Pack FM: Punchlines and BK Bounce
- Words: Max Herman
"It's time for Brooklyn to step it up again," declares outspoken MC PackFM direct from the noisy streets of his BK 'hood. "The grime that we had has been lost. Everybody's trying to be pretty now."
More concerned with making listeners' necks snap than being a fashion plate, Pack is ardently helping to resurrect the raw energy that Brooklyn-proud groups like Audio Two and M.O.P. brought to hip-hop. "I'm just trying to bring that bounce back," says Pack. "Everybody's following trends–I'm just trying to represent what's natural to me."
Pack is a natural-born showman. Coming up in the NYC battle circuit of the late '90s, this punchline king has long had the opportunity to flaunt his larger-than-life presence. "When I used to get on stage, I wouldn't just go on there and kick rhymes," explains Pack. "It was just about making fun of somebody and being really funny and entertaining." Part of his showmanship once included wrapping up his competitor Apathy in police caution tape in the middle of a battle.
Pack knows how to have a good time on stage, and his first singles, like "Freestyle Marathon," laid his humor onto wax with amusing one-liners like "I'll call you up collect and battle you for your phone bill." But almost nine years after first heading into the studio, he finally gets a bit more serious with his long-overdue debut album, WhutduzFMstand4? Here, Pack doesn't bother battling imaginary MCs. Instead, he utilizes his cunning sense of humor when necessary and gets solemn just as often–all atop a medley of internationally flavored beats from his QN5 crewmates.
"I wanted to make sure that this was an album that you could take and listen to every single day as you walk out the house," Pack says of his debut. "There's something on there for every mood you're in. It's all shit that I went through that I know people can relate to some way or another, whether it's funny or sad–it's just real life. And there's a way to make life entertaining without being depressing."
A prime sample of Pack's reality-based entertainment is "Excuses," in which he fesses up about the outlandish lies he tells to cover up for always being late ("Baby' know I'm late/but check it out/I can explain/I had to rescue a baby from under a train"). But sometimes Pack is simply out to get a crowd moving, as on the rowdy, Bollywood-tinged single "STOMP."
"You gotta really just give people what they want and what they need," says Pack. And, if you ask him, everybody could use a little more Brooklyn bounce right about now.
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