Rapper Big Pooh
Fat Boy Fresh Vol. 3: Happy Birthday, Thomas
For Members Only
After a long, hot summer, this month saw Rapper Big Pooh drop his sixth solo album Fat Boy Fresh, Vol. 3: Happy Birthday Thomas, the third in his Fat Boy Fresh franchise. The Virginia native and Little Brother member chases 2012’s Fat Boy Fresh 2: Est. 1980, with a sonically distinct 13-track joint, establishing Pooh as a prolific and current contributor to the scene.
The super brief intro “Uncle Thomas” kicks it off, alluding to the given name of the rapper, before getting serious with “Don’t Change,” with its solid refrain and flow, backed by soothing vocals.
Pooh also wins the award for the most unexpected Life of Brian quote, appearing appropriately in “Follow My Lead” (“You don’t need to follow me. You don’t need to follow anybody. You’ve got to think for yourself. You’re all individuals.”). The skits on this album are also an added bonus, as Pooh provides a host of memorable birthday testimonials from us everyday folk. Perhaps my favorite is “26 Shots” where a young man shares his birthday memories of attempting 26 shots on his 26th birthday…“Turned out that I peed in the bed, thinking I was in the bathroom. Yeah, not a good look.”
“Gold Chain” has some soulful samples colored by abrasive rhymes. “My Homegirl Friend” revisits the popular theme of a night out featuring too much alcohol.
“Gone Fishin’” finds the rapper crooning a bit himself, amidst a percussive flow, reminding the listener just a bit of Biz Markie circa “Just a Friend.” In “Gone Fishin’,” the protagonist laments the pitfalls of online dalliances, imploring his electronic love interest to finally meet him in person, via any means necessary (“You best call William Shatner.”).
“Club In The City” brings it back to the album’s birthday theme, injecting some horns whilst warning of the perils of mixing booze. Be sure to catch Jared Evan on the similarly themed “Happy Birthday (feat. Jared Evan).” “Tacos” is a dreamy number narrating the shittiest birthday date ever.
Closing things up is “The Thirst (feat. Chaundon),” a wild departure from the preceding songs. Note Pooh’s adeptness at making just a bit of electronica work in this instance. Entirely produced by The Mighty DR, Fat Boy Fresh Vol. 3: Happy Birthday, Thomas and Pooh deliver an excursion well worth your time and money that is both cohesive and sound, as well as fun.