Mixtape Mondays: Stat Quo

Atlanta rapper is latest offering from Dr. Dre's Aftermath.

Name: Stat Quo

Mixtape: Underground Atlanta Mixtape Vol. 2

Hometown: Atlanta

Joints to check for: "The Saga Continues ... The Future" featuring Dr. Dre; "Wood Grain"; "Let's Get It On" featuring Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac; "Back Up" featuring Lil Jon and Nitro.

Previous mixtapes: Underground Atlanta Mixtape Vol. 1

The 411: In the words of Notorious B.I.G., "and another one." Dr. Dre and Eminem are collaborating to cultivate another lethal lyricist for to the masses. Although this time the flammable verbiage isn't emanating from Queens, Dre and Em are looking to the same spot where they found 50 Cent: mixtapes.

"Dre and Eminem are cut from the same cloth," Atlanta native Stat Quo said. "They'll have you doing a verse for three days just to get it right. They're real perfectionists. You might be like, 'Damn, why I gotta do that? Why I gotta do this?' Then you'll hear [what you just recorded] and be excited. ... You didn't know you could take it there. They take you to a whole other level as an artist. One of the quotes Dre told me was 'Music is like a relationship: It's the little things that count.' "

Stat knows a lot about counting. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2000, majoring in economics and international business. He seriously contemplated law school until none other than the legendary Scarface, whose sister was friends with Stat, told him he should pursue a career as a rapper. Oddly enough, Face, president of the then newly formed Def Jam South, didn't take the opportunity to ink Stat.

"How come Nelly didn't sign Chingy?" Stat asks when the situation is pointed out. "They had a lot of sh-- going on. People have their own agendas. The world don't stop for you, you have to make yourself a priority. I was just sitting back like, 'Please listen to my demo.' "

Ludacris' longtime associate Chaka Zulu listened to Stat's demo and passed it on to an executive at Aftermath, and although Dre was feeling it, the doc didn't immediately jump on it. Then early last year, Dre's longtime right-hand man, Mel-Man, got hold of some of Stat's work and again passed it on to Dre.

Stat was called to L.A. in March and has been down there since, officially signing to Shady/Aftermath not too long ago.

"I'm bringing something that they didn't have. I'm fitting right in my own pocket, doing my ATL/down-South thing," Stat explained. "I wanna be able to bring some of my own fans to the table. Their success makes me work harder. It's like being on the Lakers."

Stat won't predict when his debut LP will drop, but he does offer a taste of what's to come on his latest mixtape, Underground Atlanta Mixtape Vol. 2.

Perhaps the most notable track is "The Future," on which Dre talks a gang of smack. "Y'all can't f--- with this n---a," Dre boasts before talking about signing Stat. Meanwhile, the Atlanta word ripper raps, "Dough is long, yours is short like Gilbert Gottfried/ Life's a crap game, but I'm trill in Yahtzee/ Boss Hoggin', who they gonna get to stop me?/ It's the S.T.A.T., all you can do is pay me."

An extended eight-minute version of the track is supposed to appear on an upcoming Green Lantern mixtape. Stat also said he's up for a spot on Green Lantern's official album. Meanwhile, Stat has a dream list of Organized Noize, Jazze Pha, Lil Jon and Brian Cox for his own debut, but he said Dre and Em will definitely be on hand and that he'll even be showing up on Dre's Detox opus.

"No words coming outta my mouth can describe what that guy is doing," he beamed. "He's outta here. He's a UFO. He's at a point in his career where he's Michael Jordaning it; hit the fade-away jumper and solidify himself as the greatest hip-hop producer of all time."

Now Stat wants to up the ante for artistry just like his label CEO did.

"The status quo is the average," he said of his name. "That's the bar that's being set on how everybody is doing their thing. I'm upping that bar. Stat Quo is the new bar. That's some cocky sh--, but that's where I'm trying to be with it. Plus that Stat is short for statistics, and I love them numbers."

For other artists featured in Mixtape Mondays, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines.