DJing as job
Statik was born in Lawrence, MA, a town about 30 minutes north of Boston. When he was four years old, he would play with his parents’ 8-track cassettes and pretend he was on the radio. His parents got divorced when he was eleven and he started acting out in school -- throwing a chair at a classmate, threatening the principal, and similar “dumb shit.” He was sent to a school for troubled kids and educated himself by bumping the prevalent hip hop of that particular era: The Chronic, Doggystyle, and the like.“It was very graphic, and I had to learn what condoms and blunts were,” he said.
Soon after he returned home a few months later, Statik started making beats by looping drums on a cassette deck. He picked up DJing and worked constantly when he wasn’t in school to save money to spend on vinyls. “I was spending more on records than most people spend on their bills,” he recalls.
Statik says the worst place he ever worked was McDonalds. But he doesn’t regret it. “A lot of this kids wish they worked at McDonalds and bought turntables instead of fucking around,” he said. “I threw my first show off working at McDonalds. I’m proud of that shit.”
Statik was performing DJ sets at such frequency that he was able to justify renting an apartment in Boston before he graduated from high school. He was making respectable money from his DJ sets, except for a brief stint when a club he performed at shut down. “I had to get a real job for a couple months,” he said. “I worked for a packing store. It was humbling because I was like, “damn, I thought I was good already.’ Right after that, I started grinding.”
He soon leveled up from a 6-dollar-an-hour gig putting up stickers for Raucous Records to running his own street team that worked with everyone from G-Unit to Reebok to Def Jam. Five years later, he left Boston for New York City.
Statik has now been living in NYC for over ten years now. Despite the unfathomable amount of music he has released in that time period, it appears that his days of wheeling & dealing on full throttle are over. His wife’s strenuous pregnancy and the task of caring for an infant have put a dent in his studio time, let alone his ability to travel. He estimates that 99% of STATIK KXNG, his collaborative album with Los Angeles vet and Slaughterhouse rep KXNG Crooked, was created over email.
“It’s funny, we’ve talked on the phone a thousand times, we’ve emailed a thousand times, but we’ve probably only hung out in real life like five times,” Statik said. “That’s not the way I usually work with people. People usually sleep on the couch and we have nine-in-the-morning sessions.”