From the streets to the stage: Stat Quo’s success

Rapper Stat Quo was in Tallahassee to put the word out about his new album Wednesday.

The album, titled “STATLANTA,” will be released between late July and early August of this year.

Stat Quo has already released his first single “Like Dat,” which he describes as a “club banger.”

“It’s my street warmer, like when 50 (Cent) put out ‘Wanksta.'”

The rapper said he will release another single before the album is released.

Tallahassee was one of many stops Stat Quo will make before his album hits store shelves. He has already visited 25 cities in the last six days.

“The harder you work, the more money you make,” Stat Quo said.

The album features artists such as 50 cent, Young Buck, Eminem, Scarface and Devin the Dude.

Top producers featured on the album are Dr. Dre, Eminem, Scott Storch, Three Six Mafia, DJ Tomp, who produced T.I.’s “U Don’t Know Me,” and L T Mobile, who is signed to Stat Quo’s label GMM (Grown Man Music).

Stat Quo talked about what he wants to accomplish with this first album.

“I want to open people’s eyes more to the South, and our ability to be lyricists and not be stereotyped to one type of sound,” he said.

The road to success was a long one for the 26-year-old. Born in Atlanta, Stat Quo grew up in the Thomasville Heights apartments with his mother and grandmother.

Despite a tough upbringing, and little money, Stat Quo was able to attend the University of Florida, where he graduated from in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in international business and economics.

“When I graduated I met Scarface and he was the one to tell me to pursue this music thing and that’s when I started doing it heavily,” Stat Quo said.

Stat Quo said he believes that’s when he learned that graduating from college does not mean you’ve made it.

“I was still doing what I was doing before I went to school. I thought I was going to get a big job – that wasn’t the case,” he said.

Stat Quo said when he talks about doing what he was doing before college he means hustling, but that lifestyle is not something he is proud of.

“I really don’t try to glorify that ’cause if you really did it, it’s not something you like to talk about,” he said.

Soon after encouragement from Scarface, things started to fall into place for the young artist.

In 2003, Stat Quo put out a mix tape called Underground Atlanta Vol. 1.

“Mailman(a rapper from Pittsburgh) handed it out in the streets, gave it to Dr. Dre and I started working with Dre on Detox.”

Happy with the success of the first mix tape, Stat Quo decided to put out another one.

“I said ‘what would it do if I put out another one.'”

The second mix tape fell into the hands of Eminem, who called Dr. Dre.

And the rest is history.

“They offered me a deal, long story short,” Stat Quo said.

Stat Quo was officially signed to Shady Aftermath and to be distributed by Interscope in December 2003.

While working on the album, Stat Quo said there were some complications and frustrations.

“People in powerful possessions didn’t want to work with me cause I represent change and they thought it would hurt them in terms of money,” he explained. “If I come change the game, it would take attention away from them.”

Stat Quo said he had a different mind set from that of those who viewed him.

“I don’t look at it like that,” he said.

“I feel we are all in it together to feed our families.”

Stat Quo also said he had to have patience because there were other artists who were signed before him.

“To spread my voice through the world, my people, friends, family, enemies, other artists, my environment, my city, it’s a whole lot,” Stat Quo said referring to what inspired him to become a rapper.

Stat Quo said his favorite rap artist in the industry is Scarface.

“He’s just very descriptive in his rhymes,” Stat Quo said. “He’s very vivid. He paints pictures very well.”

Stat Quo described the versatility that his rap flow brings.

“Universal, raspy with my voice, vivid, paints pictures, dope word play, witty word play, street.”

People who work closely with Stat Quo said he is definitely what the rap industry needs.

“He’s bringing something totally different as a down south rapper,” said Matthew Verden, Stat Quo’s promotions director.

“He’s real lyrical. He’s bringing something new to the table.”

Stat Quo said his life is much different after the record deal.

“You travel a whole lot more and strangers come to you more.”

He added that he has one pet peeve that came with his new lifestyle.

“The only thing is how envious we are as people.”

Stat Quo advised hopeful artists to put self first to make it in the industry.

“Invest in yourself. Be self-contained,” Stat Quo said. “Don’t depend on what somebody else is doing for you.”

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