Nearly 18 months after DJ Dister enlisted Phat Kat for a ditty on Consistent Knockouts, the pair have taken their partnership 10 tracks further with The S.O.S. Project.
Any doubts as to whether Kat has softened with age are obliterated on the album's opener "S.O.S. (So Old School)," and he needn't resort to any lyrical bells or whistles to assure old and new listeners he's street certified over a bass line as grimy as his stomping grounds: "I don't fuck with Instagram, bitch, fuck them pictures / That shit'll get you set up and killed much quicker." The wordsmith's patented seedy portraits abound, but he ditches his calling card on "Revolt for Change," a raw, potent reminder that police brutality is no epidemic-come-lately.
While Dister sets as apt a sonic stage for Kat to get busy on as anyone, S.O.S.' greatest blunder remains its clash between his instrumentals and the collaborative cuts. Every one of the Berlin beatsmith's three solo joints lives up to its name, from "The City" to "Jazz," but their sounds are far too polished for the grit that dominates the rest of the LP, and which has become synonymous with Phat Kat's name.
With Phat Kat's legacy in Detroit's long-prolific underground scene already cemented, consider S.O.S. a worthy, albeit disjointed addition to his 20-year backing of the D. (Below System Records)