Review ·

is not on your side. Even in 1964, when Mick Jagger claimed it was on
his, it wasn't. No matter how much you hope, pray or use multi-vitamin
skin treatments, time will always get the best of you. Time has been
far from on the side of Pharcyde alumnus Fatlip, considering it's been
nearly ten years since we've heard from him. TheLonliest Punk,
Fatlip's first official release since being effectively booted from the
Pharcyde five years ago, is not only his solo soap box, but also a
testament to how dramatically hip-hop has changed in the past ten
years. (Shit, even Delicious Vinyl is a blast from the past.)



Quite possibly the strongest emcee in the Pharcyde, Fatlip (a.k.a. Derrick Stewart) left the group in the years after its 1995 Labcabincalifornia release.
Stylistic differences drew the quartet further apart. While the rest of
the group was content perfecting their stoner crossover blend of
hip-hop, Lip was being influenced by major players from the opposite
coast, namely Notorious B.I.G. and Wu-Tang. Once Lip was free to
indulge his East Coast influences he immediately jumped out of the gate
with his single "What's Up Fatlip?" It took another five years for the
single's full-length accompaniment to be completed (the full story of
which is contained in the Spike Jonzedirected documentary short made
in 2000; it's included with the album).


Within the first minute of TheLoneliest Punk's
opener, "Fat Leezy," Lip howls "Don't you know my style, don't you know
it's me?" But his gritty howl has an uncanny resemblance to the late
great Ol' Dirty Bastard. It's a difficult intro to swallow, especially
when he's claiming a style that's more befitting of another emcee,
despite any commonalities the emcees may share. Lip's true identity
shines through on the funky "Today's Your Day" featuring Jurassic 5's
Chali 2na, but what follows are a handful of decent songs that clumsily
navigate themselves through incomplete flows and answering-machine
messages. Digital Underground's Shock G and Humpty Hump [both of whom are personas
of Greg Jacobs - ed.
] even show up on "Freaky Pumps" to add a little charm with their deep Oakland pimp-style throwback sound.


With a title that references jazzier overtones, TheLoneliest Punk has
honest moments of catchy hip-hop. If the record's purpose is to
introduce Fatlip to a whole new genre of heads, lower expectations in
grasping the new kids would be beneficial. It plays more like an album
reminiscent of the days when hip-hop was something to catch a head nod
instead of breaking new ground or shaking the dance floor. The
resemblances to ODB are a bit overwhelming, but hip-hop needs its crazy
characters and it's currently one short. Since there's no chance time
will ever stop pushing full steam ahead, it seems the phrase "it's
better late than never" is the best accompaniment for TheLoneliest Punk. Everyone likes a little trip down memory lane every now and then - even hip-hop.



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Delicious Vinyl Web site (with streaming audio)


Fatlip on Delicious Vinyl's Web site 


What's Up Fatlip? Video


Spike Jonze Dog

Eminem - Curtain Call Jens Lekman Oh You're so Silent Jens

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