Pastor Troy: Tool Muziq

Long before T.I. was a king, Jeezy was a trap star or the South was poised to take over Hip-Hop, Pastor Troy was a regional success and pioneer of Georgia gangsta rap. Due to lack of investigation, some critics quickly dismiss P. Troy as only a “pioneer of crunk.” But that title gives little credit to his longevity in the game despite little crossover success. Case in point: Pastor Troy made hardcore southern Hip-Hop before it became popular to do so, paving the road to success so many of today’s Southern Hip-Hop mainstream artists enjoy. Forever boisterous, Troy’s style has always straddled the fence between introspective gangsterism (due to his religious upbringing) and ruthless Dirty South hustler. Although he released three albums in 2006 alone (Stay Tru, By Choice or By Force and the Criminal Manne collabo album Atlanta 2 Memphis), Troy resurfaces this year with his ninth studio album Tool Muziq (Money and the Power/SMC) (not counting his 2005 Hood Hustlin’ mixtape series). On this release, Troy returns with a slew of trunk-rattling joints made for riding dirty or clubbin’. Notable Southern producers Shawty Redd, DJ Squeeky and Drumma Boy do all the knob-turning on this LP, providing eerie keyboards over hard kicks and snares for the majority of the album. Zaytoven’s brash “That’s the Move” finds Troy stuntin’ on haters and is perfect for blasting on the way to the club while the futuristic “Digital” (feat. Fabo of D4L) is set to become a strip club anthem above and below the Mason-Dixie. Other highlights include the arrogant “Still Lookin” and the self-produced, rock-influenced “I’m Down”. Longtime P. Troy fans get treated to an appearance by legendary Hitman Sammy Sam on the gem of the album, “In My Truck With Me,” where Sam snubs, “Ain’t the king/I’m the legend/Y’all better not forget it/And I ain’t the only geeked-up ni*gga with a Chevy.” Troy adds his two cents worth stating, “A Vietnam vet/A purple heart for battle/And I’m the only king around this m*thaf*ckin’ castle/ The king?/Did I say king?!?/ I meant the champ/And DSGB is the m*thaf*ckin camp.”Haters also get chin-checked on the funky, bass-driven “No Money”, where Troy affirms there’s no excuse for having short paper when there’s paper to be chased.With its head-nodding, club-ready production and Pastor Troy’s brash delivery, Tool Muziq is an ideal addition to any Down South aficionado’s rap collection. At a time when Southern Hip-Hop is now accepted by the mainstream, Tool Muziq is an ear-pleasing reminder of the South’s thriving underground scene.