Statik Selektah is arguably the most renowned producer to make it out of Boston. Since 2007, he’s officially released eight studio albums and dozens of collaborative projects. The 33-year old’s catalog is extensive, and his work ethic hit a boiling point on Lucky 7, his most recent LP. According to Statik, himself, “Lucky 7 is gonna be my last compilation album in the style that I have been doing the last seven albums.”
A true artist, Statik won’t pigeonhole himself into a specific sound. He may have his sights set on the future, but in the meantime, he’s mastered the boom-bap technique East Coast sound. This is while participating in the current New York youth movement alongside Joey Bada$$ and Action Bronson, among others. From Bun B to Bodega Bamz, that combination of longevity and relative youth enabled Statik to enlist the help of both veteran and up-and-coming emcees for Lucky 7.
Several styles permeate the blanket East Coast gentrification of Lucky 7. Statik has a particular knack for the grimy beats, Gangsta Rap, and Jazz inspired production, and as such, guests are paired up accordingly. In most cases, the results are great, if not excellent. Rapsody goes in on “Another Level,” the album opener, on a grimy beat that’s also subtly complex in its layering. Shortly thereafter, Dave East goes bar-for-bar over the sample-based production on “The Locker Room.” Solo numbers like these notwithstanding, Lucky 7 also contains unique collaborations, like Joey Bada$$ and Big K.R.I.T. (“In the Wind”), and Talib Kweli alongside CJ Fly and Cane (“Scratch Off”).
With 21 tracks and a runtime of just under 70 minutes, Lucky 7 caters to almost every type of Hip Hop fan. “Gentlemen” featuring Illa Ghee, Sean Price & Fame is a tour de force in New York finese, with P in vintage form: “Bout to let actions speak more than words / Weaksauce disturbed / The whole crew you got is losers / See-through tube socks, new, sock it to yah / Crews poppin’ rugers / New sucker choose, watch your dude, watch your dude / That’s watchin’ 2Pac in Cuba.”
Conversely, the pace changes three tracks later on “Sucker Free” featuring JFK. Statik channels his inner Jazz musician, masterfully weaving brass horns and electric guitar to establish an indisputably chill vibe. Other album highlights include “Top Tier,” an epic posse cut featuring Sean Price, Bun B and Styles P alongside the psychedelic sounds of “Silver Lining” featuring newbies A$AP Twelvyy and Kirk Knight with Chauncy Sherod on the hook. Joey takes the lead on the album closer, “Alone,” shedding light, while once again articulating his profoundly learned wisdom: “Bury my entities, hating only wastes your energy / Fuck negativity, I got love for all my enemies / Most are mini-me’s, what they mean to me, minimal / My closet like a mini-mall and I’m expecting many more / The new millennials and the Indigos arrive / So it’s about time for a changing in the tide.”
If Lucky 7 truly is the end of a particular era and sound, Statik Selektah undoubtedly goes out in spectacular fashion. The beats are on point and each guest is on top of their game; no one disappoints. Lucky 7 doesn’t deviate from the framework of Statik’s previous compilations, but it does highlight his masterful command of each individual track, without ever simplifying the approach or integrity of the album.