On I'll Call You Tomorrow II, Joey Fatts remains the same upstart hardened by his Long Beach hustles as when he dropped its predecessor in March 2016 — which is both good and bad, in equal measure.
A complex lyricist, he is not, but Fatts' raw talent is what endears him to listeners in the sequel's opening half, whether he's reasserting his street cred on the Cali-smoove opener "All My Life" or memorializing friends lost during his efforts to take his hood tales from the block to the studio on "Still Down." But it's on "Everybody Knows" that the Long Beach MC flashes the most promise, as he and kindred spirit Curren$y flaunt the fruits of their grinds in what will hopefully mark just the second instalment of an equally prosperous partnership.
As the 10-track project wears on, though, Fatts' simple game descends into unadulterated laziness, with his patented slow flow only aggravating his shortcomings. A half-assed verse from Playboy Carti renders "Every Little Thing" little more than three minutes of hedonistic filler, while "Beast" sees Fatts rehashing tried and true boasts and living up to the track title in only the most primitive sense by vowing to "keep on shittin' on y'all."
Fatts has sporadically proven he can shine if he shares the studio with artists capable of bringing the best out of him, from Curren$y to 9th Wonder, but he has yet to learn that one can be defined — and elevated — by the company they keep. (Cutthroat Records)