Statik Selektah has got to be the busiest man in the rap game. In the past month alone, he’s been riding shotgun for stellar releases by Reks, Straight No Chaser, and JFK’s AGE (All Green Everything). Never one to rest on his laurels, the Massachusetts-bred DJ has teamed up with fellow Bay Stater, Termanology, and released their second joint project together, 2012. Statik Selektah holds down 2012 in his customary solid fashion while Termanology is assisted with guest spots from a mix of up and comers and established vets such as Mac Miller, Havoc, Lil Fame (M.O.P.), Freddie Gibbs, Roc Marciano, Crooked I, Bun B, and a surprise appearance from Boy II Men’s Shawn Stockman.
If there’s one fatal flaw with 1982, it’s Termanology. As an emcee he’s appallingly mediocre, but with a name like ‘Termanology’ some type of higher level lyricism should be expected, right? No haps. Front to end Statik Selektah put in work on the boards from the beautifully mellow, melodic vibe of “Lights Down”, one of the few tracks Term doesn’t mail in, to the piano and snare-driven “Make It Out Alive” with Freddie Gibbs and Crooked I stealing the show with divergent but complimentary styles. “Time Travellin” is one of Termanlogy’s numerous attempts to display some depth to contrast the plethora of standard-fare drug rap that litters the LP but in the end it’s an abject failure. Verses like this are to be expected from anybody just starting out but for him to have been on the scene for so long...in short, his penmanship has been found lacking.
“I’d pull the fire alarm at the world trade/so all those innocent people woulda been saved/I’d put a bullet in Saddam Hussein/with the glock put a stop to his terrible ways/and I know it sounds remorseless, but I’d make Barbara Bush get an abortion/and I woulda been important, cuz we coulda saved a lotta coffins/take all the republicans outta office, cuz most of them are monsters…”
Do better, homie. And the most galling element in the midst of verse after verse that should’ve been left on the cutting room floor is a stanza Termanlogy had the nerve to utter on “Shining”.
“I’m on the block where my lil homies shine/ they said they hope a cat like me come through in they rhyme/I can beat Fat Joe and Big Pun in they prime/cuz I know Statik, he be on the radio all the time…”
If anything that statement sums up the situation here. Termanology is riding Statik Selektah’s coattails and no matter how dope the production, it just can’t compensate for tired drug raps and weak punchlines. Termanology manages an entire album without a single rewind-worthy moment. Statik Selektah has developed a sound as distinctive as the man he’s most often compared to--DJ Premier--but Termanology’s efforts on the mic on 2012 don’t measure up to his prolific partner.
- T. Love