Pack FM – whutduzFMstand4?

Pack Fm - whutduzFMstand4? Artist: Pack FM
Album: whutduzFMstand4?
Label: QN5 Music
Rating: 4/5

I am watching a Pack FM video on his
Myspace page, in which he performs in the round at BB King’s.
Now, any thespian, emcee, stage-oriented performer knows that to perform
in the round is to give the audience the power to mob, jump and
destroy you if they feel the performance is sub par, so that alone makes
Pack FM a ballsy emcee. To give the audience instant judgment upon your
spit is a notable challenge. It is also notable when a championed battle
emcee makes the decision to leave the 32-bar smackdown at the soapbox,
and enter the studio to craft an opus.

So
Pack brings out his thoughts on education, social parody, graffiti and
girls (on “Ugly Woman,” Pack and Extended Famm talk some shit
about their relationships with horse-faced chicks that would make a
shit-mouthed stand-up comic proud). And there’s always time to spitfire
at has-beens, never-beens, and novices, so Pack FM grants them, “If
it’s hot, I done said it. So don’t bother sayin it / And if it ain’t
nice, don’t say nothing at all / I’m looking forward to some instrumental
albums from y’all.”

Now
I appreciate international influences, but producers with the curry-fever
need to leave the bhangra on 6th street, Manhattan (Curry
Row, that is). I can’t figure out why producers insist on flipping these
trendy (dated?) beats, but I’ll be damned if they aren’t all the same
song. Luckily, here the bhangra of “Stomp” is followed on
the heels by “Kilt It,” a highlands corpse-sort of stomp (or
sword-dance). Here bagpipes replace the ektara, and though the format
and riff is highly similar (a key or maybe mode change is employed),
I prefer the latter. From the nearly-comic juxtaposition emerges a dominance
of many styles.

Other
notable production occurs on “Lessons,” which features a mystic
Willy-Wonka groove in the spirit of Erik Satie’s woodwinds; and the
overly-dramatic pull of “I Can’t Win” is based on a pop ballad
turnaround, the musical sections reminiscent of MF Doom’s work. Elsewhere,
Cab Calloway is invoked to good effect. There is also a beautiful piano
breakdown midway through “Forevershine”; the groove leans
towards nostalgia, even as Pack speaks: “If I diss you / Won’t
nobody miss you / like Kriss Kross.”

It
also must be said that “Nigga” skit is one of the most incisive
uses of the medium since Prince Paul dreamed up the form back on
3 Feet High and Rising. In the performance, a couple light-skinned
fellas make their way through the borough of Brooklyn triumphantly heralding
the dirtiest word in the English language and flipping an outdated nigga-card.
Let it be said that the charlatans’ luck catches up with them in Flatbush,
when the aforementioned nigga card’s past expiration date is exposed
and results in a beat-down. The 1950s style announcer notes that bitch-passes
are also available.

Pick
this record up for its introspection, well-thought lyrics, diversity
of beats and earnestness. But don’t pick it up to find out what FM stands
for. He ain’t gonna tell you. He got a whole song about how he ain’t
gonna tell you, “What Duz FM Stand 4?” As he states, “Shoulda
knew better than to ask about the acronym / I never answer it, just
buy the album and don’t ask again.” This line is directed at single-minded
music journalists sweating over his name. Now I didn’t really mind the
elusive moniker when I first listened, but after this angsty track he
really got me wonderin: What does FM stand for?

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