Grade A Certified

Stat Quo: “The Long Road To Statlanta“ (by J. Tinsley)

Posted by T. Adeyemi on March 31, 2010

Patience is a virtue. Time is of the essence.

Two completely different clichés, but two describing the progression of Stanley “Stat Quo” Benton. Since signing with Aftermath nearly a decade ago, Quo’s debut album, Statlanta, has been ready for liberation. However, due to the inner workings that are the politics of the industry, the album has yet to hit shelves. That’s not to say the ATLien hasn’t found success in his own right. In a recent interview with Stat, he candidly spoke about the album, SXSW, the possibility of seeing Detox before 2012, his new label situation with Sha Money XL, March Madness and even about new track he has which is slated to feature Lauryn Hill. Yes, that Lauryn Hill.

It’s a lot of stuff we’re going to speak on today, but let’s get the preliminaries out the way. What’s new? What can we expect in the coming weeks and months from Stat Quo?

I’ve got the album coming out June 22. The album is finally coming. I’m still working with Dre on Detox. Also, Boi-1da and myself, we’re doing something real special. It’s a lot of stuff, man.

On your Twitter page you were speaking about SXSW. That’s one of the events I really wish I could have made. In a little more than 140 characters, how important would you say SXSW and events like that are to the transition of new artists and Hip-Hop in general? Especially now that we find ourselves moving more and more into the digital age.

Well, I think it’s dope because it allows the artists to network. It’s one place where we can all get together and just discuss different ideas. Different artists that I like or heard on the internet, I never had the opportunity to meet, but SXSW allowed me to do that. Now we’re connecting and we’re doing songs together. It’s a great social network Hip-Hop type deal and that’s what’s so dope about it. I’m going every year from here on out.

Speaking of artists you heard on the internet, who are some of the top new names that you would like to work with? If you had to pick three you met at SXSW, who would you like to get in the studio with?

Man, pretty much everybody I met down there I’d like to work with. It’s a bunch of ‘em really. Donnis, Yelawolf, Killer Mike – well, I already knew Mike, he don’t count – Pill, I’m not even sure if he was down there, but CyHi Da Prynce as well. Hollyweerd, man, it’s a bunch of cats for real. A lot of the Strong Arm Steady crew. I already knew them, but we’ve never done anything. Mistah F.A.B., I already knew him too, but we never did anything either. Killer Mike, it’s a damn shame we ain’t done anything yet. It’s just a bunch of cats.

Most definitely. Moving right along to the album, when the whole Shady/Aftermath craze was really taking over, one of the first artists mentioned on the come up (along with 50 Cent) was yourself. I would always hear about Stat Quo and Statlanta and how it was going to be this amazing album. I’d imagine it’s been frustrating to never get the project out. If you could look at yourself 10 years ago and give yourself advice you know now, what would it be?

I probably would have picked a better attorney when I first did my deal. My attorney was good, but he was all built for the music industry in like the ’70s and ’80s, you know what I’m saying? I wish I would have an attorney that was kind of like, you know, a “new-millenium” attorney. There were some deals and they way they were structured back then, you know. I would have some clauses in my contract.

But other than that man, I wouldn’t really change anything. People say to me, “Oh, you ain’t get to put your album out.” Cool, my album is going to drop when it’s supposed to. Actually, I’m good man. I’m real good man. I’m living in incredible real estate. I’ve got luxury cars in every city I go to and I own ‘em. I’ve got a bunch of old schools. My mom is good. My son is good.

It’s pretty well known that you are writing for Detox. I hope you don’t feel some type of way when I ask this, but as a fan I’ve been hearing it has been coming for awhile now. Do you think we’ll hear Detox any time before 2012?

Yes, I feel like it’s going to come out. I would have told you something different probably like a year ago, but now I really think it is going to come out.

How many songs would you say the two of you have worked on for that album?

I mean you have to understand since I came around he’s been working on that album. I couldn’t even guess. But you know what I’m learning from him? It’s not about how many of something he does, it’s just about the feeling. When we were working before, the feeling isn’t like it is now.

So would you say one of the main lessons you’ve learned from Dre is quality control? Because he is one of those artists you don’t find a lot of his material making its way on to the internet.

Yeah, definitely that. I mean, he’s in the financial situation as to where he can do what he does. He made a lot of money, and he really was intelligent about the music industry early on. He’s allowed his luxury to be able to put music out the way he does, but a lot of artists have to take more risks and put stuff out they may be iffy-iffy. But they’re situations are different. It’s just all about your social status, you know. Everybody can’t do it like Dr. Dre. That’s why he’s Dr. Dre, you know?

