I told y’all that I was gonna pick back up where I left off and I’m back once again with yet another Rewind Review for your reading pleasure. This time I coming to you with a mixtape DJ album, since that’s currently a highly debated topic right now with Lil’ Wayne’s recent comments towards them.Statik Selektah (not “Static Selector”, hence the album’s title), who is a highly recognized DJ within the mixtape circuit released an album based off his “Spell My Name Right” mixtape series, similar to what DJ Drama did with Gangsta Grillz: The Album. As you might expect with these type of DJ albums, they usually are filled with collaborations on every track from various artists that the DJ has worked with in the past and done work for. Many times these albums are usually hits and misses, so let’s see how Statik’s album does in comparison to the compilations/albums that have been released before.
Spell My Name Right Intro
Featuring DJ Premier & Termanology; Produced by Statik Selektah
This intro track features DJ Premier setting the mood for the album to come and giving it that sort of mixtape feel, especially if you have listened to a DJ Premier mixtape before or heard his radio show (Live From HeadQCourterz) on Sirius satellite radio. Statik produces a nice beat for this initial track, which features fellow Boston native Termanology lacing the rhymes. Nothing really special about this track, just hearing Termanology rhyming out the name of all of the artists featured on the album.
Stop, Look, Listen
Featuring Styles P, Termanology, & Q-Tip; Produced by Statik Selektah
The intro leads nicely into the second track, which also happens to be the single off the album. Statik laces this track with some very nice production that is handled well by the collaborative efforts of Styles P, Termanology, and Q-Tip. Styles P does his thing and drops a solid verse, as well as Termanology as he displays why he’s one of the nicest upcoming emcees and was featured in The Source’s “Unsigned Hype” article a while back. It’s a pleasure to hear Q-Tip spitting some lines on the track as well as I haven’t heard much from him in a minute.
Express Yourself ‘08
Featuring Termanology, Talib Kweli, & Consequence; Produced by Statik Selektah
This track is Statik Selektah’s attempt to recreate N.W.A.’s classic track “Express Yourself” from their Straight Outta Compton album released in 1989. It’s been about 20 years since the release of that track and I can say that it still holds the crown and this track doesn’t really come close to the magic of the original. Don’t get me wrong though cause Statik hooked up the beat on this one quite nicely and the three emcees each do their thing respectively, but this can’t compare to N.W.A.’s original version. As you can see this is Termanology’s third straight featured song and you should get used to it cause he’s on quite a bit more tracks being one of Statik’s homeboys. Out of the three emcees on this track, I’d have to say that Talib Kweli spit the best verse and even though Consequence is a good rapper, it’s difficult to understand what he’s saying at times.
6 In The Morning
Featuring Joell Ortiz, Kool G Rap, & Sheek Louch; Produced by Statik Selektah
Immediately at the outset of this track you feel a sudden change of energy and things slow down at bit. The production on this track from Statik is somewhat average and starts to get boring really quickly. The artists featured on this track don’t really do much to improve on the lackluster beat and aren’t really saying much other than how they are on their grind and up at 6 in the morning on the block putting work in. This track is a skip for me.
What Would You Do!?
Featuring Freeway & Cassidy; Produced by Statik Selektah
This track features some much better production from Statik with a soulful sounding sampled beat provided for the team of Freeway and Cassidy to attack. I know that this is something that a lot of people expected never to see in Philly natives Freeway and Cassidy collaborating on a track together seeing as how they had beef in the past and Cass got in that ass during their classic battle (yes I think Cassidy murdered Freeway in their battle). They both spit some nice rhymes on this track, even though Freeway’s overly aggressive delivery feeling out of place at times and Cassidy’s dull sounding delivery make his rhyming sound boring. This is a good track nonetheless bringing together two good young emcees that once had problems with each other. All these rappers that have “beef” with each other need to take note of this.
Make A Movie (Interlude)
Featuring DJ Khaled; Produced by Statik Selektah
This interlude track was definitely not needed on this album, especially one from DJ Khaled who is really saying nothing at all. I don’t know what a lot of people see or like in Khaled, but he’s definitely not doing much in my book. Skip this track without a doubt. “LLLLIIISSSSSTTTTEEEENNNN!!!!!” (Shut the fuck up with that shit man, damn!)
