I imagine that since this project is called ‘Chipper Jones, Vol.2‘, there’s a ‘Vol.1′ floating around out there. In fact, I have the aforementioned project, but at the time I started writing this mess I hadn’t listened to it yet, so for all intents and purposes we’ll consider this Joey Fatts’ debut. If you have a problem with this you can go read some other hack.
Now that we’ve gotten that outta the way, I’d like to go ahead and state that Mr. Fatts (and ASAP Yams?) have put together one hell of a project. Everything just seems to work; ranging from the guests, (Freddie Gibbs, Action Bronson, Krondon, Vince Staples, 100s, ASAP Rocky, Danny Brown and other assorted awesome folks) to the production from like The Alchemist, Cardo and Joey Fatts himself. There’s just a really professional gloss to the proceedings – or as professional as things can get when a nigga is rapping about trappin.
Best of all, Joey Fatts holds his own (No Hibbert) on every track, regardless of the caliber of guest he’s going up against.Even if he isn’t saying anything we haven’t heard a thousand times before, he has scores of clever lines, traffics in my favorite subject matter (gully shit), can carry a decent narrative and knows his way around a memorable turn of phrase. If you listen long enough, you might even be tempted to ask him for a price quote on twitter. Yup, Mr. Fatts is that detailed and persuasive most of the time. If you don’t believe me, just give “Lindo” or “Pushaman” a listen. And that’s not to single those tracks out as highlights – every song on this shit is dope in its own way.
From a technique standpoint, Fatts ain’t really spectacular, but he has a dead-eyed, young-veteran delivery that alternately aids and hurts his cause, depending on this listener’s mood. Initially, I felt as his delivery was the one thing undermining this tape, but repeated listens kinda vindicate the man’s artistic choice. Given the number of new rappers we have to trawl through these days, anything that makes a rapper seem unique or that helps differentiate him from the crowd should probably been seen as more of a plus than a negative. The more you listen to Joey Fatts, the more you begin to think he might be on to something. In a sense, he kinda reminds of Dom Kennedy – a seemingly limited rapper who knows his lane well and plays the fuck out of it to decent acclaim and success. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. Besides, I’m forever here for anyone that can make even the most benign sentence sound like a calm threat.
All that being said, I can’t imagine that it would hurt to try doing some new shit with the delivery to avoid the “monotone” charge. The last new jack I gave similar criticism to kinda doubled down on his schtick on his next tape and lost me (at least temporarily) in the process. Growing pains, but I’d hate to go through the same shit with Joey Fatts. He makes good songs and that’s a rare skill made even rarer by the proliferation of rapperists outchea in 2013. As Fatts says “young niggas in the grind only get better with time.” I hope he’s right…
ZIP: Chipper Jones – Volume 2 (Left-Click)