Fatlip: the Stoneliest Pun

Ex-Pharcyder rocks the Blue Café, Long Beach, Feb. 10

Performing on a sad day that saw the death of hip-hop producer J Dilla, former Pharcyde member Fatlip appropriately called for a mid-set moment of silence. (After all, Dilla produced key tracks on the Pharcyde’s Labcabincalifornia.) The crowd respectfully obeyed, but when ’Lip launched back into his semi-controlled chaos of slurred raps and self-deprecations, everyone followed suit, including the annoying girl up front who kept grabbing and trying to kiss him. Fatlip’s recently released Thelonliest Punk, a record that seems to have been in the works since 1999’s extraordinary “What’s Up Fatlip?” single, was largely ignored in favor of Pharcyde classics like “Oh, Shit,” “Runnin’,” and “Passin’ Me By,” the latter of which brought a wonderful participatory moment as the crowd filled in the verses for the absent Pharcyde members. The energy began to flag toward the end of the night, and ’Lip looked a bit bewildered as to what he was still doing onstage, but his ODB shtick and “Aw, shucks”-meets-vet-MC demeanor helped to carry the performance. “I heard a rumor that Jay-Z is trying to get the Pharcyde back together,” he exclaimed near the end of his set. Undie-ground snobs catcalled this speculation, but ’Lip simply shrugged. “Aiight, I guess we’re not getting back together then!” That’s okay, Fatlip, you were the best MC in the group anyway. But next time, focus on your own material and leave the Pharcyde classics for the encore.

—Jonah Flicker

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