The Loneliest Punk

Die-hard Fatlip fans have waited years for the ex-Pharcyde emcee to drop a solo album. Literally. Years. In the meantime, he has blown money on cocaine and skanky hos, been jilted by his former bandmates, and (finally) crafted The Loneliest Punk, the most lyrically interesting hip-hop album to drop in a long time. You rarely see an emcee of this caliber so willing to pull back the curtain and reveal his interior world: After all, there's a good Fatlip (sensitive, poignant, self-lacerating) and a bad Fatlip (decadent, cantankerous, self-aggrandizing), and the two sides seem so perilously intertwined that it's almost impossible to distinguish them. For all his cheekiness -- on his Friendster profile, the emcee lists his musical influences as "Me, Jay-Z, and Nas ... in that order" -- he obviously doesn't take himself too seriously. In fact, the rapper's inclination to purge his insecurities becomes obsessive and even excruciating; on "What's Up, Fatlip," he laments In the back of your mind, you prob'ly think that I was gay/But nah, I'm just a bitch-ass nigga, the type to get jacked if I was a rich-ass nigga. And you thought Kanye West was complicated.


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