Friday, June 24, 2011

Quality, Quantity? Sometimes Less is More

LinkNo, I’m not referring to the title of Ryan Leslie’s upcoming album.

I’m talking about the prolific producer Statik Selektah, who for the past few years has been on the rise as an ever-improving, credible and able producer for a number of mainstream and underground Hiphop acts.

The Boston-area native turned Brooklyn resident is responsible for producing 100 percent of three projects from this year alone, as well as four projects from the year before.

In addition, he’s scheduled this year to release two more albums that he will be the sole producer for, which is all in addition to the beats he stays making for a variety of artists, such as the work he put in for Edo G’s most recent album as well as the growing roster of artists signed to his own Showoff Records label.

But what started off as an admirable effort has lately been considerably watered down with Statik’s recent productions, including but not limited to the highly disappointing, stale-sounding collaborative album with Bumpy Knuckles.
In fact, one could argue that Statik’s best work comes only when he is working with members from his long time inner circle; rappers such as Reks and especially Termanology, with whom he has released a ton of quality and, most importantly, respected boom bap music.

The latest evidence of this came in the form of Lord Giveth, Lord Taketh Away, the album he recorded with Midwest rapper Freddie Gibbs, who has been celebrated online but is not really too noteworthy otherwise.
So it comes as no surprise that album suffers lyrically and rhyme style-wise.

Accomplished producers like DJ Premier, RZA, Dr. Dre, and so on all have the ability to create music that can make even the most mediocre rappers sound good, but somehow Statik can’t do the same for Gibbs. Sadly, he couldn’t even do it for Bumpy.

This post is by no means intended to be a protest of Statik Selektah’s beats. Even the most casual of ears can notice he has serious talent behind the boards. But perhaps he’s being a bit too ambitious working with artists who do not traditionally embrace that boom bap sound that Statik favors in his production style.

Dr. Dre became even more in demand once he stopped spreading out his producing and only working exclusively. On a much smaller scale, the same could be said about Preemo in the early to mid 2000s, when new Premier beats were rare but relished when they finally emerged.

Indeed, Statik has that level of talent that could very well translate into blowing up to those type of epic proportions. But it would seem that his high rate of output is watering down his final product, thus decreasing his value and ultimately chasing away potential big name collaborations, relegating him to the underground.

And for all we know, Statik may very well be in his comfort zone in the underground. But even the most devoted true school producers eventually branch out to get some mainstream love (and dough), and I’m sure Statik wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to work with a number of pop stars, no matter how non-Hiphop they are.

After the Action Bronson collabo (which I am seriously looking forward to), I hope that Statik will take some time off to work on making some of those crazy beats that propelled the 1982 and R.E.K.S. albums to greatness.

Because although the amount of music he’s made as of late will help get his name even further out there, quality should never take a backseat to quantity.

Below are some examples of the type of work I have come to love and expect from Statik:

No comments: