Statik Selektah – “The Balancing Act” review

This is the 9th full-length album from Boston producer, DJ & radio personality Statik Selektah. From his output as part of the producer/MC duo 1982 alongside fellow Boston native Termanology to entirely producing projects for the likes of Action Bronson & Paul Wall, this dude has really made his presence known as one of the most consistent & hard-working producers in all of hip hop for over a decade now. Even his 8 solo albums have a chockfull of bangers on them, most notably Extended Play & #WhatGoesAround…. But as the 3 year anniversary of Statik’s last full-length outing 8 approaches in a couple of weeks, he’s joining forces with nas’ Mass Appeal Records to bring you The Balancing Act.

The opener “The Healing” by Black Thought talks about crooked cops over a haunting instrumental whereas the next song “Keep It Moving” by Joey Bada$$ & Nas finds the 2 trading bars back & forth with one another over well-flipped sample of “Walk On By” off of Jonathan Davis’ 2018 solo album Black Labyrinth. The track “Play Around” by Conway the Machine, Killer Mike & 2 Chainz sees the 3 talking about how they’re the real deal over a boom bap beat with some somber keyboards while the song “Hard Living” by Dave East & Method Man finds the 2 talking about what it was like for them growing up in the Big Apple over a melancholic beat.

The track “Time” by Jack Harlow talks about how life’s too short over a mellow instrumental while the song “Watch Me” by Joey Bada$$ talks about being the illest in the city over some keys & live drumming. The track “America is Cancelled” by Jadakiss, Styles P & 1982 addresses corruption in our government over a jazzy instrumental while the song “No Substitute” by Benny the Butcher & Paul Wall talks about pursuing the cash over a boom bap beat with some horns.

The track “Off My Mind” by Fly Anakin & Rome Streetz sees the 2 talking about the trials & tribulations over a soulful instrumental while the song “Welcome to the Game” by Kota the Friend & Marlon Craft gives some advice to those setting their foot in the music industry over a luxurious beat. The track “Soul Custody” by Blu & Evidence finds the 2 getting romantic over a perfect instrumental to get you in the mood while the song “No More” by Lil’ Fame, Rim da Villin & Smoke DZA sees the trio spitting battle bars over some churchy background vocals.

The track “Ralph Laurens” by the late Sean Price & Thirstin Howl III sees the 2 telling the listener to believe the rumors over an operatic instrumental while the song “Balance Beam” by CJ Fly, JFK & Nick Grant finds the 3 talking about being on a tightrope over a boom bap beat with some horns. The penultimate track “Way Up” by TrillStatik & Havoc finds the 2 paying tribute to Pimp C & Prodigy respectively over a mournful instrumental whereas the closer “Immortal” by Bobby Sessions talks about being just that over a quasi-jazzy boom bap beat.

Pretty good way for Statik Selektah to kick off his 2020s output. Couple of performers I could’ve done without, but I really dig how he used more original compositions on here rather than sampling & it does a good job at executing a concept documenting the times we’re currently in.

Score: 3.5/5

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