Going back to your album, I know you’ve got a gang of songs already recorded. Is there one song in particular that you are looking forward to the masses hearing or the track that really introduces you to the masses?

Nahh, I really don’t care about being introduced to the masses anymore. I just want people that want to hear my music, I want them to hear it. And the people that don’t want to get it, they don’t have to get it. As far as it being one particular track, it’s the whole thing. It’s like a book. You can’t really read one chapter of a book and understand the whole story. You have to read the whole book. Statlanta is a book. It’s for the people that want to read it.

Let’s transition into the HP commercial that’s on TV now. When did you all shoot that?

Ummmm, probably like a month or two ago.

How many takes did it require?

It took some hours. It was hilarious, man. I didn’t really know what they were saying because I was in the booth the whole time. I just assumed that was the way the commercial was going, so I just threw my hands up. That’s nothing something they told me to do. I just did that. That was improv.

From one venture to another. One thing shocked me when I was reading the e-mails. I damn near dropped my phone when I read it. I can’t remember if it’s for an upcoming mixtape or Statlanta, but you have a Lauryn Hill-featured track?

Ahhh, it’s something on there man. I’m going to put that out. We’ll let the people see it. We’re going to see what happens man.

Fair enough. Shifting subjects, I saw something on your Twitter pages about brackets being busted. Who did you have in the Final Four?

I had Syracuse, Kentucky, Kansas and Duke. All #1’s man, straight up.

That’s crazy because I had Duke losing in the second round to Louisville. Then again, that’s why I’m not working for ESPN.

You know what it is? Well, most of those analysts got it wrong too. But what you see with the Final Four, the coaches are more important than the players. Look at the coaches that are in that Final Final: Mike Krzyzewski, Tom Izzo, you know what I mean? These are like some of the best coaches in college. When it comes right down to it, it’s how you motivate these kids to play. It’s not really about the talent.

Since we’re on the topic of basketball, what’s your take on the whole Gilbert Arenas situation?

I mean, I really believe someone from the organization authorized him to do that. That’s why he’s only getting what he’s getting. Thirty days in a halfway house? That’ll be cool. He’s still rich. And the Wizards are bringing him back. So, yeah, he’s good. He’s still getting paid this year. His contract is guaranteed.

You’ve been in the game a lot of years and have a lot of relationships with a lot of artists, specifically from the South. How do you feel recently about the list of Southern artists who ended up in prison? Do you feel as if it is the “powers that be” focusing on them too much or is it a case of past lifestyles contradicting with the present?

I think everybody has their own special circumstances. Even though they all rap, you can’t just say “Southern rappers.” It’s just people in general go through stuff and what it shows you is just because they’re musicians, that doesn’t mean they don’t go through real life things. Everybody has their own hurdles that they have to get over, and that’s those dudes hurdles. They’re trying to climb over them and come up from. I think all of them are going to be better people because of the situations they went through. Like Tip said, “What don’t kill me, make me stronger.”

Let’s talk about your venture over at Dream Big Records with Sha Money XL. I’m sure that’s a good person to have in your corner offering insight. What are the differences from Aftermath and Dream Big?

Actually, it’s just another opportunity to get to learn from somebody that has been successful in the game. It’s just the same way like dealing with Dre and Eminem. I’ve been blessed to say that I considered myself to have worked with some top-notch people in the music industry. Sha does his thing, he does his business and we keep it pushing from there, you know what I mean?

I know you’ve been writing for Dre over the years. But how often do you find yourself writing for other artists?

You know, actually, even when you’re working with another artist on their stuff it’s still you, it’s still me, so I don’t even consider it like “writing” for another artist. I just consider it like working together with somebody else to influence greatness. We’re just working together. I’m not going to sit down here and say I write for Dre  – I work with Dre. It’s not like I tell him what to say. I’ve just had the opportunity to work with great people and I work with great people all the time. I don’t consider it ghostwriting. That kind of like narrows it down and I think it’s bigger than that.

We’ve covered a lot, but is there anything else you want to add we may have omitted?

Nahh, that was pretty much everything man. Oh, I can’t wait to hear this new Scarface mixtape. I would love to do an album with him. Devin The Dude too. Other than that, that’s pretty much it.

Be sure to follow Stat Quo on Twitter and be sure to pick up the album Statlanta on June 22.

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One Response to “Stat Quo: “The Long Road To Statlanta“ (by J. Tinsley)”

  1. […] Grade A: Stat Quo: “The Long Road To Statlanta“ (by J. Tinsley)  […]

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