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Stat Quo Biography

Stat Quo Biography

Stat Quo was discovered towards the end of 2003. Dr. Dre and Eminem individually came to know of the Atlanta-based rapper via his Underground Atlanta mixtapes. After Eminem heard his music he gained interest and took it to Dr. Dre who also had interest in the music, and a joint deal was made, resulting in Stat Quo becoming the second artist to be signed to Shady/Aftermath, after 50 Cent. His debut album Statlanta was originally slated to be released in 2003 but has been repeatedly pushed back. Stat Quo is also featured on Young Buck's Straight Outta Cashville, the Eminem Presents the Re-Up compilation and on the track "Spend Some Time" on Eminem's Encore. Stat has also appeared on tracks with artists such as Jermaine Dupri, The Alchemist, The Game, Disturbing tha Peace, and Chamillionaire. In 2005, Stat Quo shot a video for his single "Like Dat". The song was made to be a buzz single, in order to help the artist become more exposed The video was shot in Atlanta's Zone 3 near the Thomasville Heights projects where Stat Quo was brought up. “It's the beginning of my career, so I wanted to start where I began life, Plus, [the city of Atlanta] is supposed to be tearing the projects down, so I wanted to showcase the area I grew up in and capture it before it was gone forever." The Atlanta bred rapper was featured on the summer 2005 Anger Management Tour, which also included Eminem, 50 Cent, G-Unit, Obie Trice, D12, and others. On July 13, 2005, a tour bus carrying Eminem's entourage for the summer's Anger Management tour swerved off the road and turned over. Stat Quo was taken to Independence Regional Health Center in Independence, Missouri, where he was treated and released. Stat Quo has said that his "number one goal is to bring a respect, and bring a voice to this whole southern movement around the world".

From the onset, Stat Quo wanted to raise the standards (i.e., the status quo) for MCs in the rap game, particularly in Southern hip-hop. Being handpicked by rap superstar Eminem and the legendary Dr. Dre as a potential up-and-comer was a definite vindication of his lofty goals. The Atlanta-born rapper, whose real name is Stanley Benton, has repeatedly acknowledged that his strong work ethic came from his mother, who raised him in Atlanta's housing projects. After graduating high school, he attended the University of Florida, though mainly to pursue a career in basketball. He eventually quit basketball but still graduated with degrees in international business and economics. Benton was still unsure about his future plans, pondering whether to go to law school or perhaps doing something with the many rhymes he had on paper. He had begun freestyling at 12 years old, inspired by Kurtis Blow's "Basketball," but didn't start writing his rhymes down until encouraged by friends in college. When he heard how Ludacris signed to the newly formed Def Jam South subsidiary, he composed a demo tape to send to its label head, Scarface, who was a major idol of Stat Quo. Although it was Scarface's words of encouragement that convinced him to pursue rap professionally, a deal with Def Jam South didn't pan out. Stat Quo got on the grind and began pressing his own CDs, namely the Underground Atlanta mixtape series. With enough hustle, his mixtapes wound up separately in the hands of Eminem and Dr. Dre, and the two jointly signed Stat Quo to their respective imprints in 2004. Upon releasing more mixtapes and guest rapping on various songs, Stat Quo received a good deal of press as the first Southern rap signee to the Shady/Aftermath block. Appearances on major releases by Young Buck and Eminem kept his name afloat while his debut album, Statlanta, experienced numerous delays.

Stat Quo definitely got a story to tell. Atlanta born and bred, he’s seen all sides of his red hot hometown, so whether it’s breaking down the traps (song-tk) or making the girls in the club get low (“Like Dat”), Stat’s got it covered. But there’s more to Stat than stuntin and flossin’. The college grad (Stat earned a double major in international business and economics from the University of Florida in 2000) can help those with their money on their mind get their mind right (song-TK), and explore emotional depths that few MCs would touch (“Thirty Minutes”). And with an ear finely tuned by a vast catalog of rap classic – “I grew up on Outkast, 8Ball & MJG, UGK, Scarface, plus Wu-Tang, Nas and the whole Death Row movement, back when everybody was popping on all cylinders,” he says – and with Dre and Em behind him, the stage is set, not just for a classic debut, but for a legendary career. Such versatility is all part of Stat Quo’s master plan. “When people think about lyricists in the South, I want my name to come to their head,” he says. “And not just when they think about the South, but lyricists period. When people say who the best damn rappers period, I want motherfuckas to say my name.” So, what you really know about the Dirty South?


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