Hear Me Out: DJ Statik Selektah on Why He’s Obsessed With the Boston Celtics

DJ Statik Selektah is a brilliant producer. He has emerged as the catalyst for the classic boom-bap sound because of his dedication to the culture. While some producers are completely inept in harnessing an artist’s talent and building a beat to accentuate their skill-set, young acts like Joey Bada$$, Freddie Gibbs, and Action Bronson all called on Statik to provide an infectious tune to feed their hearty appetites.

With the new album What Goes Around out this week, Statik Selektah has a lot to be happy about. But, then again, Statik is also a Boston Celtics fan. While his team struggled intensely this season, he firmly believes his team will one day return back to the promised land. The basketball savant sat down with us to discuss a variety of topics, including his top five players of all time, his favorite Boston Celtics rivalry, his conspiracy theory behind the NBA and LeBron James, and why Shaq is super awesome.

*** *** ***

We heard that you’re a Celtics fan.
Statik: Of course.

That has to be rough on you.
Statik: We had some good years. We had some good years. We had some more good years than anybody else, if you really think about it. So we good.

You’re right from that standpoint. How confident are you going into this season about your Celtics?
Statik: It’s rebuilding, man. It’s rebuilding.

If you could give us your top five favorite players of all time, who would you choose and why?
Statik: I mean, number one Paul Pierce just because I grew up watching him. You know, I don’t care where he goes. He’s Boston to me. I know he’s from Inglewood, California. But he played for Boston for so long. It’s just sad that he didn’t get to retire in Boston. Definitely Paul Pierce number one. Number two would have to be Michael Jordan. Number three would have to be probably Steve Nash.

He was always so fun to watch. To me, he was always an underdog going out there, and you know, just schooling motherf******. And he’s a cool a** dude. He’s a hip-hop fan too.

He definitely is. How about number four?
Statik: Man, number four? In his college years, man, Chris Webber.

He’s another dude that I definitely consider a friend and he’s a hip-hop head too. I mean there are NBA guys that take their hip-hop seriously. He’s one of them. Before all the hip-hop s***, I was really a big Chris Webber fan. I had all his rookie cards, and his jerseys, and all that.

Him and Jason Williams were definitely a great combination back in Sacramento. Who’s your final pick?
Statik: Number five? I have to say Shaq, man. I remember the energy. I was like 10-11 years old when he was a rookie.

That’s dope. Obviously you’re a Boston Celtics fan. Which player or team did you hate just watching?
Statik: Kobe. Kobe and the Miami Heat. Honestly, I’m not even mad at LeBron. He’s an amazing player. But, I just hated him when he was on the Heat. I hated the way the refs set up the games and everything. Man! I despised the Heat.

Damn. Even at this juncture with him going back to Cleveland?
Statik: I think it’s cool that he went back. I mean, I got my whole conspiracy theories on the NBA. (Laughs) But LeBron is definitely an amazing player. It’s just like, you know, him and the Heat were like the Yankees to me. I can’t mess with them. (Laughs)

DJ Statik Selektah
Evan Iskovitz

The fact that you brought up LeBron makes me curious to ask this: Which was your favorite rivalry from the Celtics? Because Paul Pierce and LeBron used to go at it.
Statik: Yeah. My favorite rivalry was with the Lakers. You know, we took a couple Ls. We won in 2008.

Yeah and the Lakers won the other one.
Statik: Yeah that was a tough one.

You mentioned Chris Webber. I always ask rappers and producers this question. How do you feel when the Metta World Peaces, the Allen Iversons, try to step up and rap or produce?
Statik: It is what it is. Chris Webber got beats. But, you know, Ron is a friend of mine. We actually have a couple songs together. Actually, I got a song with Ron Artest and Reks called “Hennessy At Halftime.” It was around the time when Ron made that joke when he used to drink Hennessy at halftime.

Did you guys craft that in the studio together?
Statik: Well, nah. I sent it to him and then he knocked it. You gotta listen to it. If you ever heard it, it’s funny.

We gotta check that out. If you could pick your favorite baller/rapper, who would that be?
Statik: Ah man, none of them are really good at it. (Laughs)

I thought Shaq was pretty decent. You remember “Can’t Stop the Reign.”
Statik: I give Shaq props, ‘cus he could have been cheesy with it. But he wasn’t it. He had songs with Biggie. (Laughs)

I think Shaq is amazing person. He’s a dope dude.

Are you big into 2K or the video games?
Statik: Yeah, I actually did a couple of tours with them. I DJ’d a couple of their tours that they did. One was A Tribe Called Quest. We did like a college tour. One of them was where I would set up at different colleges to DJ and we would have the system set up and people could play the games.

Which was your most favorite tour?
Statik: Ah man, the 2K7 tour. Man, it was in 2006 with A Tribe Called Quest. That tour was amazing.

Who was on the cover?
Statik: I think it was… I gotta look. It might have been KG, if anything. I know it wasn’t A.I. or Ben Wallace. Was it KG?

I think KG was 2K8. That’s when he joined the Celtics.
Statik: Nah. That would have been 2K9 then. Because they do the year before. Wait, I’m trying to think. I had the poster downstairs too. I’m bugging. It was someone with a red jersey. There was red in the jersey. It definitely wasn’t A.I. [Pauses] Oh! It’s Shaq! With the Heat. I’m bugging too because that’s when I got cool with Shaq too on that tour. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure that out.

You have your new album, What Goes Around. I recall you telling the story at the listening party, but for the fans who don’t know, what made you decide to go in that direction?
Statik: There are a couple of reasons. They’re definitely influenced by the whole groove era. I was always a Gangstarr, Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock and CL Smooth fan. All of those are from Jazz samples. So I just always wanted to do a Jazz album. I know I told the story at the listening about how Kanye told me that Jazz is dead. That was a big influence to me. For someone like him to say something like that — those are powerful words from a dude like Kanye. I just wanted to show him. I hope he gets to hear some of it just to be like, “Oh aight. I f*** with that.”

Follow Carl on Twitter at @TheRealCL24