B.A.R.S.

B.A.R.S.

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An album by The Fatboy

Review presented by Issac Sandoval

Listen to “B.A.R.S.” by The Fatboy

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THE INTRO

The Fatboy hit me up just a couple of weeks ago, excited about the upcoming release of his new mixtape B.A.R.S.. Fortunately, for all of you, the mixtape is out now and ready for your listening pleasure.

I asked Issac to review this album because he really hasn’t been able review many mixtapes as opposed to EPs and albums, not to mention the sound The Fatboy brings with his music will be different than the last few albums Issac has reviewed. Now I’ll let Issac take over with his review of B.A.R.S..
– Warren Peace


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THE ALBUM

1- Intro

There isn’t any music on the intro, so there isn’t a whole lot to break down here. The audio is borrowed from the intro to Weird Al Yankovic’s “Fat,” his parody version of Michael Jackson’s “bad.” If you are unfamiliar with its origin you may not find the intro very appealing, but I personally got a kick out of it.

2- Ritz Carlton Freestyle

Our short and sweet introduction to the Fatboy himself brings us a low-fi freestyle rhyme over bass heavy, piano based trap instrumental. The bars are not incredible, but they do accomplish their mission. There are two things that take away from this track for me. The first being the low recording quality of the vocals, this has always been something that I can overlook, but quite a few people can not. The second thing would be the ending when our emcee tells the engineer to “cut that shit, them niggas wasn’t never ready for that.” I feel that this has just been done to death and is hopelessly cliché now.

3- Money Don’t Sleep

Money Don’t Sleep is simply an anthem. Bottom line, if the right marketing was put behind this record I could easily see this record doing numbers. The beat is a banger and the hook is infectious. The only problem I have here is the line “A bird in the hand is worth two under your feet.” That’s not the traditional idiom and if this switch up was intentional I am one hundred percent missing whatever point was trying to be made by the change. However, I don’t see this line causing such a conundrum for the majority of listeners.

4- Light Green

Another catchy hook is served up for us by The Fatboy on Light Green, I want to sing a long even though I have yet to memorize all the words. Definitely the record that you want to play with the windows down and the system up. The background vocals on the hook help to give this record a more finished and polished feel than we have seen to this point.

5- Live

The Fatboy is kicking it old school on Live, from the beat produced by Negundo, to the hook, to the rhyme style. I have never seen another underground artist go from the modern style to the vibe of the eighties with such a seamless transition. The hook sounds so familiar to me, but even after digging I was unable to find it anywhere, which would lead me to believe that it is an original hook. I think that really speaks to how well our emcee has tackled this style, I genuinely felt that this was something I had heard KRS or the like spit before. Easily my favorite track on the entire project.

6- LoveIn The 90’s

The first thing you are going to notice about Love In the 90s is the quality of the vocals. The quality on the project as a whole has been substandard to this point, but this is a low point. The lyrics are certainly not a disappointment, as they beat you over the head with the nostalgia that is a sure-fire win in the current enviroment. The record misses the point however, thanks to the poor quality and the fact that it’s just a single verse.

7- Fighting

I’m instantly enraptured by the sample of Journey’s “No Easy Way Out,” which was the backdrop to my favorite movie montage ever in Rocky IV. Unfortunately The Fatboy’s delivery sounds too deliberate, almost like he’s being very calculated in his head about where his syllables are meant to hit. Just as we saw with Love In The 90s this song suffers from being only one verse in length.

8- Open Letter Freestyle

The best lyrical display that we have seen from The Fatboy to this point. “Taking off the kid gloves and mittens” is exactly what he does as he throws punches in every direction in a full-on mic assault. I feel that this record would have served its purpose better had the previous records been full songs rather than one verse tide bits, because at this point we begin to only expect small tastes of The Fatboy.

9- The Flipside

If I’m not mistaking this is the first full length song that we have been presented during our listening experience, and not a moment too soon. The song itself is not going to get you out of your seat with impressive bars or energy. Rather, the vibe is very laid back. The rhymes and the beat are smooth and relaxing. One of the better records on the project, so I’m going to listen to it one more time, and catch you all on The Flipside.

10- Jet Black

Welcome to the Flipside…ok yeah that was a bad pun, get over it. The Fatboy does it himself as he begins the track by saying he is on the other side of the room. Jet Black would’ve been better placed earlier in the tracklist. I really wanted to conclude a projects titled B.A.R.S with a bang! The smooth jazzy instrumental and the laid back delivery of the rhymes just isn’t the way I would have imagined this record to be.


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FEATURED TRACKS

Live, Money Don’t Sleep, Light Green, and Flipside


THE WRITE UP

The Fatboy is an emcee with personality, and I don’t mean that in the way your friend does when he tries to set you up with an ugly girl. Rather than his personality being his only redeeming quality, it’s just a great quality that adds a really personal touch to B.A.R.S. Personality is a facet of the emcee that most of us, including myself, struggle with in the underground. The Fatboy exudes this so effortlessly that he does it without employing ad libs. By the end of the project you feel like he was in the room with you.

I have a few issues with this project, the main one is the length of the songs on the project. They are far too short throughout the entire B.A.R.S project. The second is that the project is titled B.A.R.S in all caps. This sets up the expectation that we are going to be beat over the head with BARS for the entire project. Make no mistake there are in fact bars present, they’re just being employed with purpose instead of ferocity. Take great care when deciding on a title for your project because it can set expectations that you don’t want placed on your music. The music isn’t technically bad, it just isn’t what the title suggests. I hate to take the star rating down because of the sound quality, but it is an ALBUM review, not a lyrics review, and the album as a whole suffers from it.


STAR STATUS

⭐⭐⭐

(3 out of 5 stars)

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RETURN TO REVIEWS

ARTIST OF THE MONTH

FEATURED EMCEES

THE INTERVIEWS


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