Review Summary: From the skate park to the club.
Longevity is something relatively uncommon in mainstream hip-hop. So I wasn’t too surprised when Berkeley rap quarter The Pack dropped off the face of the earth not long after their hit single “Vans” was no longer in airplay circulation. Since then, Lil B has risen to fame, Young L has improved a whole lot, in addition to becoming much more creative, and the entire group has dissimilated stylistically. On “Vans”, member Lil Uno raps “Sole kinda thick, like a big booty chick/A ‘big booty chick’, yea that’s what I said,” as if he actually regarded sex as a taboo, which is the complete opposite of how most rappers approach the subject. But, during their four year hiatus, The Pack members got older. They’re no longer kids. Apparently their respective testosterone levels are raging, and it shows. They’re no longer rapping about skate culture, and they’re certainly no longer “based” (as evidenced by Young L’s claim that “[he’s] got his Guccis on.”) No, partying and anonymous sex are the focuses here. Thusly the transition from their seminal album Based Boys
to their sophomore effort Wolfpack Party
is that of one from the skate park to the club.
The Pack has made a conscious effort to improve their lyrics. Nevertheless, they’ve failed (miserably, at that). Just peep the chorus on “Red Light” – “In the club, girl lookin’ over here/’cause she see me shinin’ like a chandelier/Yea my ice glow bright like a headlight/She miss a round and get ran like a red light
.” With an attitude reminiscent to that of 2 Live Crew (read: sex-crazed), and a sound restructuring with influences derived from dirty south club rap, electropop, crunk, and booty bass, they sound more like a Miami party rap outfit than a Northern Cali swag group. Not to say that’s a bad thing, because Young L has created a rather great, yet, consistent, slew of synth-heavy, electronic instrumentals here. For example, the thumping, electronic bass and metallic drums of “Bass Remix III” help create an infectious opening track, and the fun, scaling claves of “Booty Bounce” make for a lively, entertaining song.
Despite all their enthusiasm and charisma, The Pack fails here because, amongst other things, the minimal involvement of rap insurgent Lil B, grotesque one-dimensionality, and highly unnecessary tracks such as “Make Me C*m”, “T*tt*es”, and “Sex On The Beach” not only constitute downright poor filler, but just awful tracks, not to mention wastes of good beats. A slight improvement from their previous ventures, Wolfpack Party
has potential, but goes to waste largely due to shoddy lyricism, overly long run time, and filler. Unless you’re a kid, or just looking for something to party to, stay away.