While a strong argument can be made concerning the integrity of artists in 2010, it’s evident that the level of respect for peers in the Rap game has diminished. Since his 2006 debut album whutduzFMstand4? and even before then, Brooklyn emcee PackFM has been an advocate of lyrics deciding the fate of a rapper’s career, not their latest brand endorsement. With his latest offering, I F*cking Hate Rappers, PackFM looks to tackle this issue head.
Without a hook, the album’s title-track unmistakably makes it clear that PackFM has had enough with the music being pushed nowadays. Produced by QN5 founder Tonedeff, the beat features a dark, raw backdrop as Pack spits about Hip Hop and how it has lost its cultural significance. Of course, with the amount of turnover at labels looking for the next one-hit wonder, Pack likewise belittles wannabe Rap stars with vicious intent behind his words. Alongside Dominion, their hook on “Take Our Place” drives this point home; “They wanna take our place, try if you wanna / We’ll break your face, get the fuck up outta here / Y'all ain’t rappers, y'all ain’t emcees / Not even Hip Hop, you serious? Bitch please.” Then, showing off his stage presence, PackFM treats “Here We Go (Come On)” as a high-energy record touting fan participation and response. Here we find Pack feeding off the energy of a pack crowd, much like it would be at his live show.
To merely write off PackFM’s album as a complaint-filled project would be unjustified as he backs up his words with lyrical prowess fixated on pointing out what’s wrong. His best example comes on “Wanna Know,” where his rhymes mirror Common’s “I Used To Love H.E.R.” as he spits, “What mattered was the raw, nothing less nothing more / Now that whole scenes deleted on the cutting room floor / There’s no substitute for the sound of the crowd’s roar / When they pack to the walls and they’re pouring out the door / But now you fast forward and its lost its allure / It ain’t a party it’s a wake without a body in the morgue / I used to love her till I found out that this hottie was a whore / Now I can’t wait ‘til she ain’t fucking anybody anymore.”
While some artists take them for granted, PackFM tactfully places several skits in between tracks to enforce his disdain for today’s scene. Whether it’s the outlandish fashion trends (“The Kanye Look”) or Rap shows featuring every aspiring local act and their hype man (“The Show”), Pack humorously depicts the new generation of rappers to the point that the truth becomes absurd. The album-ending skit “Closure” takes the cake though, as PackFM confronts the 2010 prototype artist at the end of a show whose new claim to fame consists of everything but rapping (UStream, blogging and cooking show included).
As a concept album, it would be best to listen to I F*cking Hate Rappers from front to back to understand PackFM’s message, and he undoubtedly has good advice. In less than 40 minutes, he shows his growth from battle emcee to an artist able to deliver a solid piece of work without sounding preachy or contrived. Even if I F*cking Hate Rappers proves to be an album that goes under the radar in 2010, years from now we very well may be talking about its significance on a larger scale.