"The Imperial," a new song by Statik Selektah featuring Action Bronson, Royce Da 5'9, and Black Thought of The Roots, is a stone-cold lyric fest. To pick which rapper performed the best would be to compare apples, oranges, and chicken parm (Bronson). Statik Selectah serves them all up on a top-notch beat, as almost all Statik Selektah releases are.
Action Bronson has now collaborated with the Massachusetts producer more than a dozen times, and it is not getting old. Bronson really sets the stage right out of the gate. While the Flushing rapper is often compared to Ghostface Killah, his style of imagery is reminiscent of fellow Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon. Both rappers have the creativity to paint a scene other rappers would simply allude to, with rich details that the listener can picture. Here, for example, Action raps, "Spread love, spread legs from the bed to the tub / Floor to the closet / Real sex on the Panasonic," instead of just saying, "We fuck with the TV on."
Royce Da 5'9 takes over the mic after Action Bronson, and he takes damn good care of it. The wordplay in this verse is jaw-dropping at times. Royce references Louis Vuitton and the University of Nevada Las Vegas Runnin' Rebels simultaneously in a line saying, "The whole squad Gucci, join us, but chances are you in LV (UNLV) if you runnin' with these rebels." All three of these emcees reference pop culture cleverly enough that it doesn't come off at all cheesy. Royce has a sequence of lines towards the end that really exemplifies his talent. "You know me," he raps, "it ain't nothin' corny in the wardrobe / I'm low key, even more so than Thor's bro / Impeccable ear, I take braille, make it Morse Code."
Handling the last verse is Black Thought, the lead rapper in The Roots. Thought laid down nearly two-and-a-half minutes of vocals. While the first two rappers' parts are sixteen lines each, Black Thought's has over fifty lines. The wide-ranging verse is a fitting ending to an amazing record.
The verse gets progressively more powerful as it goes on. At the beginning, Black Thought opens up his rhyme dictionary with, "This is the big payoff, soliloquy of Chaos / Another rapper gon' get rocked like Amadeus / Defeat'll make a nigga get ghost like a seance / It's triple entendre, three stacks of, hey ya." In the middle, Black Thought raps, "I know I'm sort of pompous, no type of moral compass / Go right the fuck up in your mouth like I'm the orthodontist." By the end of the song, you can tell Black Thought is really feeling confident when he goes, "Ayo the, the, the boss is back / Take that, and while you're at it make my coffee black / I tried to tell you mothafuckas don't respond, react / I'm the nastiest to do it, as a matter of fact / Yo who your top 5? Jay, Biggie, Pac, Nas? / I ain't tryna hear another name if it's not mine." Black Thought may have been somewhat unheralded as an individual artist, but with his debut solo album, Talented Mr. Trotter, on the way, it sounds like he is looking to breakout.
For all of Statik Selektah's music, news, and videos check out his Zumic artist page.
Source: Statik Selektah SoundCloud