Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A review of Statik Selektah's "Extended Play"

After four very good/excellent albums (Spell My Name Right: The Album, Stick 2 the Script, 100 Proof: The Hangover, and Population Control), as well as collaboration albums with Bumpy Knuckles, Action Bronson, Reks, and Termanology, just to name a few, underrated DJ/producer Statik Selektah returns with his 5th album, "Extended Play". Much like the first four albums, this will be a display of underground/underrated/largely dope MCs (some you probably never heard of) dropping their lyrical talents over Selektah's production. With all that being said, let's get to the review!

All songs produced by Statik Selektah

1. Reloaded (featuring Pain In Da Ass, Action Bronson, Big Body Bes, Termanology, & Tony Touch)
Good, but brief intro to begin the album.

2. Bird's Eye View (featuring Raekwon, Joey Badass, & Black Thought)
Raekwon and Joey Badass held things down with their verses, but HOT DAMN Black Thought just kills everything, and it was only fitting he close this tight song. 4.5 out of 5 (Had to bump up that rating due to Black Thought's verse)

Production- On Point

3. East Coast (featuring Lil Fame & N.O.R.E.)
Yes, and call me biased if you want to, but I'm an "East Coast head" to the fullest, always have been! This is pretty good right here, and it's refreshing to hear Noreaga reminisce on the "East Coast/West Coast" feud that sparked the classic response "LA, LA". Fame continues his dope run of guest spots as usual. 4 out of 5

Production- On Point

4. 21 & Over (featuring Sean Price & Mac Miller)
"If you under 21 you shouldn't listen to this", nice lil sample from Styles P. Mac Miller almost steals the show alongside Sean Price. Much like Lil Fame, you can always count on an ill verse from Sean P.  3.5 out of 5

Production- Good

5. The Spark (featuring Action Bronson, Joey Badass, & Mike Posner)
I like this one, and you can definitely hear a spark, if you will, when a Bronson verse is on. Joey Badass delivers another good verse as well. 3.5 out of 5
Production- On Point

6. Make Believe (featuring Termanlogy, Freddie Gibbs, & Easy Money)
Another dope song, as the title and CL Smooth sample ("None of this is make believe") bring things to the forefront. Easy Money's verse was decent, but Termanlogy and Freddie Gibbs continue to show why they're underrated. 4 out of 5

Production- On Point

7. Pinky Ring (featuring Prodigy)
Well, after P's mostly dope performances on his new album with Alchemist, well, things seemingly come to a screeching halt here. He sounds like he's trying too hard (considering the subject matter) and Selektah's Alchemist esque beat doesn't work. 2.5 out of 5
Production- Not So Good

8. Funeral Season (featuring Styles P, Bun-B, & Hit Boy)
The respected Styles P and Bun-B, as well as Hit Boy, were decent on this one, but they didn't deliver aggressively this time around, largely due to the beat. 3 out of 5

Production- Ok

9. Bring Em Up Dead (featuring Joell Ortiz)
I was on the verge of saying, "man, why didn't Joell come harder on this one"? But when I listen to the beat, I know why. The key is your delivery has to match the production, so I can see why Joell wasn't in "Battle Cry" mode for this song. Still very good though. 3.5 out of 5

Production- Good

10. Camouflage Dons (featuring Smif-N-Wessun & Flatbush Zombies)
On the short side to be fair, but respectively I expected Smif N Wessun to drop a little more lyrical heat on this one, considering it's been a while since we've heard them on a track together. Flatbush Zombies weren't too impressive either. 3 out of 5
Production- Ok

11. Big City of Dreams (featuring Troy Ave, Push!, Meyhem Lauren & AG Da Coroner)
For a song dedicated to New York, I would expect better, but I unfortunately didn't receive that with this song. All involved sounded as uninspired as they come (correct me if I'm wrong), and Selektah's beat sounds like a Dr. Dre beat that was left on the cutting floor while making Eminem's "Relapse". 2.5 out of 5

Production- Not Very Good

12. Gz, Pimps, Hustlers (featuring Wais P & Slaine)
Look at that song title. I know it's been a LONG time since I've seen one. Either way, I'm a little surprised to see a song like this on a Statik Selektah album, not to mention it's something that's been done before and better. Next please. 2.5 out of 5

Production- Ok

13. My Hoe (featuring Blu, Evidence & Reks)
Subject matter aside (or they could be using "my hoe" as a metaphor for hip hop, but I doubt it), I really like this, as Blu, Evidence, and Reks, three dope MCs who have released slept on, but QUALITY albums, deliver tight performances. 4 out of 5

Production- Good

14. Love & War (featuring Ea$y Money & Freeway)
Man, EM and Freeway, another underrated artist, shine brightly here. A fast paced song too, if you will. 3.5 out of 5

Production- Good  

15. 100 Stacks (featuring JFK & Strong Arm Steady)
This was mostly good, no major complaints about it. 3.5 out of 5

Production- Ok/Good

16. Live From the Era (featuring Pro Era, Co-Produced By: Alchemist)
Now, I understand giving those the spotlight to show their stuff on the mic, but man, this song would've been much better had it not been 5:19. Overall it was good. 3 out of 5

Production- Good 

17. Game Break (featuring Lecrea, Termanology & Posdnuos)
Much like the song with Blu, Reks, and Evidence, this three man team drops jewels quite nicely. 4 out of 5

Production- Good

18. Home (featuring Talib Kweli)
Mr. Kweli gets album closing duties. It's apply titled and if there's anyone who knows there's no place like home, it's yours truly! Good stuff here, even with Kweli's "singing", lol. 3.5 out of 5

Well, when I immediately think of his previous four albums, this one is a notable step down. While there are a few dope songs here, there is also a considerable amount of filler to be found in my opinion, and it does seem to drag a little bit in the middle. I'll go with a solid 3.5 star rating for this album.

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