Artist: Project PatTitle: Crook By Da Book: The Fed StoryRating: 2 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Martin A. Berrios
Project Pat seems to have great timing on his side. Mostly known for moderate hits such as "Chickenhead" and "Ballers," Pat got locked up before he could rightfully bask in his own shine. During the bid his Three 6 Mafia family kept the momentum going with hits of their own ("Stay Fly") and eventually landing a coveted Oscar for their work on Hustle & Flow. Now home fresh as a daisy, Pat comes returns on wax with Crook By Da Book: A Fed Story (Sony BMG) hoping to get some of that new money as well. Unfortunately, he doesn't seize the moment like a pro.
The album is starts off with the aptly titled "I Ain't Going Back To Jail." Pat gets right into his Memphis struggle as he revisits the dirt he was doing before he got knocked. On "Purple," Project hooks up with Beanie Siegel as they both pay tribute to every smoker and lean sipper's favorite color. Juicy J and DJ Paul implement dark keys to set the mood. Not surprisingly Mac easily steals the show with a flow where he drags out the last word of each of his bars.
Other than the aforementioned selections and a collaboration with Young Jeezy and Lyfe on "Tell Tell Tell (Stop Snitchin')" the album has very little to offer artistically. The first single "Good Googly Moogly" is as uninspiring as its name. Pat does his best to bring the ladies into the mix but fails miserably. Lyrics like "How you gon' prance around with all that, sayin' you ain't all that/everybody at ya wanna hit ya like a ball bat/that thang make ya look back, be like man who is that/You can see a hiny on a hiny I'm pursuin' that," get an immediate fast forward.
With Paul and Juicy behind the boards on the entire project, the music gets old real quick. Their signature blend of speedy high hats and synth notes makes the album monotonous. Additionally, the subject matter never goes beyond the normal steez of girls, drugs, and slugs. Project addresses the haters on the poorly written "2 Dollar Niggas" and doesn't break any ground with his token watch your back in the hood tale "How It Goes In The Gutta."
At the end of the day Project Pat dropped a hot brick with minimal replay value at all. Crook By Da Book will have heads scratching their heads pondering if Nas is right.