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BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time: Statik Selektah

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#30 – Statik Selektah

By AMIR SAID (SA’ID)

Right now Statik Selektah is probably the hardest working man in beatmaking. Since 2007, he has released no less than 10 albums wherein he served as the lone beatmaker. From Spell My Name Right (2007), 1982 (2010), Extended Play (2013), and most recently What Goes Around, Statik Selektah has proven that with consistent hustle, you can muscle your way into the center of the public square. But it’s not just hustle helping Statik to maneuver. Talent is the fuel of longevity. And his output in the last seven years has demonstrated his talent and skill for beatmaking.

With a DJ’s pedigree, indeed he still spins professionally, Statik Selektah’s beats are naturally sample-based. And as much as his sound has grown over the years, it has essentially stayed true to his original DJ roots. Which means what you’ll likely hear in a Statik Selektah beat is a meaty soul sample — not massively chopped up, along with a solid drum structure, cuts and/or a scratch hook. His ear is well-developed, which leads him to pick grooves (both recognizable and obscure) to rework, sometimes embellished with light orchestration but always with a distinct bass frequency sound. Incidentally, another feature of Statik’s sound is how he mixes his bass and mid frequencies. The bass in a Statik track is always fat and warm, and the mids are crisp.

With regards to the producer/rappers featured album model, a phenomenon first popularized by Marley Marl and later expanded by Pete Rock and J Dilla, Statik Selektah now sits atop this spectrum. With each successive release, he’s secured a solid balance of well-known and respected veterans as well as in-the-moment budding stars. In fact, Statik Selektah’s work in this space has been so tireless that it’s hard for any serious beatmaking fan to ignore. While some have questioned whether Statik Selektah has released too much in a short period of time, it’s hard to argue that his strategy (and ability to do so) has not served him well. With such a burst in catalog output, Statik Selektah has made the second biggest move up the BeatTips Top 125 list in the last five years; he was previously #48. And if his recent stretch of work is any indication, I anticipate that in the years to come, Statik Selektah will move up the BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time list.

Statik Selektah Beats (Songs) Recommended for Study:

“4 Brothers” – Statik Selektah feat. La the Darkman, Wille the Kid, Termanology beat by Statik Selektah

“This or That” – Reks beat by Statik Selektah

“You Should Go Home” – Statik Selektah & Termanology feat Bun B & Masspike Miles beat by Statik Selektah

“The Trill Is Gone” – Statik Selektah feat. Styles P & Talib Kweli beat by Statik Selektah

“Bird’s Eye View” – Statik Selektah feat. Raekwon, Joey Bada$$, and Black Thought

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About Author

Amir Said (aka Sa’id) is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BeatTips. A writer, publisher, and beatmaker/rapper from New York, Said is the author of a number of books, including ‘The BeatTips Manual,’ ‘The Art of Sampling,’ ‘Ghetto Brother,’ and ‘The Truth About New York.’ He is also a recording artist with a number of music projects, including his latest album ‘The Best of Times.’ Follow him on Twitter at: @amirsaid and @BeatTipsManual