The Loneliest Punk

Fatlip

ORG Music, 2019

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatlip

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/26/2019

For Fatlip's 2005 debut album The Loneliest Punk, he made quite an impression by bringing in legendary producers J-Swift and Squeak E. Clean, as well as guest MCs Chali 2na (Jurassic 5) and Shock G (aka Humpty Hump) for an all-star collaboration. Sadly, the album's been out of print since 2005, but here it's resurrected with swirl color vinyl for Record Store Day 2019.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Fat Leezy” gets the listen off to a beat driven and soulful start with a mix of singing and gritty rapping, and “First Heat” follows with quirky percussion and electronica moments with manipulated singing behind Fatlip's spirited rhymes. By the third track, “Today's Your Day (Whachagonedu)” we start to see the guests arrive: Chali 2na contributes to the busy track, while “Freestyle” goes the opposite direction and is a sparse freestyle from Fatlip sans instruments.

Though there are 18 tracks present, several are under a minute long. “I Got The Shit” is primarily instrumental with a repeating line over beats and percussion, while “Writer's Block,” one of the longer tracks, is a side A highlight with careful attention to an ultra-catchy setting.

Side B offers the '70s influenced and playful “Cook,” the bouncy and darker “All On Fly,” where backing female vocals complement the tune, and the heavy scratching of the adventurous “Lyrical Styles.” The standout track on this side, “Freaky Pumps,” is a spacey and infectious version of hip-hop that few could replicate with members of Digital Underground on hand. “What's Up Fatlip,” an early single, was featured in Tony Hawk's American Wasteland video game and is considered a hip-hop masterpiece to many.

An original member of The Pharcyde, Fatlip may have taken a decade to release his solo work (he left The Pharcyde in 1995), but the fact that nearly a decade and a half after this release is still relevant, highly respected, and more creative than much of today's hip-hop speaks volumes.  Only 2000 of this rare gem was pressed; better act quick if you want one.

Rating: B+

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