By Zach Gase
By now you should know the drill with Statik Selektah. He is a great producer and a master of the boom bap sound, but rarely do his releases match his skill set. He either links up with boring emcees (Termanology, Reks, Bump Knuckles, etc.), records an entire project in a rushed manner (Freeway, Freddie Gibbs and Saigon) or he releases a compilation album with 6-7 great tracks mixed with 10+ lackluster songs. Statik Selektah’s fifth solo album, Extended Play falls into that last category.
Like his previous works, Statik Selektah’s production carries the project, as there is an excessive amount of either wack or uninteresting emcees on the compilation. A big issue with Extended Play, and Statik’s other solo work, is that for every dope emcee on the project, there’s three technically efficient, but overall boring ass rappers. For example, Freddie Gibbs sounds excellent on Statik’s beats, and he knocks out his verse on Make Believe, but Ea$y Money and Termanology spoil an otherwise dope track.
There are also some pairings on Extended Play that work out even though they seem like they wouldn’t. On Statik’s haunting vocal chants and dusty drum loops of Funeral Season Hit-Boy drops a solid verse to match Bun B’s rare impressive guest verse and Styles P’s ever-consistent, but better in small doses first verse. The most eye-brow raising pairing upon observing the album’s tracklist would be Mac Miller and Sean Price on 21 & Over, which ends up being one of the best cuts on the compilation.
The Spark is another standout with Statik-favorites Action Bronson and Joey Bada$$ trading bars over a horn-heavy track. Bada$$ out raps Raekwon on the album’s best cut, Bird’s Eye View, but that is all forgotten as soon as Black Thought touches the mic and delivers one of the best verses of 2013. My Hoe is another banger that features Blu delivering the hardest verse he’s dropped since “Johnson & Jonson” (seriously dude needs to rap like this more often).
The album features three selections showcasing solo emcees, with mixed results. Pinky Ring features a completely uninspired performance from Prodigy, and while Joell Ortiz is fine on Bring ‘em Up Dead, the track would’ve been stronger with another emcee on it. Talib Kweli closes out the album with Home, which features a “50 Ways to Lose Your Lover” sample and delicate keys. Home would’ve easily been one of the best cuts on his recent Prisoner of Conscious album.
Extended Play is just too, well, extended. Like most Statik projects, it would be better served as a jamming 7-8 track EP, but instead we get a lukewarm album with a lot of filler and bangers few and far between. People who have enjoyed his previous work, and like all the emcees on the tracklisting will undoubtedly enjoy this compilation. Those who have been on the fence about Statik Selektah’s previous albums will not be won over by this project.
2.75 Out of 5
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