They say sleep is the cousin of death so itís a good thing Termanology and Statik Selektah donít indulge in resting. Fresh from performing a few dates, finishing up their debut collabo album and developing their own artists, these two insomniacs are ready to reintroduce us to the golden era of hip-hop. With their new album, 1982, theyíre giving us amazing features with Xzibit, Inspectah Deck, Cassidy, Bun B, Styles P and Freeway--just to name a few.
Clearly the album is star studded, but with the production of one of the hottest producers out--Statik Selektah -- this album is sure to go down in the hip-hop history books.
Born on the same day, in the same hospital in the same year, this album is all about fate. Their lives took them in opposite directions, but you canít fight your destiny. Their destiny is music and itís like taking a breath, listening to them fulfill their purpose.
Letís talk about 1982. You and Statik have worked together through the years, but youíve always wanted to do an album together. How did that come about?
I think it was in 2007/2008, a lot of fans were asking us to do an album together. It made sense because we were always in the studio together. It worked out.
Were you always a fan of his style of production?
Not really. Statik used to be the worst producer of all times. [laughs] He was the worst when we were kids. I met him when I was 15 years old. I keep it 100 with him. Iím part of the reason he got so good because he [played] me like 100 beats and they all sucked. I told him to let me know when he got some good ones. That made him step it up. Sometimes when you give people harsh words, it [helps] to motivate them.
The truth hurts. Thereís a lot of features on 1982. Was there someone you really enjoyed working with in particular?
My favorite person to work with on the album was Lil Fame of M.O.P. just because heís my friend. Iím cool with [other people], but itís different when you hang tough with someone in the industry. The most exciting to work with was Xzibit. Everybody else on the album, Iíd worked with before. I never worked with him, so I was happy about that.
That song, ďGoing BackĒ with Xzibit was really dope. I was shocked. I guess Iím used to seeing him on ĎPimp My Ride.í It was nice to hear that heís lyrically amazing.
I already knew. Iíve been an Xzibit fan since 1996. Just because heís on TV doesnít mean he raps different. I knew he was going to come with it. I didnít know what to expect. I was impressed though.
Are you and Statik going to be making more albums?
I think the response was so good, weíre going to have to do at least one more. Right now, theyíre calling us hip-hopís new duo in XXL. Funkmaster Flex put up something [about us] on his blog, MTV Jams and MTVU is playing our video and DJ Enuff is playing it in New York City. With that type of success, thereís no looking back. Weíve got to keep going.
What have you been able to learn from teaming up with a producer exclusively to work on an album?
Itís good and bad. Bad because itís no longer your albumÖ You can fight to the death, saying how you want it, but at the end of the day, itís not only your decision. Thatís the hard thing. Iím used to getting my way. At the same time, thereís a lot of benefits to it. [You] donít have to wait on mixes from all these producers and people. You save money because you donít have to pay all these people to come in and work with you. I had my boy right there, doing it for free and we were doing it just to do it. It has its ups and downs.
What do you like mostly about Statikís beats now?
I think heís amazing. Heís one of the best in the game right now. Thatís not me calling him that, thatís other people calling him that. I couldnít believe it because to me, heís my friend. To hear people saying that about him, I was very proud of him getting that type of success. Heís come a long way.
What about you? Whatís your journey been like?
My journeyís been crazy. I started rapping at nine years old in Lawrence, MA--a poor community about six miles wide. Itís 90% Puerto Rican/Dominican. Thereís barely any other race thereÖI grew up wanting to rhyme in the early 90ís. My momís boyfriend was a hustler from around the way. He used to rap and kick freestyles while he was doing whatever he was doing. That was my influence to rhyme. I just started battling cats and practiced until I started putting out music. I moved to New York when I got older and got it poppiní out there and the rest is history.
Youíve been able to see hip-hop change through the years. With this album being called 1982, I see it as a homage to hip-hopís golden era. Do you feel weíre missing something in hip-hop now that makes you revisit where its come from?
