Bubbling on the Memphis underground for years, Project Pat first gained national exposure from his appearance on Three 6 Mafia’s 2000 hit “Sippin’ on Some Syrup.” The following year, Pat delivered a smash record of his own with “Chickenhead,” which set the stage for his first platinum plaque. The Tennessee terror looked to continue his rise to fame, but an almost-4-year bid for gun possession put a halt to those plans. Paroled late last year, Pat is ready to reclaim his spot with Crook By Da Book: The Fed Story.
Picking up right where he left off, double P offers up the skirt-chasing “Good Googly Moogly” as his first single. Backed by chopstick synths and intense 808s, he shouts out shorties with the gyrating jellies (“Bad to the bone/That ain’t a monkey hanging off ya back/That’s Donkey Kong”). Then on the baller-blockin’ anthem “Time and Time Again” he lays the smack down on trifling hoes before delivering trademark playfulness like, “Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit/All my niggas bounce around/’Cause the project nigga, nigga, nigga on the town.”
Although there’s an ample amount of booming bass lines and raucous rhythms to get buck to, the repetitive subject matter starts to weigh down the disc. Take the mackalicious “I’m a Playa” and the shopaholics’ wet dream “You Like.” On the latter, Project Pattah rambles off a laundry list of material possessions, while an annoying voice chants, “You like, you like.”
Crook By Da Book’s saving grace, though, is the solid production provided exclusively by
DJ Paul and Juicy J. Pat’s obligatory antirattin’ cut, “Tell, Tell, Tell (Stop Snitchin’)” featuring Young Jeezy, Mr. Bigg and Lyfe Jennings, rises above cliché categorizations because of its haunting keys and bass. The same can be said of “Purple,” his codeine collabo with Beanie Sigel, which is supported by dark organ chords and plucky strings. Finding a firm balance between the gritty streets and radio spins, Pat proves that mista still don’t play. —MICHAEL HARRIS