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Sev Statik Interview – Hot Interview!


29 January 2003 No Comment

Sev Statik, an extremely talented emcee who rolls with the Tunnel Rats and Deep Space 5 speaks to us about his latest album Speak Life which has recently been released on Uprok Records. He also talks about a whole lot of other shit so don’t miss this one!

How you doing? How’s life?

Working everyday brotha man. I just had a son Dec. 27th, so I’m excited to finally have a boy. I have 2 girls (ages 4 and 2) and right now I’m feelin’ that bond starting to begin with my heir to the throne. God is good.

The first time I heard you was on the Tunnel Rats album on that track “Sev Statik”. It was one of the few tracks that I’d heard in a long time where I’d heard such a lot of truth. That was a hellavu tight track. Can you tell us a bit about you, what you about, where you from and where you at mentally?

I’m from the 518 (Albany NY) aka the Lah Born, born and raised. I roll with Tunnel Rats and Deepspace5 along with a group I’m in here in the 518 called All Bully. The track “Sev Statik” on the Tunnel Rats “Tunnel Vision” LP was  formerly titled “NAZIS”. I couldn’t use that on the album for some reason, so I had to change the hook and it became Sev Statik. The song deals with cats who don’t support the artists and dj’s who do this music and live this culture all day to the fullest. Hip-Hop aint saving souls it’s Christ that strengthens us, but it’s also the blessings and seeds that are sewn by the fans and other financial supporters who represent us by buying product and keep us coming to the local churches and other venues to witness and perform. It’s not about cats who just like to listen to music, that’s cool, but I’m gettin’ on cats who be asking for stuff for free and don’t even offer as much as the shipping and handling to get it to’em. 

You’ve just released your latest album and I wanted to know what it’s like to be with the Uprok peoples. They always bringing out these dope albums. You are obviously in good company.

My record “Speak Life” is in almost every major music outlet in the U.S. as well as available on major on-line stores. It’s way more than what I could do on my own, no doubt. They’re definitely a blessing. Biggups to my man Josh over at Uprok. But it’s the end of January right now and i’m still waiting for my wax tho. 🙂 

I find your stuff very underground and I dig that. What do you look for when you’re canvassing for beats?

Just the bangers, kid! No doubt. There are different levels of emotions in each song I write so I kind of look for music to match up with what I’m saying. Got to keep all intensity riding at the same level from the street type beats, story tellin’ tracks, to the joints that are straight for shows and club rotation. I got music for all types of people, no doubt. I got the world in my head. I wanna be able to punch everyone in the face when I let my music go at a show, I want the crowd to be thrown back like they got nothing else to do but throw their hands up or bob their heads, you know!

And how did you get your name?

I wished for it at a wishing well and a purple troll gave me the key to enter this maze to go and earn it… it wasn’t easy, for sure. I get asked that question all the time… it’s like this, I used to be called “Seven” years ago and of course Sev is short for Seven so it worked out ok. The “Statik” part of my name came in a freestyle… Sev Statik, at your service.

What books are you reading at the moment?

My Utmost For His Highest (Oswald Chambers) it’s a book of daily devotions. Helps keep me focused and brings a lot of the wisdom in the Bible into the layman’s layer so it’s easy to apply to anyone’s life. I read a lot of quick books as well. Reading is something I draw from for topics and concepts. It’s endless.

What memory stands out for you when it comes to this hip hop culture?

The first time I saw a live DJ scratch at a party. It was a block party and the cat’s name was DJ Swan. This cat was doing blends and cuttin’, back in ’83. I was break dancing at the time and that moment there definitely invited me in to the music aspect of Hip-Hop. I was the worst graf cat, horrible.

Do you still get people emailing you asking for promos like you said in your track “Sev Statik” from the Tunnel Rats album?

Yea, no doubt, but I must say if you’re a dj and you want wax or a promo cd I don’t mind getting it to you. I think a song like that needed to be put out and I know other artists feel the same way I do they just don’t wanna say it because it might scare people away. I don’t wanna scare people either, but the larger picture is education so that’s why I write the way I do.

In terms of artists out there what are you feeling? What albums are you liking right now?

