DJ explains to Mixtape Daily how he re-created the sample for Jadakiss and Styles P.
By Rob Markman
Behind the Beats: Statik Selektah
When the Throne’s “Otis” premiered on New York radio in late July, rap fans weren’t the only ones who took notice. MCs like the LOX’s Jadakiss and Styles P wanted in on a piece of the action as well, so they sought out the Otis Redding-sampling instrumental. Only problem is, with all the secrecy that surrounded the recording and subsequent release of Watch the Throne and its singles, most knew that ‘Ye was keeping the beat he produced very close. Luckily for the Yonkers, New York, wordsmiths, their friend DJ Statik Selektah is a wizard on the beat machine.
“I was literally on the way to my Shade 45 show, and I saw Styles and Jada on Twitter going back and forth like, ‘I’m trying to get the instrumental, I’m trying to get the instrumental,’ ” Statik told Mixtape Daily. “Everybody knows how crazy it would be if they got it.”
Statik, who has produced for Bun B, Nas and fellow Bostonian Termanology, was leaving his Showoff Bassment studio space on his way to his radio gig but decided to take a few minutes to lend a helping hand to ‘Kiss and Styles.
The first order of business was locating Redding’s 1966 version of “Try a Little Tenderness,” the sample which Hov and Yeezy’s “Otis” is built upon. “I’m not gonna front, I didn’t know what Otis Redding song it was, but I went on Google and just typed it in and it came up,” Statik admitted. “I looked up the song, brought it up and just through the song, found that part of the song that they used and just put it in [software program] Serato and then looped it.”
After chopping up and recording the sample, he added an extra note to mirror Kanye’s original production, and five minutes later, he had his own version of “Otis.” While the beat was close to Yeezy’s musical concoction, there was one thing missing, Statik admits. “He added an ill 808 under there,” Stat said of the main difference between his and the Throne’s version of the beat. “That’s how you know there are a lot of fake Otis instrumentals because there is no 808 on any of them.”
He then emailed the beat to Styles and Jadakiss. “He sent it over nice and looped up, so then once we got it, [it took] maybe like 24 hours [to record],” ‘Kiss said.