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Murderers & Robbers (Triple Six Mafia Presents)

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Album Review

When visiting Memphis, out-of-towners will inevitably head toward Graceland to commune with the ghost of Elvis Presley, maybe tour the legendary Sun Studios, and later take a stroll down historic Beale Street. Few tourists venture close to the north side of the Bluff City, though, and after listening to the haunting "North, North," the defining track of Project Pat's "underground album," Murderers & Robbers, even most natives would be scared to death to take a ride on Pat's turf. An affiliate of Memphis rap pioneers Three 6 Mafia, Project Pat (born Patrick Houston) grew up on the north side of the city, a hard-luck area cratered by poverty where crime is casual and violence is frequent. This is the world outlined lyrically by Pat on his independently released second album, Murderers & Robbers. The brutal lyrics of the nightmarish "This Ain't No Game" are enforced by a sparse, dark-hued instrumental track. The chilling "Bitch Smackin Killa" is a tale of betrayal and violence, a crime where the police will respond too late to do much more than pull a body bag out of the trunk. The title track uses the chant of "murderer" like a hard rock guitarist will use a recurring riff, while the dead-end tale of woe, "Easily Executed," provides an antique feel, sounding like a slightly scratchy record in the background while Pat slings rhymes. Although no producer is listed on Murderers & Robbers — the CD packaging looks for all the world like an illicit bootleg — the songs were most likely shaped by Three 6 Mafia masterminds Juicy J (Pat's brother) and DJ Paul. The production is deft and imaginative, heightening the paranoia and claustrophobic nature of Pat's rhymes, making Murderers & Robbers a solid representative of the Dirty South sound, heavily influenced by the hardcore style of Houston's Geto Boys. If the pornographic sex, random violence, and hard-edged lyrics of Murderers & Robbers seem too exaggerated to be real, a look at the newspaper headlines will remind listeners otherwise. Only in Project Pat's Memphis could gang members confined to the county jail hold gladiatorial battles between inmates, brutal clashes that left many participants crippled for life. Gangsta rap doesn't get any more starkly realistic than Murderers & Robbers. ~ Rev. Keith A. Gordon, Rovi


Born: 1972 in Memphis, TN

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Of the many hardcore rappers to emerge from Memphis during the late '90s, Project Pat stood tall amid his peers. His affiliation with the Three 6 Mafia collective introduced him to many listeners, especially after he was featured on the group's hit song "Sippin' on Some Syrup" in 2000. Yet Project Pat (born Patrick Houston, brother to Three 6 Mafia founder Juicy J) made his mark on much of America with a hit song of his own a year later, "Chickenhead." The song -- which features production by Juicy...
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Murderers & Robbers (Triple Six Mafia Presents), Project Pat
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