Die-hard Fatlip fans have waited years for the ex-Pharcyde MC to drop a solo album. In the meantime, he's blown money on cocaine and skanky hos, been jilted by his former bandmates, and (finally) crafted The Loneliest Punk, the most lyrically interesting hip-hop album to drop in a long time. You rarely see an MC of this caliber so willing to pull back the curtain and reveal his interior world: After all, there's a good Fatlip (sensitive, poignant, self-lacerating) and a bad Fatlip (decadent, cantankerous, self-aggrandizing), and the two sides seem so perilously intertwined that it's almost impossible to distinguish them. For all his cheekiness -- on his Friendster profile, the MC lists his musical influences as "Me, Jay-Z, and Nas in that order" -- he obviously doesn't take himself too seriously. In fact, the rapper's inclination to purge his insecurities becomes obsessive and even excruciating; on "What's Up, Fatlip," he laments, "In the back of your mind, you prob'ly think that I was gay / But nah, I'm just a bitch-ass nigga, the type to get jacked if I was a rich-ass nigga." And you thought Kanye West was complicated.
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