Statik Selektah is a 41 year old producer, DJ & radio personality from Boston, Massachusetts widely considered to be one of the most consistent & hard-working producers in all of hip hop for over a decade now whether it be his output as part of the producer/MC duo 1982 alongside fellow Boston native Termanology or entirely producing projects for the likes of Action Bronson & Paul Wall. Even his 9 solo albums have a chockfull of bangers on them, most notably Extended Play & #WhatGoesAround…. But as the 3 year anniversary of Statik’s last full-length outing The Balancing Act approaches in a couple of weeks, he’s making a Round Trip with the 10th.
The title track by Posdnuos is a heartbreaking boom bap opener paying tribute to the late Dave of De La Soul who tragically passed away 4 months ago of congestive heart failure whereas “Historic” by AZ & Ransom finds the pair delivering coming together for a jazz rap banger talking about this latest run. “Different League” by Benny the Butcher & 1982 gives off a spookier atmosphere making it clear they’re a different breed just before “Can’t Stop” by Stove God Cook$ & Symba is a more motivational boom bap joint talking about keeping it moving with Nina Sky on the hook.
“Unpredictable” by the greatest hip hop group of all-time Wu-Tang Clan pays homage to that old RZA sound as Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Method Man & Raekwon spit 4 lethal verses leading into “Ain’t Too Much To It” by Ab-Soul, Bun B & Conway the Machine is a somber boom bap ballad with the title saying it all conceptually. “Life & Times” by Joey Bada$$ blends these rich keys with kicks & snares talking about being perfect even though he’s not always right, but then “Droppin’ Bodies” by Millyz has to be one of my favorite songs of his yet with the smooth boom bap instrumental & lyrics displaying his cinematic lifestyle.
Meanwhile, we have Cormega & M.O.P. linking up on the warmly produced “It’s Different” with some jazzy undertones making it clear that this is business while “Lion Hearted” by Boldy James & eLZhi finds the 2 motor city wordsmiths over a more spacious boom bap beat justifiably talking about having flows like no tomorrow. “The New Joe” by NEMS is more sample-based as the Fuck Ya Lyfe general dropping some cutthroat battle raps while “1 4 Ages” by Tha God Fahim whips up a colorful instrumental so the Dump Gawd can talk about not slowing down to chase greatness.
Kota the Friend & Marco Plus hop on top of some kicks, snares & sumptuous pianos for “Right Here” making sure they have shit on lock & even though the vibraphone-inflicted boom bap production on “Limbo” is gorgeous, Russ sounds like a Great Value J. Cole even though I genuinely appreciate him discussing trying to evolve like he did on CHOMP 2.5 last month as decent as that EP was. “The Code” by Lukah, Reuben Vincent & Rome Streetz talks about living & dying by exactly that over a cozy jazz hop beat while “Got 2 Give” by redveil speaks on giving everything that he has with a catchy sample & his infectious performances.
“Vanilla Sky” by G-Eazy has a bluesier boom bap flare to it saying it’s been a minute since he’s decided to chill having a dream of living wealthy while the song “Factory” by IDK has a groovier vibe to it telling y’all not to disrespect him with all that talk. The penultimate track “In the Pocket” by Logic goes chipmunk soul comparing his lyrics going at your dome like an 8 ball prior to “Full Circle” by the Showoff Crew ending the album talking about having their best friends in the end over another vibraphone heavy instrumental.
As someone who’s been listening to Statik since his adolescence, I have a strong feeling that Round Trip will quickly become one of my top 3 solo albums of his because I find myself really enjoying this more than his last few even though they most certainly had their highlights. The Boston veteran’s production gives off a more summer vibe to his signature jazzy boom bap sound & the guest list is incredibly tight although a couple punched under their weight.