With a discography that spans five solo albums and seven collaborative projects, producer Statik Selektah has made his name synonymous with consistency and relevance. His latest project, Population Control is no exception.
With this project more than any other, it seems almost as if Selektah was attempting to connect to a younger demographic with features from Mac Miller (“Groupie Love”), Dom Kennedy (“Smoke On”), Chuuwee (“Half-Moon Part”) and XV (“Sam Jack”). The LP is on the longer side with 20-tracks, including several filler tracks. Around the middle of the album, listeners are introduced to a lot of songs that should have been kept off the tracklist because they essentially make no positive impact on the way the album sounds ( “Groupie Love,” “Let’s Build,” and “They Don’t Know,” just to name a few). In addition to filler tracks, there seem to be a lot of features with artists who have no chemistry with one other. Instead of just adding people on to the track because it looks good on paper, it would’ve been better for the listener to hear artists on the song that really would vibe nice to the production.
That being said, there is a lot of material on the album that works well together, ie “Play That Game,” featuring emcees Big K.R.I.T and Freddie Gibbs. The production that Selektah lays out is the epitome of classic down south hip-hop and the collaboration of the two artists makes the perfect pairing. They have great chemistry and both flow nicely over the beat. “New York New York,” featuring Styles P, Saigon and Jared Evans is built on an impressive sample, while the production on “You’re Gone,” featuring Talib Kweli, Colin Munroe and Lil’ Fame catches listeners off guard. It starts off rather slow, but then turns into head nodding galore as the beat develops. Also (surprisingly) Lil’ Fame was definitely a nice addition to the song.
Other highlights on the album come in the form of “Black Swan,” featuring emcees Nitty Scott MC and Rapsody, as well as “Harlem Blues,” featuring Smoke DZA, and “Damn Right,” featuring Joell Ortiz and Brother Ali. Despite some slow moments the production on the album is impressive and definitely worth a listen.
– Erin Duncan