‘Extended Play’ shows that Statik Seletktah still has the knack of bringing together rappers that can perfectly complement his true-to-hip hop beats, and each other; filler tracks excluded, this record has some truly remarkable moments.

Reading the guest collaborator list on ‘Extended Play’ is enough to give most hip hop fans a positive feeling in their nether regions; a few beads of excited sweat at the very least. Featuring the likes of Talib Kweli, Action Bronson and Raekwon, just to name a few guests who lend their vocal prowess to the record, Statik Selektah has once again pulled somewhat of a Christmas wish list for his fifth studio album.

 

At 18 tracks long, the album title seems more than fitting and one can’t help but wonder if a small handful of tracks might have been better suited to the cutting room floor.  Nonetheless, Selektah has provided plenty for hip hop aficionados and newcomers alike to wade through – while hip hop beats seem to be a push-pull of functionality versus providing a creative outlet, Selektah has a gifted touch for them. Striking the balance between showing some creative chops and producing hard hitting yet effortlessly smooth beats, Selektah ensures the aural landscape for his vocalists never tips out of balance.

 

Lyrically, it doesn’t seem to stray too far from the “guns, hoes, bitches, drugs” subject roster but what makes this shine compared to say, the nonsensical, half shouted, half rapped dross that litters the charts is the urgency and storytelling; not to mention clever wordplay in spades. ‘Funeral Season’ ft. Styles P, Bun B and Hit Boy is a thoughtful ode to the rise in homicide during the summer months in ‘the hood’ while ‘The Spark’ ft. Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$ and Mike Posner is a stunning highlight  – one of the softer, more reflective tracks on ‘Extended Play’ but Selektah knows when to apply a ‘less is more’ mantra and it pays off here.

 

3.5/5

 

BY MARISSA DEMETRIOU

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