RJD2 got me in his web of music right now. To me he’s like the Tom York of Hip-Hop. Me and my man Dez had his junk on repeat coming back from a Boston show and all the little change ups in each song and the samples…. ahhh man, he just has unique record out right now. Cats need to get it and feel that growth. This record has set another standard of creativity, I feel. Biggups to him and his whole crew.

Are you making a comfortable living off of hip hop?

As I say in ‘Close’, “you can live off the culture, but first you have to live it”. I do shows every weekend somewhere in the U.S. and it blesses me to fellowship and meet with other artists and or people in the industry who are doing music full time trying to gain altitude and stay grounded. Right now I can manipulate my own schedule so that’s where I’m comfortable and definitely holding it down for my fam financially. I’m on the grind everyday, let me tell you. I still got the 9-5 piece, so I got the backbone funds coming in every 2 weeks regardless whether I do shows or not. If any artist was to try and live off of royalties from record sales, they’d probably starve to death, but doing shows is where you have the opportunity to do music for a living. Not to mention publishing, but here in college radio land we dont’ have to worry about getting rich. Much love to the college cats DJ’n every weekend for free, rotatin’ that wax for the indie artists. Luv yall.

What has the response been to your album so far and what tracks are you really happy with? (I know you can be happy with all of them but what ones are you really really really happy with).

I don’t know on a large basis, but every review that has been sent to me or I’ve stumbled upon has been in the rating of 4 out of 5 and radio has been puttin’ my junk in rotation so I couldn’t ask for anything more. I feel the concept songs like Close, Poor Penmanship, Over The Influence, Meds, Dissappear and Speak Life… songs like that. Joints that I bled to put something into. Not just some raps I wrote just to sound clever. I get bored with that now. Writing raps is real boring. Did i say that twice? But every song does have it’s purpose, no doubt. I usually wouldn’t do a record like Rock of Ages or MIC unless it’s brought to my attention on how this is just a tool and there are certain people out there who have to be reeled in with music like that to hear what you have to say. As long as you don’t compromise your writing standard and go below the common sense line and talk to all the TRL fans I say go ‘head dawg, kill it. Hi Carson!

What are your thoughts on this whole Bush vs Iraq thing? Don’t you think it’s hypocritcal when the US has nuclear weapons? Who should we be more afraid of?

Well, I’m on some ole conspiracy theory thinking anyway. I know my govt is on some divide and conquer type junk so hypocrisy is all on the news, in the papers…etc. America is a bully and it’s big business that runs the world like a chess game. I mean, there are evil people in every country and on every continent and they’ve all tried to play the world game at one time or another. I tell you man, the greed for money is the root of all evil… the revolution will not be televised. Jesus is real!

What attracts you to hip hop?

It’s coffin. The platinum finish is blingin’! Can’t wait to read the headstone.

How do you approach writing a song?

With bits a pieces. Prayer. Reading. Patience. Experience. etc. I could be in the midst of writing 5 songs at one time and finish the 3rd song in an hour and take a week for one or two others. Depends on what I’m speakin’ on. I aint trying to save the world with my junk but I know I have to have substance and that takes my own experience or a lot of reading to understand the concept I’m writing about.

For other independent artists out there wanting to bring out their albums, what lessons should they learn first?

Understand that traveling and doing shows and having an internet presence will sell you more albums than having your friends say you’re dope. Get out of your bedroom and connect with people. Do as many collabs as possible and don’t hate on the cat in your group who’s clearly doper than you when he or she does their solo ep. It’s all for the cause.

We really appreciate your album, we need more of that in this market. Where can people hook up with you?

Thank you! Heads can connect with me at sevstatik@hotmail.com I have a website in the works for all the exclusive 
Sev Statik info and news.

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to this interview, do you have any last words you’d like to leave us with?

Promoters, djs, magazines, websites..etc. Sev Statik got the product, meet me behind the store house and let’s deal.  Thank you to all the fans making “Speak Life” the success it is, the record is doing great numbers. Remember Deepspace5 and Tunnel Rat albums are still available along with my man Stu Dent “Altered State” at www.sphereofhiphop.com . Keep ya head up yall and Rom 3:23 is real and God knows that. I ask the world to just pray. that’s power.

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