Featuring Red Café, Termanology, & Mims; Produced by Statik Selektah
This sample, which was also used for Guerilla Black’s single “Compton”, has been used enough and didn’t need to be used again for this track. Guerilla Black’s version was good and listenable, but this version is kind of boring. The production is good, but the featured artists on this track aren’t really saying much of anything. Red Café is nice in his own terms, but didn’t really bring it to the table this time. Termanology (back again) sounds just average in his rhyming and is kind of starting to sound the same on every track mainly because he uses the same rhyme pattern/scheme and vocal tone on a majority of them. When it comes to Mims I don’t even know why he was included on this track, let alone the album. He probably has the weakest verse on this track, but it’s no surprise though cause after his little “This Is Why I’m Hot” fame he isn’t anywhere to be found now (Ha!). This track is listenable, but not one of my favorites on the album.
G Shit (Showoff Mix)
Featuring Uncle Murda, Sev-One, Termanology, & Jadakiss; Produced by Statik Selektah
Statik did his thing in a major way with the production on this track as it brings back some energy to the album. With four artists featured on this track, they all tell about that “G Shit” and what being gangsta is all about. Uncle Murda sounds the most convincing after listening to his verse, especially in knowing his background and artist persona. Jadakiss fills the void in this track nicely and really makes it complete with his verse at the end (nice to hear him back on the scene).
Back Against The Wall
Featuring Cormega & Royce Da 5’9”; Produced by Statik Selektah
This track features some nice production work from Statik with Royce Da 5’9” and Cormega laying down some rhymes. Royce comes out with a bang in dropping the initial verse, but Cormega is just average with his lyrics. This track is good for what it is, but nothing really spectacular or amazing.
Hardcore (So You Wanna Be)
Featuring Reks & Termanology; Produced by Statik Selektah
Once again Statik comes with some nice production on the beat for this track. The lyrics on this song are provided by Reks and…you guess it Termanology (for his 6th feature). Reks and Termanology both provide some average lyrics on this track, but they could have been better to match up to the nice beat that Statik provided.
No Mistakes Allowed
Featured Doug E. Fresh, Tony Touch, Scram Jones, DP-One, DJ GI-JOE, DJ Revolution, & Esoteric; Produced by Statik Selektah
Damn, it’s nice to hear Doug E. Fresh on the intro of this track with some classic beatboxing from the man himself. This track has a lot of features on it and they all do their thing whether it’s spitting rhymes or scratching on the chorus. This is nice for hearing the many talents displayed on one track. Just sit back and enjoy this track for what it is and nothing more.
Featuring Clinton Sparks; Produced by Statik Selektah
If Statik Selektah was going to have just one interlude on this album, it definitely should have been this one. Skip that DJ Khaled interlude heard earlier in the album, Clinton Sparks is speaking some truth on this interlude. He’s talking about how the rap game nowadays is filled with so many DJs who have no creativity and how it’s oversaturated with so much wackness. CHURCH!!!
Featuring Big Shug; Produced by Statik Selektah
When I first played this track I immediately was on the floor laughing. I could believe that Statik sampled the classic Mike Tyson Punch-Out game for NES (the best boxing game of all-time by the way). That was some funny and creative production by Statik, but my laughter turned to dislike after hearing Big Shug rhyming over it. I really dislike Shug’s voice and only think it sounds good over dark, gritty sounding tracks like “The Militia” or something produced by DJ Premier. Other than for getting a good laugh and bringing back some old memories about Mike Tyson Punch-Out, this track is pretty much a skip for me. I had to go hook up my NES and play some Mike Tyson Punch-Out after listening to this track (I hate fighting Mike Tyson in the final bout though, he cheats like a muh’fucker!!!)
