Welome to Statlanta
There’s nothing better than a man with a good head on his shoulders. Well, maybe there is—a man with a good head on his shoulders that has ears listening to his thoughts & personal philosophies—that’s golden. This southern born charmer fell in love with hip hop before he was a teenager & the love affair has pressed on—gaining Stat multiple mixtapes & albums to place under his belt & a couple more on the way. There’s more under that belt that many other rappers can’t boast—a college degree in Economics & International Business. Plan B is usually the practical thing to do when you’re not too sure about Plan A. Stat Quo was always sure of his Plan A to be a hip hop artist & hasn’t had the need to go to his Plan B, even when dealing with label drama with Shady/Aftermath. He’s definitely practiced patience as he waited for his album to drop with Shady/Aftermath. Not willing to wait much longer, Stat left the label with no hard feelings—in fact Dr. Dre remains his mentor & friend. Now, after much anticipation, Stat Quo’s latest album, Statlanta is being released this May & his mixtape—which is still unnamed—with Whoo Kid set to drop this month. Stat understands the importance of giving your listeners a tasty appetizer before the main course, so it’s a good things he left his fans so hungry.
I know Statlanta’s been waiting and getting put out on May 4th. Are you going back in & redoing some songs or you putting it out as is?
I totally redid the record from what it was when I was with Shady/Aftermath. Obviously, I couldn’t keep any of that material. It’s crazy from beginning to end. I’ve done this record like 7 times. The direction has changed so many times.
What direction is it in now?
It’s the kind of album you put on when you’re on a road trip and you’re just riding. It’s a riding album. It’s the kind of record you play after you leave the club. It’s definitely not the album you play going to the club. This is more of a Sunday afternoon melancholy, I just got off from work and I want to relax—this is Chronic Magazine, so—sit back & smoke a little bit. You can vibe out. There’s so many issues going on with out finances, our children & in our world, it’s just something to vibe out & listen to.
You say you have a more mellow sound and I’ve interviewed Warren G before and he’s said the same thing about his music. Do you feel that laid back sound is more of a West coast thing than a down South thing?
I think what happens is, we put too much on regions. It’s a good music thing. I’m just trying to make quality music for people to enjoy it all around the world. I don’t just make music for people in Atlanta or L.A. I’m influenced by both of those places. I listened to NWA, and E-40 growing up. At the same time, I listened to UGK, 8-ball & MJG, Scarface, OutKast—these artists molded me into who I am, along with Jay Z, Biggie, Nas, KRS-One, Wu Tang Clan. It came together and meshed as one and made me the artist I am.
So you like to pull influences from all over the board. Would you say your sound is something specific—do you fit into a certain type of sound? Do you label it?
I don’t label it and I don’t want to fit into any boxes. I don’t want people to think of me as a conscious rapper or gangster rapper. I don’t want to be any of that. I’m Stat Quo and that will be it. I’ve got enough labels. I’m a man and I’m black. That’s enough to deal with. [laughs] We’re dealing with those. “Oh, you rap about real life, you’re a conscious rapper. You’re rapping about f*cking all the time, you’re a mainstream rapper.” I’m just a musician man and I like making music. I’m an artist that’s painting my own picture.
I feel in hip hop, you have more creative control because you’re writing and rapping your own lyrics. Do you feel you have to tweak your subject matter to be mainstream or sell?
Maybe in the beginning of my career. At this point now, I’m just making good music. I don’t care if no one buys it.
That’s the beauty of mixtapes because with them, you can do whatever.
When you do that, you develop a fanbase and you get to make the kind of music you want to make. That’s the point of putting out 7 or 8 mixtapes before I put this album out. I have another mixtape coming this month, hosted by Whoo Kid.
You said you put out 7 or 8 before Statlanta & you have the one coming out with Whoo Kid. What do you think we hear on those mixtapes that we’re not going to be hearing on Statlanta?
There’s a totally different vibe & feel. The mixtape has a bunch of joints with samples on it. The album, I didn’t really sample at all for it. I try not to talk about the same things over and over again. You get new subject matter & me at a different point in my life.
What point are you at?
I would consider this a transition, trying to diversify myself—not just as an artist, but as a business man. I want to do other things with myself so that I may be successful to create other avenues and generate income.
Earlier, we were talking about regions and sounds. There’s definitely a southern style that we hear. Do you feel you give voice to the south?
Yeah, of course. Anytime people say you’re different from everyone else, you’re creating another avenue for people to say, “Stat Quo’s doing it.” I add to it. You have artists like Jay Electronica from New Orleans and most people don’t know that. It’s a good look. Things that I’ve done or doing gives artists the opportunity to say, “You know what? I will rap like this and it won’t matter what someone else has to say because this is what I am going to do.”
Since you were raised primarily by your mother and grandmother, do you feel your lyrics reflect someone that should know how to be sensitive towards women?
At times, my lyrics are aggressive towards women. I am very hard on them because I’ve dealt with a lot of f*cked up ss women and dudes though, so I don’t hold back. I tell it like it T-I –is! [laughs] If a girl is acting like a b*tch, I have no problem saying she’s a b*tch. I don’t think anything is wrong with that. If a dude is acting like a b*tch, then he’s a b*tch. What I don’t like is—you’ve got people that think when you talk about b*tches & hoes in songs, that you automatically mean a certain race of women. I’m talking about any woman. She can be martian green. She doesn’t have to be black or Spanish; she can be whatever. If she’s a b*tch, she’s a b*tch. If she’s f*cking me and my best friend, she’s a whore. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me saying she’s a whore. If she’s f*cking with me because she wants to get money from me, there is nothing wrong with me saying she’s a whore. If she’s a good woman, holding it down and handling her business, there’s nothing wrong with me celebrating her either. People say, “How can ‘Pac make a song like ‘Dear Momma’ and ‘Get Around?’” It’s easy because there’s different women. You can’t treat every woman like your momma.
People are always ready to point the finger or be offended by something. You made a very good point about there being different women out there. If your music is going to be true to life, wouldn’t you want people to know that there’s always variations of one thing?
There you go!
What else are you working on currently?
I’m working on Detox with Dr. Dre. I’m working on The Red Album with The Game.
Are you still with Aftremath?
No, I’m not signed to them, but Dre is my big brother. He’s my mentor and my friend.
So what are you doing for his album?
I’m doing whatever it takes for Dre to be satisfied with what we’ve got going on. If it means I have to clean the bathroom, whatever. Whatever I can do to get Dre to put this record out, I’m going to do it.
Do you write?
I’m just there for the vibe—vibing & having a good time with my people.
What else is going on for you?
I’m just trying to make a living. I’m doing some A&R work with Aftermath. It’s going good.
So your hands are in everything?
Yeah, well, not everything. You can’t put your hands in everything. [laughs]
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
My album comes out May 4th. I don’t want to talk about who’s all going to be on there. I think artists do too much of that and there’s no mystery left. I’d rather you get it and see what’s going on with it.
Can we tweet you?