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Statik Selektah, Bun B, and Friends on ‘TrillStatik 2’

Sweet Chick is one of my home away. The original location, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, is most definitely somewhere I go so often that I’ve eaten everything on that menu several times over. The Good Life, an extraordinary and innovative collective based in New York City led by Craig Wetherby (photographer), was hosting their family dinner and domino nights every Tuesday for almost a decade. This night was crucial for New York City’s stoners. The kitchen staff used to pretend not to see the group of homies walking past and then open the backdoor to light it in the private smoking area. 

New York City’s cannabis laws are currently progressive. You can now smoke as loud as you like anywhere cigarette smoke is permitted. The restaurant owned by John Seymour, Kyle Martin and Nas (hip-hop royalty) makes it the ideal place for creativity to flourish. With all that said, it’s no surprise that Sweet Chick LES was chosen as the official center for live streaming. TrillStatik 2— an entire album produced by Statik Selektah starring Bun B (of UGK) with special guests. It was completed in just 24 hours. The project is available for download on every platform since Friday, December 9. Ironically, I have had to write more about this album than they did to make it. 

Images courtesy of Erick Sasso.

Statik Selekstah is one of my closest friends. He rose in the hip hop ranks during his youth, and he made the trek to New York City as often as possible from Boston. Eventually, when DJ Drama and Don Cannon’s offices were raided and the mixtape game was declared officially over and done, Statik started dropping commercial albums with himself at the helm doing 100% of the production.

With 10 album albums in the works, his catalog speaks for itself. It features some of the most hard-hitting performance from Action Bronson, Wiz Khalifa and Griselda. Through his musical collaborations over the years, he has created special moments such as when he linked Sean Price to Mac Miller, making a track together, and later making an entire record (release TBD). TrillStatik Series with Bun B.

This event was something I planned on attending because I’m a huge fan. It was phenomenal. TrillStatikA lot of respect is given to Bun B for his incredible activism, artistry, and pothead status. However, I got even more interested when my guy Matt from The Astor Club hit me with a, “You’re going right?” text. As it turns out, Sweet Chick’s offices were turned into a pop-up recording studio, complete with an artist lounge with the kind of hospitality worth writing about. Astor Club’s finest roller was on-site, rolling doobies or blunts for VIPs.

A half pound of fire RS-11 was donated by The Astor Club. But that’s not all, there was a Puffco giveaway which had Proxy’s and Pro’s on deck, as we dabbed out complementary globs from Trichadelics and Pressure Labz. A sponsor of the event was Vibes papers. I met The TENCo Team later on in the night and was able to taste some Pink Zushi. It is now my favorite. A big shoutout also to Matt, Johnny Nunez, from High Mart (who owns all of the photos according to Nas) and Lizm, a cannabis brand Lizm who have partnered with Jadakiss, the hip-hop legend. 

At a certain point in this lovely evening, I’m absolutely highed up. It’s amazing. I can feel it. I want to be a journalist. My story is a cautionary tale. I’m just going to keep it a buck here—I made the awful mistake of interrupting Bun B while he was writing a rhyme. The legend was open to me and I immediately shot my shot. “Where are we at in the process?”, I asked. To which he replied with a smirk, “I just sat down, wrote two words, and you asked me a question.” Well, you might as well have played the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme music at that point, because I basically just tripped Shaq while sitting courtside. 

Statik, Dave East and Paul Wall talk about the Music

After I had worn out my welcome at the studio, I went to the artist lounge for interviews. The brilliant Sasso was there to record some song breakdowns.

“We Live” featuring Dave East & Jinell

Chronic NewsGuys, you’re ready to hear this new album tonight? 

Dave East: What is Statik? This will be out when? 

Statik: It’s coming out tonight. 

East: No, that’s too fast, who’s mixing your music? 

Statik: That’s what I am. All I do is mix. 

Please tell us all about the record that you have just broken. 

East: Bun did an incredible track. Statik Selektah was my first opportunity to collaborate with him. Statik has just my sound. It is rare that there are producers who can capture my sound. It’s a great experience to work with Statik. I heard the beat and was like, “Let’s go!” I looked back to see who the engineer was, and it was Stat recording me!

Statik – If you’re looking for something that works, do it yourself.

Herr East, on what do you smoke? 

East: Eastco every day baby. Eastlatto and Eastpop coming soon, ‘bout to hit y’all with the new, new.

“Ain’t No Tellin” featuring 38 Spesh, Grafh & Haile Supreme 

Spesh! What can you tell me about your track record with this project? 

38 Spesh: Wow, that record was a real blast. It was exactly my kind of beat. I heard it as soon as I entered the room. It was all I knew. When I walked in, it was a tempo I was normally used to, and it was like a sample that I would have chopped up personally, so when I heard it I was like “Damn, they made this for me! Bun has been a supporter of mine from the beginning and I appreciate it. He’s one of the most sincere people I’ve met along this path. 

“Every Hour” featuring Nems & Papoose 

What can Nems tell us about you contribution to the project?

Nems: Bun told me, “I don’t want to offend you, but can you please keep it as CONEY ISLAND as possible? Be vulgar. Be disrespectful.” Statik sent me the beat to my phone. I don’t like to write with mad people around, I like to be in the zone. The verse was written in just 20 minutes when I went to the truck with two bad girls. Bun also got into that stupid shit. Papoose, who arrived about an hour later, made the whole thing. BING BOONG

“Building Bridges” featuring Paul Wall & Termanology 

Paul Wall, what was your experience?

Paul Wall This was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had. Bun B came in to the studio as the first to assist us when we weren’t sure what to do. He came in there and taught us how to be professional at it, so he’s always been the big bro and mentor. We’ve been following the leader with him for a long time—he’s a leader. The first edition was missed by me, so I ended up buying the deluxe version. So, when I saw they were doing this, I was like, “I’ve gotta be there.”

Which are you currently smoking? 

Paul Wall: I’ve been smoking these Astor Club pre-rolls all night, and someone just gave me a 911 pack: half sour diesel, half haze—real New York shit.

Conclusion: Bun B is an amazing artist and should be celebrated but not interrupted. Message to Bun B: Sorry for interrupting your creations. I never got a Trill burger, and I won’t rest till we smoke out big time. To be continued…? Trillstatik 2It is available on all platforms right now