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Statik Selektah

Establishing his own spot amongst the ranks of East Coast hip-hop's seminal figures, DJ/producer Statik Selektah utilized his turntabling 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, MA, 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. Soon after, at 14 years old, 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. That same year, Selektah 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, MA, 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 in 2003 his own PR/marketing firm ShowOff. 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, AL; 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 with DJ Premier, a noteworthy standout), and Saigon. In fourth quarter 2007, Selektah finally got to promote himself and his beats, entirely producing his official Spell My Name Right debut album. ~ Cyril Cordor

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