Consciously aware of constrictions placed by labels, Albany, NY native Sev Statik describes his musical sound as very stripped down but deeply philosophic and poetic at the same time.
“It can be straight-to-the point and direct or be veiled in allegory,” he says. “Most would consider me east-coast/underground if a label is more convenient. I always envision the audience – the listener. My style is definitely Boom-Bap but there’s a lot of room for being creative.”
With early emcee influences like Rakim and KRS-1 Sev started writing in his early teens. Because he was so used to hearing emcees freestyle in street ciphers, he thought that’s what signed artists were doing too.
“Freestyling lyrics was a skill you had to really perfect,” he adds. “But with artists like KRS-1 and Kool Moe Dee, you could tell they were writing ideas down for songs, they actually had something to say so I was drawn to that”.
Sev says his rhyme content is from various exposures as well as a somewhat spiritual upbringing. Also being raised by artists prolific in addressing urban culture and what affected poor people, understanding the Nation of Islam and Christianity combining all of that with reading knowledge of self books.
In addition to the music, since 2013, Sev has been teaching Fly Write – creative writing classes for 10 to 14-yr-olds through Schenectady and Albany area schools and libraries. Always encouraging the students to be creative with language, audio and video by writing songs, recording them and even producing videos.
“The students do everything,” he says. “It’s very, very hands-on.”
One-third of the brain trust that is Und3rstanding, Sev considers collaborative group projects more satisfying than strictly solo ventures, especially since conscious-raising music isn’t always considered to be quite as “fun” by the masses. But for the creatives he collaborates with, it’s all connected.
“We write to be clever and raise awareness about issues we’re passionate about. We call it many things, but we all write on that same level,” Sev says. “Most of my friends are artists. It’s kind of natural for me to be involved in Hip-Hop on this level.”
Sev is currently writing for a new solo project, set to be released in 2020.