Interview: Statik Selektah Talks About "Detroit Vs. Everybody," His Upcoming Collaboration With Eminem, Big Sean, and More

The veteran producer from Lawrence, Mass., details his upcoming collaboration for Shady Records.

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Complex Original

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It may sound cliché, but Statik Selektah is having his best year yet. The veteran producer dropped his sixth studio album, What Goes Around, this past August, which boasts stellar features from hip-hop's old and new guard alike, along with his signature jazzy boom bap production. Not one to rest on his laurels, Statik also released Still Blue, his second collaborative project with Jared Evan

Yesterday, it was revealed that Statik Selektah would be featured on the upcoming Shady Records compilation album. His sole contribution comes on "Detroit Vs. Everybody," which features an all-star lineup of Eminem, Royce da 5'9", Big Sean, Danny Brown, Dej Loaf, and Trick Trick. So yeah, this is a pretty big deal for the Lawrence, Mass., representative.

Following the huge announcement, Complex spoke with Statik Selektah about how "Detroit Vs. Everybody" came together, why Em's manager, Paul Rosenberg, gets a big hat tip for its creation, and who he's most excited to hear on the final version.

Interview by Edwin Ortiz (@iTunesEra)

Right when the tracklist for Shady XV dropped, you tweeted out, “Gotta thank my connect,” and directed it at Paul Rosenberg. How did you guys initially link up for this record?

I mean, I’ve been on Eminem’s radio station [Shade 45] for almost 10 years now. So I deal with Paul weekly. But the way this came about—and for the record, this is my second song with Eminem. A lot of people are like, “Oh, you got to work with Eminem”—this is my second time with him. First one was “Richard” by Obie Trice featuring Em. But obviously it’s a big deal that this one is an Eminem song.

It was cool how it worked out. I had just moved recently, and the first beat I made in the crib, the beat and the sample says “static.” I don’t know what part they kept.... It has to be on there though. But the original sample said “static.” So I found the record when I was moving into my new crib, and I was like, "Oh, I got to use this."

So I chopped it up real quick. And it was a Thursday because that night I went to Shade 45. So I was like, "You know what? I’m going to play the original sample, but I’m going to play the beat just like as the intro to the show." And I played the original sample, and as it’s playing, I’m like, "Oh shit, I don’t even have the beat on me." I forgot to put the beat on my laptop. So I just played the sample.

And Paul Rosenberg texts me. He’s like, “Yo, what is that? You should use that.” But I already did. He’s like, “Send me that ASAP,” so I sent it to him. A couple weeks later he hit me like, “Yo, we need the sample info, they’re clearing it.” From then, I knew it was for Eminem. It’s a real crazy feeling getting that call. I knew that Royce and Big Sean were on that record, but I didn’t know until now all these other people were on it.

How did you know that Royce and Big Sean were on it? Did Paul tell you that, or did you hear that through the grapevine?

Nah, he didn’t. Shout to my manager, Phat Gary. He works for DJ Premier, and he and Royce were in the studio doing something to the song. They were like, “Oh shit, yeah, Big Sean’s on it too.” I don’t even think Royce knew everybody was on it, I’m not sure who knew what, but I heard through the grapevine that Royce was on the track. I hit him up, and I was like, “Yo, I heard you got on something,” and he’s like, “Yeah, you’re pretty good at this producing thing.” 

You know, Royce is a very old friend of mine. And it’s dope seeing it come full circle, because Royce used to hang out at my house in Boston like 11 years ago when him and Em weren’t as cool as they used to be. I watched Royce go from the top back down to the bottom, and way back up. To be working with him on [Shady XV] is crazy because we both have seen each other’s careers change so much, and I’m happy to consider Royce a good friend.

Yeah, you and Royce have a very rich history together. However, most of the artists on here—Big Sean, Dej Loaf, and most notably Eminem—you haven’t worked with. I’m sure you’ve probably imagined what a collaboration between you and Eminem would sound like. Does this meet your expectations?

It’s crazy because when I made the beat, I was like, "Em would body this shit." I actually haven’t heard the song yet. I can’t wait to. But the beat alone is just so Eminem. I’m excited to hear what they did with it.

when I made the beat, I was like, 'Em would body this s**t.'

Did you know going in this would be an all-Detroit track?

I had no clue. I didn’t know what it was going to be. I just knew that Em was on it, because they were mixing, and we were sending files back and forth. But this is a big surprise.

So how does that feel, to be from Massachusetts, then produce “Detroit Vs. Everybody?”

It’s dope man. It’s kind of like the same way I look at how I moved from Boston to New York, and the impact that I have on New York hip-hop. Especially to be where I’m from—I grew up like an hour north of Boston. To come from there, to where I’m at now, it’s mind-blowing, man. I appreciate it every day.

I think it’s fair to say your stock did just go up.

Yeah, definitely. The timing for this is so perfect with everything else that I got going on right now. So I’m really excited.

I got to give Paul credit, because he literally A&Red that record off his own radio station. He heard me play the sample on the radio, and was like, “You should make a beat out of that,” and the way it’s coming together now is crazy.

Can you reveal the sample that you used on it?

I can’t do that right now, especially not before the record is out. It’ll say it in the credits on the album.


Let’s just say, I’m going to take the crown for—at least in the last couple years—the way that I flipped the drums in this record. Because it’s a classic drum break, but I did it in a different way. I took the sessions of the actual drums and flipped it, so I can’t wait for people to hear that.

Aside from Eminem, whose verse are you looking forward to hearing the most?

Honestly, I’m curious as to what Big Sean is going to sound like on my beat. I’m real curious. Because it’s not a typical Big Sean beat at all.

Is it a boom bap type of beat?

The definition of boom bap. I’m really excited to hear the song period, man. It’s the kind of beat that I’ve always wanted to hear Eminem on. It’s definitely a classic vibe. I’m also curious to hear what everybody else sounds like. Obviously Royce is gonna fucking body it, because Royce has bodied this style of beat. But it will be dope to hear someone like Big Sean and Dej Loaf on some boom bap shit, you know?

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