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Look At Me Now: Stat Quo article from Shade 45 mag

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  • Look At Me Now: Stat Quo article from Shade 45 mag

    I wrote this up from a scan of the magazine. It took me a while..


    A degree in hustling and in college?
    STAT QUO's about to shake up the hip-hop world and show us what it means to be the total package. Check his résumé.

    Of all the places to do an interview, Stat Quo wants to go to Mickey D's. It's not that the Atlanta-bred Shady/Aftermath rapper is in the mood for an Extra Value Meal. Rather, he'd like to remind himself of how far he's come from working at McDonald's as a teen to being signed to one of the most successful labels in hip-hop. Today, on a rainy summer evening just south of Atlanta, Stat is standing underneath the Golden Arches, beaming with satisfaction. Dressed head to toe in black, the 26-year-old MC looks like any of the thousands of Atlantian rappers who boast lyrical dexterity. The difference is, Stat has Eminem and Dr. Dre on speed dial.

    "See him over there?" he points, staring a few feet away at a grimfaced kid in a fast-food uniform sweeping trash into a dustpan. "That was me not too long ago. I had the same look on my face, too. Like, Man, this some bullshit!"

    These days, the look on Stat's face is one of contentment. As Eminem's much-talked-about protége, the new MC is getting a career push most rappers dream of. Since inking with Shady in 2003, he's appeared on Eminem's Encore and Young Buck's Straight Outta Ca$hville. He's recorded and written for Dre's ever-elusive Detox, performed on the Anger Management Tour 3, and shot a video for his street record, "Like Dat." "That's just a buzz record," Stat says proudly. "Most labels don't even shoot videos for buzz records. But in my situation, it gets no better than where I'm at."

    Where Stat Quo is now is a long way from where he used to be. Born Stanley Benton, Stat grew up the only child of hard-working single mom, Frieda Hudson. Always in search of a better life, Stat's mom frequently moved the two of them around to different sections of Atlanta. Still, Ms. Hudson couldn't curb her son's infatuation with the streets. From an early age, young Stanley was obsessed with money, and the more he observed the cash flows of various local D-boys, the more he wanted in. Stat began selling candy at his middle school and used the profits as hustling start-up. He then got a job at Mickey D's to deflect negative attention from his mom. At the same time, Stat breezed through school and was accepted to the University of Florida in 1996.

    In college, Stat put his economics lessons to use, promoting parties, investing in the stock market and maintaining his street dealings. He also became more interested in rap and actively started writing rhymes. "Until then, I used to freestyle off the head," remembers Stat.

    By the time the talented multi-tasker graduated in 2000, he had amassed a nest egg that far exceeded the salaries he was being offered as a college graduate. "Coming out of college, I had a house. I had money for myself, luxury cars," says Stat. "I wasn't gonna settle for less from a corporate job, because I was already getting money."

    Stat considered studying law but couldn't resist the urge to tap into the rap game. In summer 2000, he recorded his first demo and took it up to the Def Jam South offices. The disc made its way to the label's president, Scarface, who told the aspiring MC he had a promising future in hip-hop. For the next two years, Stat hung around the Def Jam South office, hoping for a deal. When nothing materialized, he decided to release his music himself. Stat invested $30,000 of his own money in a radio promoter who guaranteed to get Stat's independent single, "Hey Shawty," on SoundScan and BDS charts. Unfortunately, the promoter never delivered on his promises, and the money went down the drain.

    Returning to the drawing board, Stat recorded the first of the mixtape series Underground Atlanta Vol. 1 in 2002 and teamed up with Joseph "Zeek" Fendrick, a Def Jam South A&R. Together, they flooded the streets with 10,000 free copies of the mixtape. One of the copies eventually made it's way to Aftermath A&R Mike Lynn, who played it for Dr. Dre and his former right-hand producer, Mel-Man. Dre and Mel liked the music, but didn't immediately reach out to Stat. Then a female friend of Mel-Man's randomly got a copy of Underground Atlanta and sent a second CD over to Aftermath.

    Soon after, Stat got word that Mel-Man wanted to meet him. He quickly flew to L.A. and hooked up with the West Coast boardsman. Mel-Man took Stat over to the Aftermath studios, where he introduced the excited rapper to Dr. Dre. The result was the gold-mine cut "The Saga Continues...The Future," which became the centerpiece of the second volume of the Underground Atlanta mixtape series. Pressing nearly 100,000 copies of the CD - which included the track "Let's Get It On," featuring Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac - Stat went to Puerto Rico and handed them out to DJs at the 2003 Mixshow Power Summit.

    Stat ultimately attracted the ear of Shady Records Director of A&R Dart La. La sent the mix CD to Shady Records President Paul Rosenberg and Eminem. "Eminem heard ["The Future"] and said, "Who the hell is that?" explains Rosenberg. "We came back to Dre and said, "What are you going to do with him?" Dre said he was thinking of signing him and I asked if we could do it together. We were just attracted to him because we thought he was really talented."

    Stat signed with Shady/Aftermath at the end of 2003 and is finally ready to issue his long-awaited debut, Statlanta. With production by Dre, Eminem, Scott Storch, DJ Toomp and various members of Stat's Grown Man Music production team, among others, Statlanta is set to break the typical Southern crunk-rap mold.

    Given the multi-platinum success of his Shady labelmates, Stat has some high expectations to live up to. But the grounded star-in-the-making refuses to get caught up in the hype. "Em and Dre have instilled so much confidence in me to deliver that I don't really feel any pressure at all," he maintains, as raindrops gradually begin pelting his fitted cap. Then, watching the young McDonald's worker throw garbage bags into an over-packed dumpster, he adds, "I know what real pressure is like, and this [music business] right here is nothing. This is cool. I got my feet up."
    www.thisisHIPHOPmusic.com

  • #2
    props, good read

    Comment


    • #3
      nice. i like Stat Quo he is very talented. i'v not yet had the chance to hear his album but i know in my heart is gonna be very good. (i hope)

      Comment


      • #4
        good read..
        aka Fifty0550

        Comment

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