Project Pat – Crook by the Book: The Fed Story

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Sometimes the South gets a bad rep. You have to look past the jeweled chalices and oversized tires. Boiled down, Southern hip hop is about making music without pretension, the everyman as artist. Nobody exemplifies this more than Memphis’ Project Pat, a gun toting, steel grilled Willy Loman. Fresh off a four year prison stint, Pat is back with his fifth album, Crook by the Book: The Fed Story.

At first glance, Project Pat is an unexceptional rapper. His flow, more rigid molasses than running water, is always a simple staccato. His minimalism is a virtue and it makes rapping along, elbows flailing with the windows rolled down, that much easier. “Little something, something bad to the bone/that’s not a monkey on your back, that’s Donkey Kong”. The production is straight up sick. Juicy J and DJ Paul provide some heavy artillery. The entire album is sonically solid, exemplified by the Willie Hutch sample on “What Money Do” and the gothic “Crack a Head”. These are just two examples on an overloaded CD.

Certainly, the criticisms will arise about the single-minded subject matter and the simplistic lyrics. While the North keeps offering contrivance labeled as conscious (as well as the occasional Gap ad), the South keeps bringing straight up, stomach shaking energy. And that’s Project Pat: pure South.

Max Arambulo

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