The soulful boom bap track "But You Don't Hear Me Tho" is an instant classic. Statik taps fellow ROC NATION label mates the muthafuckin' Lox to take on the lyrical duties. Statik said, “This is classic hip hop music, for lovers of hip hop music. No gimmicks.” The legendary trio ride the smooth instrumental like the vets they are. Each emcee (Sheek Louch, Styles P and Jadakiss) gives us nostalgic bars and take trips down their respective memory lanes. Not only do they reminisce about their personal upbringing, but they also recall what Hip Hop meant to them in it's early stages. Statik flexes his cutting skills and drops scratches throughout the track. You can't get a more polished joint than this one.
Another hit (hit for me, not radio hit) is the track "Nobody Move" with Raekwon and Royce Da 5'9". The grimey track is LACED with crazy hard (pause) bars and metaphors from these two lyrical titans. Raekwon hits us with raw Purple Tape type lyrics that prove that this living legend has a hold of the fountain of youth. Royce makes Detroit proud with his top shelf metaphors and wordplay. Both emcees gives us different points of view but find common ground with a hunger that was essential in the Golden Era of Hip Hop.
Statik has been averaging about 18 tracks per solo albums (8 has 18). Plus his 17 collab albums, a pair of EPs, and that's not even getting into his mixtape arsenal and production credits. All that to say this: the man has been HUSTLIN' and has made a name for himself in the Hip Hop history book. That name allows him to comprise the CRAZY features found on 8: 2 Chainz, Wiz Khalifa, Run The Jewels, Action Bronson, Wale, G-Easy, Joey Bada$$, The Lox, Termanology, Conway, Westside Gunn, Crimeapple, Millyz, Nick Grant, Avenue, Chris Rivers, Joyner Lucas, Tek, Wais P, Sean Price, Cousin Stizz, Curren$y, PNB Rock, Lil Fame, Royce Da 5'9", Raekwon, B-Real, Everlast, No Malice, Prodigy, Juelz Santana, and Plays. As always you have to respect the fact that he can get this gumbo to talent. And the emcee pairings on single tracks is another skill altogether. Tracks that pair Raekwon and Royce, or G-Easy and Joey Bada$$, or Tek, Wais P and Sean Price are a true Hip Hop heads wet dream (pause #2 of 2018). But in comparison to his previous projects (Lucky Number 7, What Goes Around, and my personal favorite Extended Play) this one feels a hair disjointed. It's a catch 22. With such an array of options, this album is sure to please the masses. But it might not hold an individuals interest throughout. By no means is this album a flop. If you love Hip Hop, you'll enjoy this album. Point blank. If you can't find a track you love, rethink your Hip Hop head status. You know this is special project if he was able to get some Prodigy verses on an Alchemist assisted track. Besides Alchemist (or Havoc), you ain't gonna see P verses out there like that. Either way you cut it, Statik sent Hip Hop out the right way in 2017.
Peep videos and album below.