Better late than never. It’s a phrase fit to describe Stat Quo’s debut album Statlanta. After being discovered by Dr. Dre and Eminem and then signed to Aftermath and Shady Records, the Atlanta emcee appeared to be well on his way to making moves. That was 2003. Seven years and numerous mixtape and appearances later, Stat brings us his long promised solo release. Hopefully time hasn’t passed him by.
Statlanta begins with, well, “The Beginning”, where Stat gives the listener a history lesson, discussing his journey, the ups and downs and let’s it be known that he’s here and isn’t going anywhere. Dope. The history lesson continues a bit on “Welcome Back”. Production wise, the track isn’t spectacular and the hook is somewhat generic, but “Welcome Back” still works. The same can really be said of “Ghetto USA”, decent, but unspectacular. “Dedicated” and the lead single “Success” are strong tracks, but the success is more on the production side, than on the lyrical side. About halfway through, there are a few good tracks, but Statlanta does not blow the listener away.
“Catch Me” features an honest Stat Quo finally giving a little insight into how things have worked out with him and Dre, through all of the years of promises and disappointments. With the lyrics :“now my money gone all my industry friends left me lonely/no more Em no more Dre/I guess he finito people/Left me out to dry but I spit more lethal/Came back on they ass I give a fuck nigga/And me and Dre still cool/That’s how real friends do/And I aint got nothing to prove/To nobody but myself and god the rest I exclude staying true to me is all im tryna do/when bullshit occur out the blue/I keep my head in the clouds/to guide my way through/until my lifes through/that’s how ya boy gon do”. It takes a while, but when he finally hits “Catch Me”, it appears that Stat is finally able to vent and the honesty makes for a strong track. The live instrumentation on the production doesn’t hurt either.
Tracks such as “Cry” and “Spaceship” find Stat at his storytelling best, but both feel like lesser remakes of “Brenda’s Got a Baby” and Kanye West’s song of the same name, in “Spaceship”. “Lie To You” features decent cameos from Raheem DeVaughn and Devin the Dude with the misogyny on full blast. With that said, the bassline pulls the listener in, helping to make “Lie To You” a guilty pleasure. “Allright” feat Talib Kweli is flat out disappointing as there is no chemistry between Stat and Kweli. The track feels like a collaboration for collaboration sake and really could have been left off of the album without being missed. Surprisingly, Statlanta features very few club tracks and the first example doesn’t appear until “What I Like” drops. The only question for Stat on “What I Like” is…where’s Gucci(?), as it’s the quintessential Gucci Mane “brr” track.
Overall Statlanta is a decent release. It’s disappointing in the sense that majority of tracks really have little direction lyrically. Some tell stories and some feature Stat rambling and not taking the listener to any specific destination. The strong tracks are strong lyrically when Stat actually discusses topics at hand. While not a bad album, Statlanta can definitely be described as disappointing. It may have been stronger had it been released under the tutelage of Dre. Dre and Eminem, but we’ll never know.
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