The Good Life (Give It Up)
Featuring M.O.P.; Produced by Statik Selektah
This has to be one of the smoothest produced tracks by Statik on the entire album, and surprisingly M.O.P. fit well rhyming over it. Usually M.O.P. sound their best of harder sounding beats, but they put it down lyrically on this track. I just wish that this track was longer than it is at only 1:06. I would have loved to hear more of this track, guess I just have to keep it on repeat for a while.
Featuring Reks; Produced by Statik Selektah
Another track with some good production from Statik, which really fits well with Reks’ rhymes and the song’s topic. This is a pretty good track featuring Reks with him talking about his dreams and goals for achieving what he sets to in life and the struggles along the way.
No Holding Back
Featuring AZ & Cormega; Produced by Statik Selektah
This next track features some average production from Statik. It’s a good beat, but it starts to wear on you after a while of listening to it. Plus, featured guests AZ and Cormega don’t really do much to keep me interested in the song. They both spit some rhymes that are just average and don’t really catch my attention throughout the song. This song would be a skip for me.
Got Me Goin’ (Hip Hop)
Featuring Slum Village & Granite State; Produced by Statik Selektah
After a song with average production from Statik, he comes back with that good shit on this track with a nicely composed beat. What makes this song even better is the feature of Slum Village on the track. They sound really comfortable over the beat and drop some nice lyrics as well. Granite State does a decent job with their rhymes, but Slum Village really steals the show on this one.
Time To Say Goodbye
Featuring Evidence & The Alchemist; Produced by Statik Selektah
Out of all of the tracks on this album, this track sounds the most fitting to its featured guests. The production from Statik sounds like something that could have been produced by either Evidence or Alchemist. That really makes it even better for the two artists to drop some nice rhymes over it. Despite that, neither Evidence nor Alchemist really spit anything that’s worth taking note of. The beat is really what shines out on the track.
It’s Over Now
Featuring Termanology & A.G.; Produced by Statik Selektah
As stated earlier about the track “The Good Life (Give It Up)” in the smoothness of its production, this has to be the other smoothest produced track on the album. If Termanology was to only be featured on one track throughout this entire album, this was the one for him. I think this is his best spit verse out of all of the other tracks he’s featured on. A.G. spits some nice rhymes to complement Termanology with the rhyming, but he doesn’t outdo him by any means. This is a great track to just listen and chill out to, especially in the production from Statik.
Talk To Me
Featuring Jon Hope, Reks, & Skyzoo; Produced by Statik Selektah
I’m not really feeling the production on this track by Statik at all. It sounds too basic and its repetition gets annoying after the first verse (that’s never good for a beat). The idea for this track was a good one, but it just wasn’t executed well at all. The featured artists on this track are speaking a good message, but I just can’t seem to catch interest in what they’re saying particularly from the mediocre beat production.
Did What We Had To
Featuring KRS-One, Large Professor, & L Da Headtoucha; Produced by Statik Selektah
Once again the production from Statik on this beat gets repetitive far too quickly and makes it hard for really listening to the track in general. The artists on this track do a good job in taking us back in telling us what they had to do to make it in the rap game and come up in the industry. Who better than the likes of KRS-One and Large Professor to tell us about those times and their struggles to become the great legends in the game that they are today. This wasn’t a good way to end the album though with an average track.
In determining the final verdict for Statik Selektah’s Spell My Name Right album, I can say that after 21 tracks (which is too many and could have been reduced to 13 tracks for an even better album) Statik has produced a good sounding album. In produced every track on the album, Statik did his thing and put in work on the production side. He choices for featured artists could have been better and reduced at the same time. He should have been more selective in the artists that he featured on the album in keeping good emcees and declining the average/bad ones. Don’t just include rappers on your project just because you hosted one of their mixtapes or did a beat for them, which is usually the case with mixtape DJ albums. Nonetheless this is a album that will definitely be picked up by hardcore Statik Selektah fans and should be given a listen to from casual Hip-Hop listeners who don’t really follow Statik’s mixtapes or work in general. I’m sure that those fans will find some select songs off this album that they enjoy that they can purchase off iTunes if they don’t wanna cop the entire album.
nappyPicks: “Stop, Look, Listen”, “Express Yourself ‘08”, & “It’s Over Now”