Lil Fame & Termanology
November 2012 brought us many things: a hurricane, a second term president, an abundance of wine and turkey (at least that was my experience) and last, but not least, Lil Fame and Boston buddy Termanology’s collaborative album, Fizzyology.
Kicking things off, “After Midnight” acts as a breathless, alliterative opener for Fizzyology, explaining the dangers of the dark night, and reminding me of something my father told me once when I broke curfew: “I know you aren’t doing anything wrong, but who else you think is out at 3am?” He makes a good point, and as the song explains, it’s the fiends, the Bs, the Cs, the Gs, the snakes in the grass, the Ds, as well as the thieves. All these folks in one place, as, “for the cheese, enemies come out.” Who wouldn’t come out for cheese?
The album’s namesake, “Fizzyology,” is a rather unremarkable stop on the train to “Hustler’s Ringtone (feat. Bun B), a rather braggadocious stop (“I’m so live, I could sell a honey jar to a beehive.” on the way to “The Greatest,” a stop at which we will get off and now end this metaphor.
“The Greatest” is great rhymes over simple beats, brought to us in a stumbling, stuttering fashion courtesy of a simple snare and keys. Revisiting the topic of peril, we hear a harrowing narrative of coming up in the 80s underprivileged, overcoming adversity and shortcomings in medical criminology at the time (“When there wasn’t no CSI, If somebody get shot, Then their body just rot”). It’s not humble, but it’s catchy.
Coming out swinging, “From the Streets” (feat. Freeway), hits hard next. Aggressive and antagonistic, both musically and lyrically, the song boasts “I’m the one putting razors in your baby’s suit.” I’m disinclined to fuck with anyone who finds that an appropriate course of action.
“Play Dirty” (feat. Busta Rhymes & Styles P) has some wordplay worth revisiting, repeating, “My hands stay dirty cuz I play dirty,” in between dropping gems like, “My flow is a ticket to the gun show, front row.” Overall, it delivered less than what I’d hoped for the lineup.
Check out “It’s Easy” for the piano progressions. Likewise, “Too Tough for TV’s” maniacal bass line makes it a worthwhile listen, as well as opening delightfully and inexplicably with, “Motherfucker.”
Changing gears entirely, “Pray for Me” (feat. Kira) is a melodic introspection on living for today, aptly followed by “Not By You’s” aggressive reflection on immortality, “We can all get got, just not by you.”
Where things really get interesting is “Family Ties,” which gets its wonderful hooks into you easily, and effortlessly, almost playfully, raps about some really terrible stuff, including a blended family gone wrong (“I was offended at my pops, who let this bitch sell my Nintendo for some rocks.”), recounting serious dysfunction in the home.
“Lil Ghetto Boy” (feat. Lee Wilson) is a welcome throwback, letting subtle horns and vocals do their thing, before “Thuggathon’s” ominous industrial bass closes things out chaotically.
Overall, Fizzyology is well worth the effort, both in creation and consumption. Time will tell how many times we are compelled to come back to it.