There’s a real sense of restlessness on this new record from Houston rapper Fat Tony and producer Taydex. As the title implies, Tony is on defiant form here, his lyrics portraying him as a man determined to make something good for himself and his family regardless of the difficulty of contemporary American life. His delivery is perky and energetic, his words characterised by both bravado and tenderness, peppered with satisfyingly kitschy one-liners (“You might think that I’m Keanu how I can’t slow down” [‘Kickin’ In’]; “Feeling sexier than ever / I was Poe like Allen Edgar til I had to step it up another level” [‘Best Believe’]) as Taydex’s arrangements fidget and flutter around him.
Yet for all the exuberance and resolve Fat Tony and Taydex displays throughout, the best moments of I Will Make A Baby In This Damn Economy are its subtlest; the points at which they both allow one another a little more room to breathe. ‘Don’t Tap In / Contusion’, a collaboration with noise artist B L A C K I E, drops the pace a little, allowing shadowy atmospherics and stalking beats to seep through the cracks; ‘Jasper, TX’, an appropriately measured, mordaunt elegy for the victims of racial violence set to a sensitive, painterly instrumental. Although this is never less than a compelling, explorative and genuinely fun record, it can sometimes feel so buoyant with ideas and ebullience that it won’t stay still long enough for the listener to properly grab hold of it; when it does intermittently pause for breath, there are glimmers of something really special here.
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