The first Southern signee to Shady/Aftermath Records, Stat Quo, spoke exclusively to HipHopDX.com regarding the delay in releasing his debut album, Statlanta.

“The single didn’t react the way I wanted it to,” says Stat of the decision to postpone his album’s release based on the reception at radio of its intended first single, the Dr. Dre-produced “Here We Go.” “It wasn’t really pushed as the big single. The label pushed it like one of the records I would leak. It was a breakdown in communication between Shady/Aftermath, Interscope, and myself. But we back on track now.”

The new jumpoff joint for Statlanta is “G.R.I.T.S. (Girls Raised In The South).” A forthcoming video for the song will set off the setup for Stat’s album (along with an Internet-only clip for another track on Statlanta, “We Get Higher”).

For many months the release date scheduled for Statlanta was today, August 28th, but now the album is without a new set date, and Stat forewarns it could be delayed until as late as next year. “If it was to go to 2008 it would be a different thing though,” he explains. “Like, when Game came out he came out the top of that year, but his buzz was crazy. If [Statlanta] was to [drop in ‘08] it would be that type of situation with me.”

If that scenario plays out it will have taken over 4 years from the time Stat first signed with Shady/Aftermath records to release his debut album. But he has yet to give any serious thought to leaving the label. “To say I’m not frustrated, I would be lying,” laments Stat of the several corrupted setups for Statlanta he’s been forced to endure since 2004. “If I didn’t have my album to listen to I probably would’ve been like, I’m out. But [the album] is so good I want it to come out the way it is.”

Boasting a half-dozen Dr. Dre produced tracks (“Here We Go,” “Fire,” “All Hood,” “That’s Him,” “What They Call Me,” and “The Way It Is”), as well as three Eminem laced joints (“Testify,” “30 Minutes,” and “Memory Lane”), Statlanta is surely as good as Stat says it is. And it might just see the light of day right before a new Eminem album drops (“We did this record for his album, it’s got some of the greatest MC’s in the game on there,” says Stat before coyly dodging requests for more info). But Stat is careful to remind that the Shady/Aftermath release schedule is never set in stone. “Over here albums come out when they ready,” he says. “We don’t sit around and say, Okay, you coming first. It’s just more so when I’m ready it’s coming.”