Fatlip

    TheLoneliest Punk

    6

    Time
    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.)

    [more:]

     

    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.

     

     

    Discuss this review at The Prefix Message Board

     

    Delicious Vinyl Web site (with streaming audio)

     

    Fatlip on Delicious Vinyl’s Web site 

     

    What’s Up Fatlip? Video

     

    Spike Jonze Dog

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