Since 2007, Statik Selektah — born Patrick Baril — has been a staple in the production world. The Boston native’s affinity for hip-hop and everything boom-bap has allowed him to connect with some of rap’s biggest names.
With an unblemished resume that includes Eminem, Nas, Action Bronson and Joey Bada$$, Selektah is quickly becoming hip-hop’s secret weapon. This year, the producer made a huge splash when he cooked up two tracks for Joey Bada$$’s acclaimed album All-Amerikkkan Badass. ?The project’s final song “Legendary,” which features J. Cole, showcases Selektah’s pristine beat-making abilities. In hopes of cementing himself as a premier household name, the “Detroit Vs. Everybody” producer recently inked a management deal with Jay Z‘s Roc Nation.
Selektah spoke to Billboard about his new deal, his plans to expand his brand, working on Nas’ forthcoming album, Joey Bada$$’s growth, and why his project with 2 Chainz will have New York listeners in a frenzy.
Congrats on signing a management deal with Roc Nation. How did everything come together?
I’ve known [Roc Nation management rep] Kristi [Clifford] over there for a long time and she had mentioned my name. My name came up in a meeting when they were talking about The LOX. I wasn’t on the last LOX album and Kristi spoke up and said that [I’m] on the next one, so it kind of started a conversation and we started throwing out ideas with me coming up [to Roc Nation]. A lot of the people up there was familiar with what I was doing. I played some music and it just all came together really good. The whole staff up there is exactly what I need for my movement to go to the next level. I think I bring my own flavor of what I do as well.
What you are trying to accomplish with your move to Roc Nation?
Honestly, I wanna pick my placement game up. I’ve worked with everybody from Eminem to 2 Chainz to Nas — a lot more recently with Nas. I’ve been in the studio with him. The next level to me is like being on every album that comes out that matters. I grew up looking up to DJ Premier, who would have the illest hip-hop joint on everybody’s album. That’s exactly what I want to do. I’ve been doing it for a little while, especially with the new cats like Joey Bada$$ and Action Bronson, but I’m trying to cover the whole spread — that includes other kinds of music, too. I want to do more R&B, more reggae, everything.
You’ve mentioned being in the studio with Nas. What’s the latest on his new album?
Some of it is top secret but I will tell you that he’s working on Fashawn’s album. He’s signed to Nas’ label Mass Appeal. They got a new studio over [at the Mass Appeal office], so I’ve been going over there and working with him. Nas has been working on this album for a long time so at any given moment, he can change his mind. I’m not even really sure where he stands with the album, but I will tell you that we have some joints in the stash. So, hopefully, one of those either makes that, or I know that Lost Tapes 2 is eventually coming out. It’s just if the vibes are right.
You’ve had a relationship with Joey Bada$$ since he was 16. How would you describe his growth thus far in music?
I met Joey when he was 16-years-old. He was making a mixtape, you know what I mean? I watched him go from a huge Internet success to starting a tour with him. We’ve been around the world a bunch of times. I mean, we’ve probably done 600, 700 shows together in the last four years. I did the math one time and it was a lot. [Laughs]. It was real dope that I produced the record “Legendary” with J. Cole — another Roc Nation artist — on Joey’s album [All AmeriKKKan Bada$$]. I just think it marks this moment in time. Just the way the dots connected was real special.
Your album 8 is slated for a late summer release. What can we expect in terms of artists and sounds on the new project?
I’m really excited about it. I’ve been really stepping up my game musically. You know, you can expect that Statik sound, but it’s just a lot bigger. I got 2 Chainz on there. Me and him have a project that’s dropping really soon. Of course, the fam like Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, Termanology, Run the Jewels, The LOX, Wale, Black Thought, Raekwon, Freddie Gibbs, Westside Gunn and Conway — who just signed to Shady Records. I’ve been messing with them since the beginning. I’m really excited about that. G-Eazy, Royce Da 5’9′, and obviously, the late, great Sean Price. You know, me and Sean have been close so I’m happy I got something underneath for this one.
You and 2 Chainz have a project on the way. What did he bring to the table that amazed you the most as an artist?
He’s been killing features and his own records for a long time. When you hear these records, it’s just so different. No one has ever done what he did with this project. First of all, he’s rapping like he’s from Brooklyn. It’s just very New York. Basically, a down South guy made a New York album, so I’m excited for that.
Do you have a name for the project?
Yeah, we got a name, but I gotta let Chainz announce that one.
Lastly, is it over for your Boston Celtics in their playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers?
Listen, they came back in Game 3 and I didn’t see that coming so we’ll see what happens [in Game 5]. I got faith. I’ve seen everything. I’m a Boston fan. I’ve seen the Red Sox come back. I’ve seen the Celtics come back. I’ve seen the Patriots come back from being down at halftime, so you never know.