In what makes for a numerically confusing artist/album title (and opening sentence,) 2012 is the new record by 1982—the producer/rapper duo Statik Selektah & Termanology.
At just 30 years old, DJ/Producer Statik Selektah has enough projects under the flattened brim of his New Era cap to have earned veteran status—utilizing his turntablism skills and signature Golden Era-influenced boom-bap production, he holds a spot amongst the current ranks of the East Coast’s more pivotal figures. Over the course of a series of mixtapes and albums, he’s provided beats for some of rap’s highly revered MCs (Nas, Q-Tip, etc.) as well as having a hand in shaping the careers of emerging rappers (Saigon, Freddie Gibbs, Reks, etc.) Aside from a handful of EPs with various artists, 2011 saw him releasing a lofty yet superb solo outing Population Control, and teaming with Action Bronson on Well Done.
Similarly, Termanology has been making a name for himself with a number of well-received singles and mixtapes dating back to the early ‘00s. He was pushed into the underground limelight when Gangstarr’s DJ Premier stuck him with one of his reliable, cut-laden beats for the instant hit, "Watch How It Go Down." The track earned him some much deserved praise; as he went on to appear in rap magazines like The Source and XXL. Since that time he has ran alongside such go-getters as The Alchemist, Pete Rock, Buckwild, Large Professor, and of course, Statik Selektah. In fact, 2012 marks the fourth time Statik Selektah and Termanology have teamed up under the 1982 moniker.
Despite some insipid R&B-inflected production, Termanology proves once again he is a highly skilled rapper—delivering clearly-spoken complex lyricism at rapid yet well-paced clips. As well, he is equally as adept as a songwriter. In the third verse of “Too Long” he goes into great detail about things from his life, including daunting anecdotes from his childhood. “Third grade—couldn’t go to school for a whole week/Pop Dukes beat me down—left marks on my cheek/They wanted to call the police, but me—I let it go/I told ‘em No, I love my pops—I let it show/My crib got shot up the first time when I was 8/Should have seen my face—I knew trouble was on the way/And my aunt was a prostitute—hooking every day/Crazy pimps look me in my eyes and showed me the way/Punch a bitch in the eye—only way she gonna pay/Leave a stitch or break a bone—only way she gonna stay/That’s my real life—ya’ll rappers be makin’ shit up/My babysitter smoked mad crack and stayed lit up/Eyes all bugged out—pupils like black pennies/Crack head step-momma—shout-out to Jenny/And not to put my business all up in my rent and shit, but this really is my real life, so I can spit this shit.”
Statik Selektah is interesting paradox. His insatiable appetite for collaboration suggests a creative restlessness, yet his steadfast commitment to a singular formula hints at a resistance to experimentation. And as a result, it appears Statik has lost a lot of the steam he had building as 2011 came to a close. Whereas the aforementioned Action Bronson collabo Well Done was a front runner for Hip-Hop Album of the Year in 2011, 2012 is destined to get lost amongst the plethora of superb hip-hop records that have already come out this year. (See: El-P, Killer Mike, I Self Devine, or Apollo Brown & OC.) And that is really unfortunate for a skilled MC like Termanology, who probably won’t get the attention he truly deserves.
7.0 / 10
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