I think so. Before [anyone gets] into hip-hop, you have to know the cultureÖNow, the kids donít know the culture. People are like, ďLeave them alone. Theyíre not supposed to know the culture. Theyíre young. They have their own.Ē
But the culture is dying and everyone is ok with it. I come from the DJ Premier era. He tells me about things from the 80ís that I wouldnít even know because I was a baby. We lost that in hip-hop. Kids now, are on some whole other sh*t. Me and Statik are the last generation of real hip-hop.
You really feel that way? Thereís no one else bringing the realness of old school hip-hop?
Can you name somebody?
Let me think.
If you got to think about it, thenÖ
Thatís the problem! [laughs]
Iím not saying thereís no one. Iím saying weíre the last generation. The young kid Mac Milla, heís 18 and doing his thing. Heís doing stuff thatís similar to what weíre doing. Heís giving me a little hope, but heís one in a million. Getting back to what you were saying, Joell Ortiz is 30 years old. Heís a new artist, but heís an older new artist. Heís not a kid. Iím talking about the kids that are coming inÖtheyíre a mess.
Do you really feel that way about the freshman class--DrakeÖ?
Nah! Drake is amazing! I really like him. I donít know how to explain it. But if you look at it like we do, Iím talking about our sound. Thereís no more of that sound.
I get you. If I didnít know who you were, Iíd assume that you were older. Do you feel you represent an old school sound?
Definitely. We are representing for the younger generations. When youíre in New York, everyone knows who DJ Premier is, even the younger kids. But when you start going outside of New York, a lot of people actually have no clue. I want to teach everyoneÖwho these people are.
How do you feel about where hip-hop is?
Young Money is making a lot of good sh*tÖ[but many artists] sound exactly the same all the time. When they say itís hip-hop, but itís pop--no lyrics or substance to it--thatís the sh*t Iíve got a problem with.
Thatís true. A lot of hip-hop is pop - like Flo rida for instance. When I think about him, I donít think hip-hop, but a lot of people put him in hat category because heís a black man that raps. [laughs] His music is more pop than anything elseÖ
Thatís the sh*t weíve got to go through because a lot of times when we meet people, theyíll say they donít like hip-hop anymoreÖYou canít be mad at them because all they know of hip-hop is what they see on TV and hear on the radio. If all they hear is bullsh*t, then hip-hop is dead. I can agree with them. When I see people in their late 30ís and they think hip-hop sucks. I agree with them because I donít expect them to be on the block looking for dope sh*t.
Is there any particular reason, other than the obvious, why you named the album 1982?
The reason we named it 1982 is because [Statik and I] were born in the same hospital, in the same city and in the same year.
It actually had nothing to do with us sounding like the 80ís or the 90ís--thatís just a coincidence.
Thatís interesting. You guys are destinedÖ
[laughs] Right! Itís crazy! We ended up meeting some 16 years later. It worked out. We both went on our separate journeys. When I was a kid, I was poor. I lived in 33 different apartments by the time I was 12ÖI was never stable. I moved every three months. Statik moved away to New Hampshire and Boston, so we moved all over the place and still ended up meeting up. Itís some destiny sh*t.
What are you working on now?
Iíve got an artist named H. Blanco. He does Reggaeton. Iím trying to help him get out there. Iíve got a Rock artist named Gauge and heís doing his thing. I also have a group called St Da Squad. Theyíre working really hard. Theyíre all from my area. Iím trying to get them to do what myself and Statik have done. Iím helping them move along and build the label. I have my own label--St. Records. Statik has his own sh*t and has a couple of artists. Weíre grinding. Weíre trying to keep working everyday.
Itís amazing and selfless as an artist to be able to focus on someone elseís career as well as your own.
Itís hard. When I get to see my video on MTV and theyíre standing right next to me, or when I get to hear one of my songs on the radio and theyíre on the song with me, itís great. Iíve got to make somebody elseís dreams come true. I never sell my artists dreams. I always tell them, ďIím not going to blow you up. You have to blow yourself up.Ē All I do is put them on the court, they have to ball.
Would you like to add anything?
I want to say thank you to all the fans that bought the CD. We love yíall. Check out the website www.termanologymusic.com.
Do you tweet?
@TermanologySt and Statik is @StatikSelekt