With the wave of fight-starting Incredible Hulk-like-energy heaters, the South has become synonymous with “club banger” on local airwaves. Petey Pablo is one of those crunkstas, who with his 2001 hit “Raise Up” was able to get everyone in the clubs, from the yuppies to the thugs next to them, standing in their wife-beaters chanting about how they were twirling their outerwear around like a helicopter. With Dave Chappelle’s show satirizing Lil Jon’s 7-11 24/7 crunk identity, the same questions can be asked about others from the South: Can anyone be that crunk all the time? In Still Writing in my Diary: 2nd Entry, Petey Pablo’s Southern-fried funk exposes sides of himself that don’t start with crunk and end with ba-dunka-dunk.
Most of Petey Pablo’s diary entries are more or less the same as his debut, 2001’s Diary of a Sinner: First Entry, which at times sounds more like a Spring Break, Girls Gone Wild memoir. Booty-appreciation track “Vibrate” surprises with a sound that hits like Usher’s “Yeah” on steroids. Besides lead single “Freek-a-Leek,” 2nd Entry is filled with the heavy-synthed marching band-inspired sounds that taste like last night’s leftover beats. Lil Jon provides ordinary production on “Jam Y’all” and “U Don’t Want Dat,” which sound like blends of every Lil Jon hit in the past year, and Baby recycles his own “Where I’m From” to make “Did You Miss Me,” which also features TQ. Most tracks aim to keep walls and mirrors sweating, but “O it’s On,” featuring G-Unit’s Young Buck, is a highlight that shows the gruff-voiced and charismatic delivery style that has defined Dirty South natives.
But it’s not until the end of the 2nd Entry that Pablo offers some different experiences that are worth reading about. “Roll Off” shows Pablo sincerely looking for help, but it’s the only track that shows Pablo’s vulnerability. Over a fitting Al Green “Love and Happiness” sample on “He Spoke to Me,” Pablo ends the disc switchin’ up styles. He sings in a blues and gospel sound that doesn’t quite talk to Him like Kanye’s “Jesus Walks,” but it’s an interesting up-tempo shout-out showing why everyone wants Him in their posse. Pablo waxes poetic about the pre-party, party, and the after-party with few tracks that talk about him at all. Most people would clamor to read an open diary, but Pablo’s entries provide us with few juicy tidbits to be suspicious about.