12 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

One of the hip-hop industry’s most-delayed artists, Stat Quo was signed by Dr. Dre and Eminem in 2003. Stat toiled on the underground circuit for years before finally extricating himself from his deal to release the long-delayed Statlanta in 2010. In this incarnation the album features no contributions from Eminem or Dre, but it does reignite the fire that caused them to sign Stat all those years ago. Over a beat by Drake producer Boi-1da, Stat vents his passion on “Catch Me”: “I am my mommas only child / Granny’s favorite grandson / These streets I run like the Reverend / No DMC only red dirt brethren / No good times / Raised next door to the heavens.” Statlanta is qualified not by its thug credentials but by its conviction. You can’t go through as many industry obstacles as Stat without relying on your own determination. In these songs you hear someone who is no longer rapping to get rich, but rapping because he has no choice. And while he may have lost some of Dre’s stealthy beats, they are compensated for by the world-weary soul songs “Space Ship,” “Welcome Back” and “Penthouse Condo.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

One of the hip-hop industry’s most-delayed artists, Stat Quo was signed by Dr. Dre and Eminem in 2003. Stat toiled on the underground circuit for years before finally extricating himself from his deal to release the long-delayed Statlanta in 2010. In this incarnation the album features no contributions from Eminem or Dre, but it does reignite the fire that caused them to sign Stat all those years ago. Over a beat by Drake producer Boi-1da, Stat vents his passion on “Catch Me”: “I am my mommas only child / Granny’s favorite grandson / These streets I run like the Reverend / No DMC only red dirt brethren / No good times / Raised next door to the heavens.” Statlanta is qualified not by its thug credentials but by its conviction. You can’t go through as many industry obstacles as Stat without relying on your own determination. In these songs you hear someone who is no longer rapping to get rich, but rapping because he has no choice. And while he may have lost some of Dre’s stealthy beats, they are compensated for by the world-weary soul songs “Space Ship,” “Welcome Back” and “Penthouse Condo.”

TITLE TIME
3:13
4:39
3:22
3:32
3:37
3:38
3:40
3:42
4:14
5:02
3:40
3:47

About Stat Quo

From the onset, Stat Quo wanted to raise the standards (i.e., the status quo) for MCs in the rap game, particularly in Southern hip-hop. Being handpicked by rap superstar Eminem and the legendary Dr. Dre as a potential up-and-comer was a definite vindication of his lofty goals. The Atlanta-born rapper, whose real name is Stanley Benton, has repeatedly acknowledged that his strong work ethic came from his mother, who raised him in Atlanta's housing projects. After graduating high school, he attended the University of Florida, though mainly to pursue a career in basketball. He eventually quit basketball but still graduated with degrees in international business and economics. Benton was still unsure about his future plans, pondering whether to go to law school or perhaps doing something with the many rhymes he had on paper. He had begun freestyling at 12 years old, inspired by Kurtis Blow's "Basketball," but didn't start writing his rhymes down until encouraged by friends in college. When he heard how Ludacris signed to the newly formed Def Jam South subsidiary, he composed a demo tape to send to its label head, Scarface, who was a major idol of Stat Quo. Although it was Scarface's words of encouragement that convinced him to pursue rap professionally, a deal with Def Jam South didn't pan out. Stat Quo got on the grind and began pressing his own CDs, namely the Underground Atlanta mixtape series. With enough hustle, his mixtapes wound up separately in the hands of Eminem and Dr. Dre, and the two jointly signed Stat Quo to their respective imprints in 2004. Upon releasing more mixtapes and guest rapping on various songs, Stat Quo received a good deal of press as the first Southern rap signee to the Shady/Aftermath block. Appearances on major releases by Young Buck and Eminem kept his name afloat while his debut album, Statlanta, experienced numerous delays. ~ Cyril Cordor

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