*Note: This review is an extended version of the Independent’s Day feature in the April/May issue of The Source (Wiz Khalifa cover) on newsstands now. Revisions were made in accordance with changes to the final tracklist of the album.
1982 (Statik Selektah & Termanology)
Production: Statik Selektah
1982 is back with Statik Selektah on the boards and Termanology in the booth for the New England-bred duo’s sophomore album, 2012. The two-man show returns intent on delivering another round of the authentic hip-hop by restocking audiences with strong bars, diverse samples and more.
2012 starts off engagingly as Term carries his rhymes about ambition and materialism with panache over trumpets and rolling percussion on the title track. He follows the intro with true tales on “Lights Down,” addressing his distrust of major labels and his present complacency with going the indie route. 1982 supplies a party tune with the feel-good “Up Every Night.” The song comfortably employs several samples and ensures that everyone’s on pace to get wasted.
Lead single, “Shining,” keeps the vibe upbeat and proves to be one of the project’s more memorable offerings with Term effectively serving as the voice of the underdog via lines like “I’m shinin’ like blue and reds on a cop car/ I keep it underground, f**k bein’ a pop star / ‘Cause when you get on they steal yo’ sh*t anyway / and make way for the next star to take yo’ place.” Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman lends his heartfelt vocals to “Happy Days” which features a solid Mac Miller verse celebrating newfound success and Term waxing poetics about various accomplishments like earning The Source’s Unsigned Hype stamp. Bun B rounds out the song’s lineup and appropriately kicks gems to the young guns as his OGs once did. “Too Long” sees Term well equipped to flip auto-biographical flows at alternating speeds over Statik’s chime-filled melody, while the Latin emcee goes “Time Travellin” and exactly as the title implies, imagines intervening in some of history and hip-hop’s biggest tragedies. The standout track takes the listener on a trip of thought provoking “what if?” moments with the type of substance-filled material that the duo excels at composing.
On “Thug Poets,” Statik makes use of some Biggie, Jay-Z and Nas quotables to lay some superior cuts on the record while Termanology shows up to rhyme with coke dreams in-tow. Unfortunately, guests Roc Marciano and Havoc don’t bring the same cadence to the mic, leaving the thug poetry without an encore. Paired with some mundane instrumental arrangements, the impact of Term’s raps seems to follow suit and dull down on records like “Right Now” and “Hard To Forget.” Fortunately, the survivalist spirit of “Make It Out Alive,” featuring Freddie Gibbs and Crooked I, shifts 2012 back to its preferred gear,supplementing some of the luster lost during the aforementioned bumps in the road. Term sounds reinvigorated on “Live It Up,” rapidly dishing out bars like “Stay travelin’ for the cabbage / The back of my new Challenger looks like a new calendar.”
2012’s “Book Of Rhymes”-esque curtain call, “Time Ticking,” further assists in restoring the vote of confidence in 1982’s sophomore effort, ensuring that this 2012 ends on a much higher note than the Mayan calendar predicts. Like 1982’s self-titled debut, when all the votes tally in, 2012 is a year that the majority of hip-hop fans should find themselves revisiting in the future.
– Nate Santos (@MidtownNate)
DOWNLOAD: 1982 (Statik Selektah & Termanology) – 2012 [Album] via iTunes