jazz samples. Sounds like the old Gang Starr. Standout tracks on What Goes Around: Alarm Clock, The Chopper, Slum Villain, Get Away, The Imperial, and All The Way. It has no filler just songs that fit the poverty, depressing, lyrical skill and the 90's hip hop influence amongst the project.

  • Anonymous

    Oh and one last thing, Black Thought's verse is probably the only thing present on the whole album that makes it worth any amount of money.

  • Anonymous

    I think this album looked better than it really sounded. Some awesome features and a great idea, but Statik really kinda let me down on this. Some of the beats were dope as hell and had outstanding verses but most of this album really aint all that, the big names very barely carried this album full of mediocre production. Sadly this is still probably amongst the most solid releases of the year so far and it's not a bad album but it certainly isn't as good as it could of been either. Overall, I'd say this is a strong 3, maybe a weak 3.5 outta 5. Some great tracks, some great rappers, a lot of mediocrity. Production falls short more than the performers.

  • OHMYGOD!

    Dsf, the repetitive drums you're talkin about regarding Preemo, that's called a signature sound. To the other guy, no I'm not young, has nothing to do with anything.

  • OHMYGOD!

    GOOD LORD!! Will this fuckin clown just quit making music?!?! DX, a 4?!! There's like TWO SONGS that are good!! TWO beats are good, that's it!! Statik Selektah is the most overrated producer IN HIP HOP. I'm from Boston and I want to like him! I continue to give him another chance and he still cannot make great beats. He HAS made some bangas, but that's here and there. He makes one dope beat out of every 20 maybe. This fuckin dude sucks! So sick of these soft, weak ass muthafuckin beats. His earlier shit was better! He's just getting worse!

    • NeZ

      Statik brings some fresh beats to the genre. Also - how old are you? Probably has something to do with it. At least his beats have variety.

    • dsf

      To each their own your right to an extent on his comp albums there are a few bangers and alot of mediocrity but that mediocrity is decreasing as he becomes a better producer. it's difficult and to my knowledge not many producer comp's have pulled off a blend of different rap styles and production. you have to respect the guy for attempting unique and off the wall collabo's. his 1 rapper 1 producer albums are better due to them being more consistent but he is improving as a producer. i wouldnt say he is overrated he is a dope producer overall who is constantly improving. imo he will become a legend like premo. compared to present day premo, statik has a better ear for melody and doesn't recycle the same hi-hats and snares

  • kevindmoeaviles1994

    best shit out there from this era

  • Justice

    Love this album for the most part. Statik's production was on point. Love the old school vibe it has. And the rappers came with dope bars!

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  • Half Conscious

    Thats that shit.

  • doggfather

    Slaine get 3, and this got 4?! WTF?!

  • brollya

    the album is great.... all the greatest underground rappers all in one... action brunson, joey badass, freddie gibbs, dilated peoples, etc... the statik selektah show should be great tomorrow

  • Anonymous

    Just listened to it a few times from start to end, and those "redundant" beats grow on you over time. Not an amazing album, but worth 4 stars.

  • drake runs rap

    No Drake = No swag! Fuck this old school east coast shit and any of y'all old ass niggaz who like this shit!

    • AR

      Didn't we tell to come out or the closet? We all know with a name like that, you must be batting from the other side of the plate, fantasizing about Drake at night. Or your a teenage female needing some attention.

    • Chief Rocka

      The fact you use swag tells me you a f*** boy. Stay in your pop radio lane. Bringing up Drake in a hip hop conversation. F*****g cornball!

    • Anonymous

      you're what's ruining hip hop

  • Harlem's Reckoning

    Loved the scratching, refreshing to hear actual DJ work on the forefront.

  • Hermione Granger

    I'm giving it a magnificent five stars rating. One of years best albums! Black Thought's neverending verse is epic as usual. Walls of Grffindor have spoken! Cheers mates!

  • Anonymous

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  • Seen

    this joint was a dissapointment. alot of them beats was wack. there's like 3 or 4 good songs on it.

  • Ruvunja

    I fucks with Statik, on this joint no more no less

    • There is a God!

      Finally, some people with some sense! All these other fuckboy backpacking faggots who give every single album a 5. Just throwing 5s out there like nothing. This dude is the definition of average and I think one of the main reasons people say he's one of the best is due to his DJing abilities. His DJ skills. He may be a good DJ, but as a producer he's just not that good!

  • Lu

    Blown away by this album,dope beats and features

  • Jack Knife

    I love this but I feel like it could have used more repetitive drum sounds.

  • Because The Internet

    The features are incredible.

  • Anonymous

    Statik Selektah is better than ever!

  • Anonymous

    he's something like dj khaleed

  • Qstein

    Very enjoyable album

  • son of a sax

    4 mics, I can get with that

  • paul

    Extremely Dope. Statik Selektah is the best producer. Extended Play was the shit, too.

    • HUH?

      You're either extremely retarded, don't listen to much hip hop, or have shit taste if you think this fuckhead is the best producer. I'm guessing you're a little slow AND you don't know your hip hop.