Time for some hip hop math:
What do you get when you add Joey Bada$$, Freddie Gibbs, Styles P, Talib Kweli, Royce Da 5’9, Black Thought, Snoop Dogg, Wais P, Ransom, CharlieRED, Dilated Peoples, Ab-Soul, Jon Connor, Logic, Black Dave, CJ Fly, Nyck Caution, Sincere, Noreaga, Termanology, REKS, *deep gasp for air* Sheek Louch, Pharoahe Monch, Lil Fame, Easy Money, Action Bronson A.K.A the rap Scott Disick, Crooked I, Sean Price, B-Real, JFK, Boldy James, Astro, Dessy Hinds, Joe Scudda, Bun B, Jared Evan, POS, De La Soul and a collection of the upper echelon of instrumentals?
You get one of the best albums of 2014.
Statik Selektah called up all of his rapper friends to help create his 6th solo album, What Goes Around. The producer/radio personality from Massachusetts, helped build on the buzz created from his 2013 release, Extended Play, with an album of the overall same format, yet presented in a much more grandiose scale.
The amount of names on this album is extremely impressive. So much so, that even the Game would have trouble fitting all of these name-drops in a couple of his tracks. Not to be outdone, however, are the instrumentals that act as a canvas for each of the many impressive verses to be laid upon. The beats are extremely diverse yet still provide the backdrop to a unified album as they all share the same style of sound. The mixture of horns, keys and insane drum beats are sure to satisfy even the pickiest of beat heads.
The combination of having such an impressive roster of rappers and the competitive nature of hip hop is a beautiful thing. Each verse features some of these MCs’ best work as you can hear the amount of effort they put into each line from the grittiness in their voices to the creativity of their flows and rhyme schemes.
Ab-Soul, Jon Connor and Logic are a testament to this as they trade some seriously replay-worthy verses on “Alarm Clock”. This is also true for Black Dave and Nyck Caution on “My Time”, which features a sample from Black Thought’s verse on Statik Selektah’s last album. Astro drops some awesome wordplay, which is full of references to HBO’s The Wire, on “Rise Above” and the lesser known Sincere passionately rips through the beat on “Fugazi”. Black Thought delivers a verse worthy of a mic drop among a crowd of open jaws on “The Imperial.”
I could go on and on highlighting some of the verses and memorable moments on this album but the album is much better when heard rather than read about. What Goes Around shines in a year that has arguably been otherwise disappointing for hip hop.