Lil' Troy: Sittin Fat Down South
Sittin Fat Down South (Short Stop/Universal)
Reviewed by Christopher Gray, Fri., Oct. 1, 1999
Sittin Fat Down South (Short Stop/Universal)Hip-hop heads tend to write off Southside rap as bangin' beats backing tired tales of ballin' and booty. There's a kernel of truth to that, but if hip-hop's mission is still to "move the crowd," nothing gets those heads nodding and asses shaking quite like that rolling thunder of bass and breakbeats Southern mixmasters specialize in. That would be the "Fat" in the title of this Chronic-style Short Stop Records sampler, as producer Bruce "Grim" Rhodes slathers on the low end thicker than Southeast Texas mosquitoes. Lyrically, there's no new ground broken here (sample cuts: "Thugs Niggas," "Diamonds & Gold"), but a cross-section of H-Town MCs (Scarface, Willie D, Fat Pat, Big Ced, Ardis) keeps things fluid without reverting to cliché any more than their better-known New Orleans or Miami brethren. Bad Co. contributes some down-home R&B crooning on "Ain't No Luv," "Still a Bitch," and "Rollin'," and the posse cut "Wanna Be a Baller" -- a surprise regional hit this spring -- is at least twice as anthemic as anything Will Smith has come with lately. Still, Sittin' Fat Down South's biggest curveball is Scarface making like Big Daddy Kane on "Another Head Put to Rest," vividly illustrating, in true old-school style, the unfortunate fate befalling those who sleep on the Southside's skills.