stat quo – checks and balance

This is a real interesting mixtape for a bunch of reasons, but mostly it’s just a different kind of southern rap without being boring. I remember the rap dude at my college radio station pushing Stat Quo back in ’03 (he was glad to find someone else bumping “What We Do” at the time) & telling me how big dude was gonna be, even tho his name sucked. but then stat signed to Aftermath (death knell right there). Seems so perfect that here we are six years later bumping an unassuming mixtape riding soulful, no-name productions (looks like a credits list Id read over at fake shore drive — kidding love u chicago!!) & none of that tinny modern bedroom sound that’s ruling the earth right now, with Stat throwing out tributes to Premier & Pac on the same record, Royce & Phonte the only guests. While it’s not very ‘now’ it does feel grounded, very rooted in whats good about Little Brother (seriously) with a guy who has some fresh ideas to add; its obviously a reaction to the ‘typical southern rap record,’ (an intentional move no doubt), without that being an addressed lyrical subject, just an aesthetic maneuver. Best / Most Notable joints:

“Homage To Premier” feat. Royce Da 5’9 & Phonte Prod. by Focus
To be real, Torae & Skyzoo did a similar joint here worth checking out (2nd verse). But this is hot for Focus’ faux Premo beat which does a good job imitating.

I’m a Premier-never-falls-off stan so here u get the full transcription (corrections in the comments its early as fuck & I should be doing something else so ….)

Its the ten rap commandments
Number one just be a ill nigga
You-a lose, try to race this like Hilfiger
I’m so ghetto with the fo-metal
Sho nuff blowin up on challengers like the ’84 shuttle
fuck the count, nigga prem like a triple-beam
sicker than sickle-cell a picture listenin to sickle sing [?]
kick in the door wavin the four clad in navy velour wax niggas fast like shavin’ below
a gang-star nigga i’m fly i’m a site i was dope before escobar told me what nas is like
when i spit the gasoline see the fire fly
there’ll be nothin after Prem, this is me & my homage,
like I rely on rog, i lean on what’s happenin
got the hey-hey-hey like dwayne i’m stuck trappin’
i’m goin sick like the song DWYCK,
any nigga feelin’ big all you gonn get is a long kiss ….

Right here is where the verses start
dedicated to that classic new york sound
and it really hurts my heart
to see that people cant recognize the works of Martin
how they truly was a work of art
I understand we ain’t back in the old days but young’ns be lookin at preem funny
like he one of the O’Jays
no sense of history
see chris martin in the credits they be thinkin its the nigga from coldplay
so i gotta school em and remind these toddlers
that hip hop started in the days of yonder
any fool with an s950 can make beats
but this man took it and redefined a genre
who else can make the group home sound like pros
then make christina aguilera sound like soul
this is my homage and i got ya head bobbin’ and noddin’
so we gonna bring the scratch collage in like this…

step in my arena! but make it known friend or foe
recognize i gave you power with this undeniable flow
im invincible, live by the code of the streets
my game plan simple, no surrender no retreat
salute the treal, cuz none of yall better stay disciplined on the front line and together
stay tuned for the moment of truth
suckas gotta come clean when stat in the booth
its mostly the voice thats why i got mass appeal
a black cowboy 2-deep me and the steel
say ya prayers mothafucka before you outta here
just to get a rep i end ya career
been a long time comin
blood sweat and tears
i’m royalty, classic like a beat from premier
the public loves it for real
hip hop shit, here today, gone tomorrow, i refuse to quit,
it’s stat quo.

“I Just Wanna” prod. by Malaguti
Sweet twinkly soul sample going all O Jays, contrasting with the unembarrassed hollering from Stat & singsong chorus, sounding like a summertime sunny day version of “Playa Hater,” Ma$e & Puffy’s “Jealous Guys” or the the macking version of “I Hate U Bitch,” barely a rap song & more a funny goof-off track, enjoyable for its unabashed trashiness in contrast to the equally regressive but much more musically oppressive kind of shit recorded by some groups i could name over similar beats.

“Immortal Hustle” prod. by Illtone
I like joints like this that do a rock vibe w/out sounding condescending or ironic, like i can imagine dudes throwing up lighters to this joint.

“Lovin’ the Sunshine” feat. Tiffany Villarreal prod. by Billy Drease Williams
Dedicated to Pac & its got a smooth, quick uptempo fake Cali groove about sunshine but all restrained like some old G-funk joint recorded off TV to tape, then tape to youtube, 2 minutes long & 3 mins too short. The way he makes his flow hop, catches the rhythm on this so nice like sun glinting off a dirty sidemirror.

Myspace Skit
Stat Quo lectures ppl about letting the internets know when they decide to go to the bathroom. Its pretty funny.

“Pharmacy” prod. by Focus
Feelin the beat on this — the contrast between the generic soul horns & the encompassing pianos is like a Dr. Dre trick.

It’s tricky like trigonometry,
errybody scared talkin bout the economy
it aint where you been dog its where u gonna be
its that crack, they dont sell this at ya pharmacy
i gotta bright future in fronta me
made it out the hood im a fuckin anomaly
get high here’s where ya wanna be
take this crack
they dont sell this at ya pharmacy

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