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15 March, 2006@12:00 am

    Fame can be a bitch. The Pharcyde reached their pinnacle in the 90′s with their classic, The Bizarre Ride II, throwing out ridiculous punchlines, beats, flavor, and bong hits, not afraid to diss your mom in between. One of the emcees hitting you below the belt consistently was Fatlip, poised with his jumbled flows and marble-mouthed delivery. But as popularity increased for the group, only some were able to handle the fortune. Soon after, word got out that Fatlip was no longer part of the group due to excessive weed smoking and lack of focus. Broken telephone ensued, and all of the sudden Fatlip is smoking crack, hates being famous, and lives with his mom. Well, this is only partly true.

   Make no mistake about it, on The Loneliest Punk we get the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The most well known track “What’s Up Fatlip?” gave fans a glimpse of promise, then again, that was practically five years ago.  Heavy snares crawl through the song with a high-pitched subtle piano dancing in the background. Fatlip sounds like he just woke up, and lays out everything on the bedside table: “Besides the fact my voice is whack / clowns is runnin’ round talking bout I smoke crack”.  Similarly on “Joe’s Turkey”, we gather Lip is trying to expel the rumors: “The hood gonna love the new Fatlip /no I’m not the crack addict”. Forget the sleepy symptoms from a Thanksgiving dinner, this beat bangs with the best of them. A bouncing bass line laced with reed breaking saxophone blurts has Fatlip sounding more hungry than ever.  Picture him just roaming Hollywood and punching holes through every building or hater he comes across.

   While only a couple of guest spots appear on this album, both bring their A-game. Chali 2na rips his baritone boom over “Today’s Your Day” with “lyrics so pregnant, we lactate”. Jimi Hendrix style guitar licks force instinctive head bobbing and Lip reminds the listener of a younger Biz Markie.  The hilarious “Freaky Pumps” has Humpty Hump and Fatlip exchanging stripper stories in a gentleman’s club. Smashing shot glasses, happy endings, and girls in a pretzel shape are just the beginning to this tale. Humpty hasn’t lost a step, and it seems with age he just gets better.

   The Loneliest Punk serves its purpose and then some. Not only does it quiet the decade full of rumors, it shows the fans that Fatlip is back. While some of the skits and tracks may lack a little substance, the tracks that hit you hard are pretty lasting. With a few more baby steps in his solo career, Fatlip just might punch you in the mouth with his next adventure. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait until we’re over the hill.

  Mixtape D.L.
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