Joey Fatts has come a long way from being a gangbanger living out of his car. He grabbed hold of the underground scene last year with Chipper Jones Vol. 2, which hosted collaborations with Action Bronson, Danny Brown, Freddie Gibbs and more. As a producer, he dipped in the mainstream world with a placement on A$AP Rocky’s Long.Live.ASAP for his track “Jodye.” While many have wondered how a new artist could rise so quickly in the music scene, few questioned his talent. With all eyes on Fatts after signing to Waka Flocka’s 36 Brickhouse, The Cali native unleashes his new EP, Chipper Jones Vol. 3.

Chipper Jones Vol. 3 is a continuation of the story he's trying to convey. Fatts sets the tone early in the project with the intro as the first sentence sums up the past 365 days for the Long Beach native: “Started off hustlin'/ended up ballin'/ made it in this rap shit but the fiends keep callin.” Joey battles to find balance between the street life he once lived and his newfound success as a rapper. On “Million Dollar Dreams” Fatts speaks on his arduous internal battle with separating from the block with bars like, “My brother just got four years for two gun charges/And still fuck a case I'm strapped regardless/Run up on me, I'm sparkin', out here sellin' drugs cause niggas is starvin'/Slangin' trees like Tarzan so hit my phone for the bargain/Told my momma I'm crippin', she said don't call for a visit/If you'll ass do a sentence go right in somebody's prison.” There is hope for Fatts though, as songs like “Tryna’ Get It’ are sure to inspire listeners to chase their own ambitions. There's plenty of topics to explore here from Joey, which gives the EP a good entry point from anywhere.

The stigma that street rap lacks any substance is put to bed on Chipper Jones Vol. 3, as Fatts does excel with his vivid imagery on the EP. “Million Dollar Dreams” shows strong song formation and a quality hook from the Cutthroat member with bars like, “Every dream chasin' figures, late night runnin' the streets/It's just me and my niggas with these million dollar dreams/And these my niggas 'til the end, no matter how it seems/And I'm gon' ride for them cause I know they gon' ride for me.” o celebrate signing to 36 Brickhouse, the Long Beach native links with Waka Flocka Flame and A$ton Matthews for a energetic track titled “Paradise.” Harlem links with Long Beach near the back of the tape as A$AP Rocky and Joey Fatts show great synergy on “Keep It G Part 2.” Joey does show some rawness with his flow on a couple tracks, ("Karma," for example) but this can be expected for an artist who has yet to blow.

The production is cutting edge on Chipper Jones Vol. 3, where Fatts shows a fearlessness that's admirable. He allows his producers to explore a different side of their creative realm on the project. While many may know Cardo for his smooth jams with Wiz Khalifa, the former Taylor Gang in-house producer delivers a trap classic on the intro. Rising producer DJ Dahi makes an appearance on “What Means The World To You” which encompasses the smooth Cali sound that's making waves.

The best kept secret is exposed on this project through Eli Myles. The Michigan native and Cutthroat's newest talent delivers a flawless beat on “Paradise.” The airy chant blended with the fierce drums set the tone for one of the biggest tracks on the EP. Myles lets us know “Paradise” was no fluke with his second placement on the tape on “Tryna Get It,” laying the canvass for Joey to speak (possibly) on Dom Kennedy and OPM.

With CG Vol.3, Joey Fatts blends the street life with his new luxurious lifestyle. The Long Beach native brings it like a vintage gangsta rapper straight outta Cali while meshing trill production. With a quality EP and one of the most interactive fan bases in the underground scene, the sky's the limit for Fatts.—Christian Mordi