Statik Selektah - What Goes Around (2xLP)
With two production showcase albums in just one year, Statik Selektah runs the risk of spreading himself thin, but there's no evidence of that on the prime What Goes Around. From the title track/ hypeman opener to the brilliant, Beach Boys-borrowing closer "God Knows" with MCs Bun B, Jared Evan, and Pos from De La Soul, this scattered, roulette wheel-spin of an album offers club cuts, throwbacks and sullen street numbers, all of top quality. The flow of it all isn't perfect, but the short run-time for the tracks and the mixtape style of butting one cut right to the next make this feel like a purposeful whirlwind.
Choice numbers include "The Thrill Is Back," where the dream team of Styles P and Talib Kweli reminisce about their early careers, while "The Imperial" finds Action Bronson, Royce Da 5'9, and Black Thought punching hard over one of Statik's fierce soundtrack-music-meets-Gospel cut-ups. Snoop Dogg sounds like a Don on the aptly titled "All the Way (Pimp Hop)," while "Carry On" is the great experience of Joey Badass and Freddie Gibbs trading lines over what could be an old Digable Planets beat. "Down Like This" squanders none of its street superstar power - Sheek Louch, Pharoahe Monch, and Crooked I - and offers an infectious chorus to boot, then Boldy James admits he "should have played first base" because he can't let anything slide on the cold and cunning "Something to Cry For."
The highlights continue, and come from many different styles of underground hip-hop, so put Statik somewhere between Tony Touch and the Alchemist on the short list of producer/DJs who also offer solid albums.