Bun B / Statik Selektah - Trillstatik 2 Music Album Reviews

Bun B / Statik Selektah - Trillstatik 2 Music Album Reviews
Written and recorded in a guest-filled marathon session, the Texas legend’s second live outing with producer Statik Selektah carries a spirit of friendly competition.

By rap standards, Bun B’s aged like merlot. Across a prolific career, he’s worn a number of hats—Gulf Coast underdog, chart-topping ambassador, grieving flagbearer—ultimately assuming the mantle of elder statesman. Now in his fourth decade of recording, he’s eased into the role of goodnatured mensch, an avowed wife guy who’s happy to share the spotlight with younger Houston-area acts. (There are Trillburgers to move, after all.)

Bun’s post-UGK catalog continues to grow at a steady clip. Through no fault of his own, he suffers a similar conundrum as Big Boi, whose commendable solo projects are outshadowed by OutKast’s cultural milestones. Ridin’ Dirty and Underground Kingz remain unsurpassed for their rare collision of genius; Bun’s latter-day records are distinguished by songwriting and beat selection, even if they lack the barbed humor and knotty internal rhymes of his groundbreaking work. For better or worse, they are workmanlike, hard-hat-and-lunch-pail rap albums.

Trillstatik 2 leans into Bun’s blue-collar ethic. Recorded during a 12-hour marathon, it’s his second live outing with Statik Selektah, the tireless DJ, producer, and satellite-radio host. Staged in a Lower East Side storefront aromatic of its usual tenant, a fried-chicken joint, the session featured upwards of a dozen rappers hopped up on complimentary tallboys of Monster Energy. Around 8 p.m., the street entrance was choked by a hundred thirtysomething men, clouded in fruit-scented vapor and angling for glimpses inside; you’d have thought a new Foamposite colorway dropped. By midnight, the spectacle had mellowed to a simmer, red-eyed technicians hovering while a saxophonist recorded interludes. In the middle was Bun, perched on a desk chair and scribbling into a lined notebook, 10 hours in and no worse for wear.

The finished product—uploaded to streaming not even a day later—bears little evidence of its spontaneity, a feat reflective of Statik’s broader philosophy. A spiritual disciple of DJ Premier, he’s maintained quality standards across a packed release calendar by programming bright samples into contemplative loops. While his cookie-cutter technique makes for a structural uniformity, his punchy melodies inject life into rigid drum patterns. On “Only Life I Know,” Statik wrangles a bedeviling guitar lick into an arrangement dour enough to make Harry Fraud blush; “Building Bridges” contrasts Paul Wall’s marble-mouthed couplets with ceremonial horns. Where the wistful chords of “Ain’t No Tellin” might have been overly maudlin, Statik slows the instrumental to a somber tempo suitable for 38 Spesh’s animated verse.

Statik’s beats suffer for their lack of edges. His layering technique makes for an uncanny digital polish, each sample clipped just so; the snares feel like an afterthought. It’s an identifiably East Coast approach, yet the music itself is shorn of regional character. On “Devastating,” Bun is shoehorned between Styles P’s precision and Propain’s Texas drawl, their idiosyncrasies sanded away in pursuit of some holier hip-hop ideal. It’s a neat party trick, but the effect is flattening: There’s no thematic coherence beyond a shared devotion to bars.

Sometimes that’s more than enough. Bun remains one of rap’s great voices, and his showmanship compensates for lyrics (“I hit Jamaica to politic with the Rastas/You hit Jamaica and order jerk chicken pasta”) written against the clock. With a family affair like Trillstatik 2, you take the good with the bad. You can’t, for instance, hold Papoose’s terrible punchlines on “Every Hour” against him—that’s just what he does. On “Acetone,” Boldy James turns in a typically brilliant verse over a solemn piano instrumental, toasting “Uncle Bun” as “UGK alumni”; when Bun clocks in, Statik switches out the percussion, washing the keys with a sturdy bassline in deference to his gravelly voice.

Trillstatik 2 can’t surmount the foibles of its many contributors (“Still wearin’ Yeezys, despite the controversy,” Flee Lord crows on “Only Life I Know”), but the abundance of middle-aged male energy makes for more of a cypher than a jam session. There’s an undeniable air of competition among ostensible collaborators, each rapper intent on outshining the next. So long as there’s a flame, these guys are eager to carry the torch.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Bun B / Statik Selektah - Trillstatik 2 Music Album Reviews Bun B / Statik Selektah - Trillstatik 2 Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on January 17, 2023 Rating: 5


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