Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pack FM - IFHR: Album Review

A concept album from talented underground emcee Pack FM. Comes with an optional package deal that includes t-shirts, stickers and a damn "i hate rappers" dartboard. But will the music live up to the hype?


Each track feels like Pack is eager to prove a point. He comes direct with blunt lyricism focusing on his life as an emcee. It seems Pack has a lot to get off his chest with this album. Promoters and rappers bare the brunt of his anger. However, there is a confidence to his lyrics that show he enjoys the disconnection between himself and lesser artists. He has no plans to unite the hip-hop world, if anything he wants to distance himself from the industry. His history of battle rapping comes to the forefront on this LP.

There is a defiant nature to this work. Pack is refusing to give into the demands of success in 2010. When LL Cool J released “Mama Said Knock You Out” the lyrics were angry yet there was a joy in which LL rapped, happily knowing he was destroying his opponents. That spirit is in IFHR and it makes for above all a fun battle record. Expect some disses and skilful rhyming patterns from a man who likes to do things his own way. There are little surpises to be had but plenty of consistancy from Pack FM.


Production is handled by several different underground producers. The album opens with a skit which sees Pack in a support group talking about his frustrations with rappers. “IFHR” is the first record on the album, a back drop of guitars and drums complement Pack’s quick-firing lyrics. “Nasty” is the lead single which further incorporates rock elements. While tribal chanting and violins create a dark atmosphere on “Wanna Know”, an album highlight.

Of the opening six songs, three are skits, this gets frustrating when you consider it’s been four years since the last album. They are genuinely funny but it still leaves you wanting more from Pack FM. “Flux Capacitor” is a retro-style beat. Pack raps over little more than boom bap drums and electronic samples. The 1980’s hardcore vibes continue with “Take Our Place” which samples the infamous “UFO” by ESG.

Despite the different producers, the sounds stay cohesive. Most songs feature old-school hip hop drums and raw guitar solos. “Sire” is a genuine moment of great hip-hop from Pack FM. The album ends with a song called “I Fucking Like Everything”, a typically funny song which talks about how Pack isn’t as negative as you might think. This is followed by a skit in keeping with the album’s themes and a bonus track “Absolutely Positive”.



After a long wait, IFHR is a decent addition to the Pack FM catalogue. It is commendable that he has no intentions of watering down his style to suit new trends. If you love battle records you won’t be disappointed with this effort. However, I would say this is strictly for fans familiar with his music. If your new to Pack start with “whatduzfmstand4”, then work your way onto this.


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