Project Pat’s new album “Layin’ Da Smack Down” continues the Three 6 Mafia dominance of the ever-expanding southern rap genre.
Stationed in Memphis, Tenn., Mafia has been making their own brand of gangsta rap since 1995 and this is Pat’s fourth album under their guidance and distributor Loud Records.
The brother of Three 6 member Juicy ‘J’, Pat’s distinctive flow and annunciation sets him apart from other southern rappers. His personality can be felt through a witty mix of the everyday gangsta lifestyle and obscure references.
Pat’s lyrical content never strays from testosterone laden automatic weapons or hood loyalty. Every so often, however, single lines blatantly stand out that make you take this gold-toothed gangsta much less seriously.
On “County Jail,” Pat describes his recent eight-month bid for a parole violation to the melody of the popular French children’s song, “Ferijaqua.”
“Smokin Out” is one of two songs in a row describing Pat’s penchant for the hood’s herbal remedy. He describes the Southern pastry, “Icy White Honey Bun,” as if it saved his life.
His talent lies in the clever art of annunciation. His distinctive, southern dialect causes certain words to emanate from the speaker in new delicious fashion.
On “Jel and Weave,” Pat’s ode to all his hood chicks with the fake follicle accessories, he opens the song with a unique pronunciation that immediately catches the listener’s ear: “You can put a wig on a pig-a-lit, make it dance the jig-a-lit”.
Pat twists words that currently exist and combines them with a thick accent that can’t possibly be taught.
The Three 6 production is still a main component of this album’s quality. Electronic snares roll furiously over eerie synths and create a perfect blueprint for the Memphis sound. “Smokin Out’s” obvious reggae influences stray from the conventional Three 6 style but it’s a welcome addition to their repertoire.
“Ridin Clean” has the signature Three 6 keys expected from in house producer DJ Paul and Juicy ‘J.’
The best aspect of “Smack Down” is its unintentional humor. Pat and fellow Mafia comrades are the most blatant, conscienceless and excessive of all virtually independent southern hip-hop. Three 6 breaks all boundaries in the campiest of manners.
Project Pat is a skillfully drawn caricature toting a cartoon automatic arsenal. The obscure pop culture references and creative slang push this over the edge of just straightforward rap music.
On Pat’s first major label album, “Ghetty Green,” his first single “Ballers” introduces slang terms never before uttered by a voice box.
“Twankies” becomes the new colloquialism for rims, and another page is rewritten in the slang dictionary.