Over here, we love Fat Tony. That’s no secret. So every time he drops something I’m on it immediately. With Exotica it was no different. From the first single “Feeling Groovy” to “Je Ne Sais Quoi” I was very excited. Wake Up already solidified that 2020 was Tony’s year and he let us know that he wasn’t letting up off the gas pedal yet. Tony was about to deliver some new fire and I was not disappointed.

Right from the jump on “What Wake You Up” Tony demonstrates the immaculate storytelling that will be on display for the rest of the album. Detailing different scenarios of what different people wake up to each day. Reassuring that no matter what you’re going through, you’re still around and that’s a reason to be glad. Then, the god Bun B comes in to let us know that no matter how big the setback, you have the strength to bounce back. A very solid opener, that energy transitions right into “Special Girl.” The character in this story really really loves his girl. No one can compare to her and he’s gonna make the world know. Now, “Gambling Man” might be my second favorite on this album. It details the story of man with a serious gambling addiction. No matter how much people around him try to help him he goes right back into his addiction. Even after he’s tried so many different way to get money nothing seems to work, but he never gives up. Tony’s world-building blends beautifully with GLDNEYE’s production. The bassline, the synth pads, the horns and the guitar man! Whew, it’s impossible to not bob your head to it. Okay, now to my absolute favorite track on the album: “Je Ne Sais Quoi.” I remember when this first dropped I texted Tony fanning out on how much I loved it. Everything about it is perfect. Tony’s flow is mesmerizing, his wordplay is incredible and the storytelling is so visual that you picture everything what he’s talking about. Plus, the beat? Oh my god the beat. The intro where the accordion does it’s thing then it blends in with the strings, then during the verses the bassline introduces itself and takes the steering wheel. What I love is, “je ne sais quoi” is something that cannot be described easily, but Tony said fuck that and takes three minutes to perfectly describe how good this beat is. Tony’s flow on “Jeremy Bixby” is so fucking good oh my god dude. Tony tells the story of Jeremy Bixby, who was the shit in his mind and kept his head in the books. He does everything by the book, but when he tries to run for office but loses by a landslide and it ruins his whole life. Tony tells the story so well that you actually feel really bad for Jeremy after he loses. That applies to every song on the album though, Tony is such a masterful storyteller that you’re pulled into the worlds that he creates. “Back In The Saddle” is a great way to end off this storybook. Tony talks about various people who tried something new, but encountered some roadblocks, but they never let it get to them. Instead they brushed it off and kept trying and eventually found success. He does over another infectious beat by GLDNEYE. There’s a chopped up vocal run, groovy horns, and synth pads. That’s a perfect combo.

This album was well worth the wait. Be sure to thank Tony and GLDNEYE for gracing us with yet another masterpiece. Then after you do that go listen to Double Dragon because why not? There’s a Bun B feature on there and Tony and GLDNEYE are spazzing as usual. Then, after that go read my first interview with Tony, I did that when I was 18. Still wild to think about. Thanks Tony.

Follow Tony: @fattonyrap

Follow GLDNEYE: @gldn_eye

Follow DESHAUN: @deshaunstar

Follow BUMMER: @bummerworld/@thebummermag