This collaboration is completely saturated in the confidence and dynamics of these two vastly different artists. Nigerian-American rapper Fat Tony provides lyrics that he delivers with a sting in Wake Up, complemented by producer Taydex’s colorful and turbulent mixing. The record is a message to Fat Tony’s fans that he isn’t going anywhere but up and to his critics and the fake influences in his life that why would he “need friends like these when you got enemies?”

This is Fat Tony’s fifth full album and Taydex’s debut appearance as a producer, but this isn’t their first time working together. The pair shared their brainchildren in Fat Tony’s LP MacGregor Park, an album that expanded the rapper’s sound, with tracks “Swervin” and “Ride Home.” After that collaboration, the rapper immediately invited Taydex to create an EP together. However, as the sessions continued, and the sounds kept coming they created an album that demonstrated Fat Tony’s evolving lyricism and Taydex’s masterful assembly: Wake Up.

Fat Tony is not definitely not ashamed to praise himself and his hard work, marveling over the fact that he has reached enough success to release a grand total of five albums. For example, in the third track “Big Ego” he says, “You know you’ve never met a man like me in your whole life.” In multiple songs, he reminds listeners that he is nowhere near finished with making music and elevating his own style. The record’s lead single “Godly,” featuring Negashi Armada, says “Not worried about s**t, especially them/ I got bigger plans to dive in.” The track is also a prime example of the intense conceptual and instrumental range that the album offers. Fat Tony is also very self-reflective in the record and patterns his storytelling=type delivery in tracks “Big Ego,” featuring Sophia Pfister and Dai Burger, and “Magnifique.” The most hard-hitting track on the record is the self-titled song, “Wake Up.” Accompanied by a sample from an extremely passionate pastor’s church sermon, the track is compelling with its legit ear-splitting bass and the rapper’s rapid-fire bars. Listeners are demanded that they “wake up out yo sleep” on a repetitive note; that success is never going to reach them if they sleep their life away.

Wake Up is self-glorifying for both Fat Tony and Taydex. Their respective styles of lyricism and mixing have surpassed all of their previous work in this record. The pair pushed themselves past their comfort zones and are extremely unapologetic about it.

Recommended If You Like: Injury Reserve, JPEGMAFIA, Danny Brown, slowthai, A$AP Rocky
Recommended Tracks: 3 (Big Ego) 5 (Run It Up) 6 (Omaha) 8 (Cut That)
Do Not Play: None
Written by Caroline McCone on 02/19/2020