Statik Selektah: Snowball Effect..making moves with Royce Da 5'9, Nas, and Big Pun


has never been an issue for Patrick Baril. When he started deejaying at

underage clubs in New Hampshire in his early teens, people around the

way got to know the name of DJ Statik. But after hearing about others

spinning under the same moniker, he got frustrated enough to realize

he needed something to set him apart. It wasn’t until one Friday night

at the age of 17, while doing his weekly DJ spot in a Bronx club, he

heard a promoter grab the mic and utter a phrase that clicked in his

head, and ultimately led to the birth of Statik ‘Selektah.’


a young man at 25, Statik already has the industry schoolings of a veteran,

with a Sirius satellite radio show, his own marketing team and label,

and highbrow mixtapes that will remind listeners how some music is still

worth your money. With his long awaited album about to hit store shelves,

and a gang of other projects in the works, Statik is now in a position

to say whatever the hell he feels, even if he has to hurt some feelings

and break some egos.

Statik candidly breaks down his rise

in the Hip-Hop ranks with longtime pal Termanology, why Lil Wayne cannot

be the best alive, and the obstacles up against a DJ trying to reach

that top-tier position. Tell me a bit

about Showoff Records.

Statik: Showoff started in

2003, I started putting out remixes, 12 inches, and I used to throw

the logo on my mixtapes and shit. In 2006 we put out Termanology’s

first album Out The Gate which is a project he did with DC. It’s

not really his first album, it’s more of a side project he’s been

working on but it did pretty good. Also in 2006 we released an album

by Grand Estate who are from New Hampshire and that did pretty good

too. But basically the label is going to get launched with my album,

which has been pushed back so many times, but it’s finally time on

November 6. After my album, Reks’ album is coming out in January.

I’m A&Ring Termanology’s album, and he just got a real big deal

but I can’t say yet. The dude he signed with is a very major player

in the industry who’s responsible for like 30 million sales. You’re

gonna bug out when you hear who. So is Term’s

album almost done? 

Statik: Yeah, we’ve been

working on it for like two years, it’s been in the making, but we’re

going to finish it up with [unknown party]. How did you

and Termanology first get together, because you played a big role in getting

everything rolling for him right? 

Statik: Yeah, it’s funny

cause me, him and Reks were all born in the same hospital. (Laughs)

He’s from Lawrence originally, I’m from Lawrence originally but

moved to New Hampshire for high school. I used to deejay an under-21 nightclub

the Hampton Beach, and he used to get up and freestyle and say how he’s

better than everybody, and he was like 14 or 15 getting up and telling

everybody he’d battle them. It was cool, cause he’d rip it. So we

started hangin out just as kids off of loving Hip-Hop coming up together.

Then I moved to Boston and he stayed up there and we didn’t talk for

years. There was a time where we didn’t talk at all. Four or five

years later, he started sending me records and they’re real dope so

I started playing them, even though we weren’t even cool like we used

to be. He was consistent, and I admired his consistency cause he was

making good records. 

After a while he started coming

down to New York, and it got to where we record stuff like every single

day. He lives in my old apartment, I moved out of the Bronx to Brooklyn.

Literally he lived upstairs for a while. He’s on tour with Common

and Q-Tip right now, but when he’s in New York we’re working like

every day. We’ll do three records a day. It’s been

said by some that rapping a young man’s game, with Lil Wayne being

in throne position in some people’s eyes. But on the other end you’ve

got people who argue Jay or Nas still get the "Best Rapper Alive" title. 

Statik: Yeah, I’m the latter,

I’m with the Jay and Nas people. Wayne’s cool, but c’mon dudes.

The guys that the kids and a lot of the younger people think are really

good nowadays are saying the same s**t that people were saying in like

’82, ’83. I don’t see the originality like there used to be. And

I’m not downing Lil Wayne, I love Lil Wayne and I listen to anything

he puts out. But calling yourself the Best Rapper Alive? I mean it’s

cool, it’s confidence, but people actually call him that. It’s one

thing if he calls himself that, but when you’ve got people literally

in the hood saying Wayne’s better than Nas or Wayne’s better than

any of these dudes, it’s like “Nah, hold up.” Do you still kick it with the Smash Squad on a regular


Statik: Oh yeah, that’s my

crew! Me and Clinton started that with Chubby Chub. Now we’ve got

Scram Jones, Tony Touch, Wild Boy out in DC. We keep it real tight,

and it’s not one of those crews that you’re gonna see like 30 or

40 DJs in. There’s less than 10 of us. Was that crew

started as an inspirational thing strictly DJ related, or as something

that developed out of friendship? 

Statik: You know it was both.

Me, Clinton and Chubby have always been cool. I look at Chub as like

my big brother. He’s a legend in New York with mixtapes, and he moved

up to Boston and started doing radio, and he used to let me fill in

for him on Hot 97. That was a big move for me and a major step in the

industry. So I always shout out Chub, I always shout out Clinton, these

guys if anyone are the two that really helped me. And shouts to Primo

too, DJ Premier has been a big part of my drive for a couple years. What was the

whole deal with your project getting pushed back all those times, and

only now seeing the light of day now? 

Statik: I mean honestly, it

was really just me bullsh***ing. I never really started it until about

two months ago, but I did the whole album in like two months. It’s

been crazy just trying to get all these people in the studio, a lot

of cats will be on the road and they gotta email me the ProTools sessions.

