The title of PackFM’s latest release, I F*cking Hate Rappers, pretty much says it all. The veteran Brooklyn MC has clearly had enough of what passes for hip-hop in 2010 – and he’s not giving any artist a pass. And he wastes little time delving into his state of the hip-hop union address.
On the title-track, PackFM attacks labelmate Tonedeff’s aggressive beat right from the outset. Over the hard-hitting drums and powerful vocal sample, the MC delivers some pointed lyrics at another rap veteran (If you play Common now for Common Sense in ‘92/The Bitch in Yoo woulda been The Bitch in Yoo Part 2) and at those who will dismiss the track as a jealous rant from an underground artist (At the end of the day stand by your statements/If I don’t like it, I don’t like it; that don’t mean I’m hatin’). But that’s not his only critique of today’s current scene. PackFM reunites with Substantial and Mr. Mecca to form Dominion, and the trio reveals that they’re not ready to give up their spot to the next generation of MCs on Domingo’s “Take Our Place”. The somewhat stripped-down instrumental allows the lyrics from the three MCs to take centre stage – and they don’t disappoint.
The album isn’t just about criticizing today’s artists. Over an outstanding strings-based production from Kno, PackFM delivers some honest rhymes about his journey as an MC and his love for the music on “Wanna Know” (which features Kno’s Cunninlynguists partner Deacon the Villain on the hook). In fact, PackFM once again channels a Resurrection-era Common Sense in the song’s last verse (I used to love her ‘til I found out that this hottie was a whore/Now I can’t wait ‘til she ain’t fucking anybody anymore). The golden era is well represented on I F*cking Hate Rappers. The hard-hitting drums and pounding bass line of “Flux Capacitor” take the listener back to ’88 (which any Back to the Future fan could have guessed by the song’s title) and PackFM delivers rhymes that match J-Zone’s outstanding production work. Poison Pen joins PackFM for a two- man show on “Tough Talk” and the Brooklyn MCs sound right at home over Marco
Polo’s slightly up-tempo track. There is clearly some great chemistry between the two artists, with Poison Pen delivering a nice turn as the bad guy in the tale of a club scene gone wrong.
With 9 songs and 5 skits, it’s clear that the album, which comes in at just under 40 minutes, is intended to be played from front to back. The skits, as they do in any successful concept album, advance the plot of the story – which, in this case, is a day in the life of PackFM. As he moves from “The Support Group” to “The Show”, we begin to feel his disdain for the state of hip-hop in 2010. For many hip-hop heads who truly fell in love with the music during the golden era, PackFM’s reactions in both “The Kanye Look” and “Closure” will ring true. And for those who are just tired of manufactured artists and ring-tone rappers, the project is a breath of fresh air.
4 out of 5