Establishing his own spot among the ranks of East Coast hip-hop's seminal figures, DJ/producer Statik Selektah utilized his turntable skills and ingenuity in PR and promotions to break some of the region's most promising artists, bearing his own influence on the national mixtape circuit.
Born January 23, 1982 in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Patrick Baril was exposed to production equipment at a very early age, tinkering with his parents' eight-track machine, cassette recorders, and turntable. By middle school, he was already DJing school functions, but he was inspired to be a true wheels-of-steel artiste after hearing DJ Premier scratch and mix records on Funkmaster Flex's Hot 97 radio show. At 14, he purchased his first turntables and mixer. Calling himself DJ Statik (the "Selektah" surname came later), he started to work clubs and private parties up and down the New England coast. In 2000, after living in New Hampshire, he moved back down to Massachusetts to enroll in the audio production program at Boston's New England Institute of the Arts. He also started putting out mixtapes, namely his Spell My Name Right series.
With his mixtapes and DJ gigs, Selektah never passed up the opportunity to champion local hip-hop from Boston and the surrounding New England area. In particular, Selektah was responsible for introducing fellow Lawrence native Termanology to the East Coast, helming his Hood Politics mixtapes in the mid- to late 2000s. Managing all of these tasks became much easier when he established his own PR/marketing firm, ShowOff, in 2003. In 2006, he turned ShowOff into an official record label, with Termanology's Out the Gate LP as its first release. By this time, though, Selektah's prestige had grown considerably. His radio shows were playing in several places, from London to Mobile, Alabama; he produced beats for many artists, including G-Unit, AZ, and Joell Ortiz; and most importantly, the DJ dished out tons of mixtapes with big-name and up-and-coming artists, such as Nas, Q-Tip, John Legend, Royce da 5'9" (The Bar Exam, co-hosted by DJ Premier, a noteworthy standout), and Saigon.
In the fourth quarter of 2007, Selektah finally got to promote himself and his beats, entirely producing his official Spell My Name Right debut album. Stick 2 the Script followed in 2008, with guest rappers ranging from Jadakiss and Freeway to Q-Tip and CL Smooth. His 2010 effort 100 Proof: The Hangover featured East Coast veterans (Kool G Rap, M.O.P.), underground favorites (Talib Kweli, Evidence), and up-and-coming lyricists (Wale, Torae). The year 2011 saw collaborations with both Action Bronson (Well-Done) and Freddie Gibbs (Lord Giveth, Lord Taketh Away) as well as Selektah's fourth studio album, Population Control. In 2012, he collaborated with Termanology under the name 1982, releasing an album titled 2012, and he also worked with Strong Arm Steady for the Stones Throw record Stereotype, as well as Bumpy Knuckles on the album Ambition. The Proposal, a collaboration with Ransom, arrived in 2013, as well as the guest-heavy Extended Play.
What Goes Around followed a year later with an even longer guest list that featured De La Soul, Action Bronson, Freddie Gibbs, and many more. Selektah's seventh album, Lucky 7, was released in 2015, with guests including Mick Jenkins, Royce da 5'9", Joey Bada$$, and others. The following year, he collaborated with KXNG Crooked on the album Statik KXNG. In 2017, he released his eighth studio album, the appropriately named 8, featuring guest spots from 2 Chainz, Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, G-Eazy, and more.
Switching back to production duties, Selektah assisted Westside Gunn, Termanology, Pro Era, Nas, and many others. Collaborative efforts with Bun B (TrillStatik), Millyz (Saints X Sinners), Anoyd (Yuck!), and Curren$y (Gran Turismo) carried him into 2019. He returned to his own work with 2020's The Balancing Act, featuring appearances by Nas, Method Man, Gary Clark, Jr., and others.
~ Cyril Cordor, Rovi