It’s a lot of politics and favors being done. Like I didn’t pay

anybody, it was all favors. Everybody looked out. I think it’s

something a lot of people are going to be checking for, so it must be

a big day for you. What can people expect to hear on it? 

Statik: S**t, I don’t know

where to start. Every record speaks in it’s own way. There’s no

filler records at all, and I’m happy about that. I used to put out

so many mixtapes before I started doing the Nas and G-Unit ones, I had

Spell My Name Right Volumes 1-10. I always tried to hint that there’d

be Spell My Name Right album. (Laughs). But it’s a good feeling, I’m

from Boston and a lot of people know that name from the old mixtapes

and we’re finally putting out the album. As far as collaborations,

the Freeway/Cassidy is real major, cause they’ve never done a song

together. The Q-Tip and Styles P with Termanology is out of this world,

every record on there I love. I think there’s something for everybody. Like you were

saying your mixtapes have dropped for a while, and after the year 2000

you started getting production credits doing Intros and Outros, and

even a few tracks. Now you’re production is popping up a lot more,

so how has that developed over the years? 

Statik: It’s been picking

up pretty steady, but now is the time when you’re gonna start seeing

my name on a lot of albums. I produced two songs on Consequence’s

next album, I produced two records on Joell Ortiz’s Aftermath album.

I produced every song on my album, so that’s gonna be like my business

card when I give that to artists. I did “Animal” on AZ’s last

album, a bunch of records for Termanology, and I’m producing Reks’

entire album, and that’s another one I’m really putting a lot of

work into. Let’s talk

a little about one of my personal favorite mixtapes, The Bar Exam.

What was the story behind you, Royce and Premier getting together to

work on that project? 

Statik: I had done a CD with

Royce before that called The King is Back, which isn’t out

there as much but we still pressed up like 15,000 copies and that was

back in 2005. Royce was in jail, and Keno his manager had wanted to

do another CD for a while, but Primo kind of put a spark to it and said

“Let’s do it.” He gave me the “Hit ‘Em!” record, and even

the “Ding Ding” record had never been on a real CD in the store,

so we put it on there. Half of it was new freestyles, and half was acapella

freestyles that he gave to me. So I guess you

had the idea to put some to old Primo tracks?

Statik: Yeah, a couple. The

“Million Questions” he obviously rapped to that one. But like the

Christina Aguilera one, Primo went and got the DAT and dug for it to

give me that beat. Recently there’s

been talk of Royce possibly signing with Nas’ label, you know anything

about that? 

Statik: Yeah, I mean I’ve

been in between it, because when he started doing that I was doing the

Royce tape trying to get Nas on [The Bar Exam]. But there’s

definitely going to be some kind of Nas/Royce collaboration sometime

soon. I was going back and forth between both their managers trying

to make something happen, but it’s just not always that easy. I don’t know

if I missed it or not, but there was talk before a project with Big

Pun material that your were supposed to be working with. Did that ever


Statik: (Laughs) That’s kind

of ill that you heard that. It’s gonna happen, we just haven’t started

it yet but it’s gonna happen. There’s a lot of politics with that

too, it’s like we’ve got to deal with Fat Joe the right way, and

if we really decided to put it out there in the right way, I’d want

to break off his wife or whatever. I don’t really know, it’s kind

of a touchy subject. Big Pun is Term’s favorite of all time, so he

really wants to do it and it was really his idea. But if we do it, it’s

gonna be crazy. It’s really just an idea, but we’re gonna do it. One of the problems

with doing a project like that is a lot of people say, “Let the man

rest in peace with the work that he did.” 

Statik: But those dudes are

corny though. I’ve done parties where I’ve done a 20 minute Biggie

set and people come up like “Yo, play some new shit. Let Biggie rest

in peace.” And it’s like “What? C’mon man. I’m showing respect

to one of the best who ever lived.” In no way is it disrespectful

to him. I mean, it’s one thing if I take a Biggie acapella like “Hypnotize,”

put it over a new beat and push it like it’s some great remix. That’s

corny. But as far as doing a whole CD of a dead artist like Big L, Pun

or Pac, or anybody… if you do it right and it sounds good? F**k it

then, do it. There’s no reason not to keep that legacy alive. All

of the dead rappers were some of the best that ever did it, why not

keep their shit alive? You just gotta be original with it. Everybody’s

put a Biggie verse over a Jay-Z beat, but who’s gonna bring it to

that next level? So what’s

that next level? 

Statik: I don’t know, we’ll

have to see. (Laughs) I got a lot of Biggie acapellas, I might have

to do something. I mean doing something like Biggie did with the Duets,

it’s an original idea, but I don’t know if it was done the way it

should have been, but something like that is cool because people get

to see collabos that you never saw. But you’ve

got to wonder if Biggie would have actually been doing collaborations

with certain artists. 

Statik: See that’s what I’m

talking about, you’ve got to do it the right way. Personally, my opinion

is that Pac wouldn’t necessarily be working with Eminem. I love Eminem

and I love Tupac, but when you put them two together on a song, that’s

when it’s questionable. Like “What’s really going on here?”

It’s really an Interscope thing. But as far as Biggie and Redman,

something like that, that s**t makes sense.