I first knew Project Pat as the star rapper behind "Chickenhead," which came out when I was in high school and was hugely popular at the time. It was catchy and dark but funny; Pat's distinctive cadence was both easy to rap along with, and seemed to transform a hulking armed robber into an understated comedian: "Bald-head scallywag.../Ain't got no hair in back." He dropped a few albums in the late '90s and early 2000s (his "I Choose You" was the original "International Players Anthem," until Pimp C correctly wagered that with the right salesmanship, the song would be massive). But he spent three years in the federal pen for felony possession of a firearm. (He told us last year that although the policeman caught him with two guns that day, he'd actually had three in the car with him at the time.)
When he got out in 2005, he had a couple years of sustained relevance (never forget "Cause I'm a Playa") until the entire industry collapsed. Since then, he—like basically any regional rap star who could accidentally toss out a platinum record at the beginning of the decade—didn't have much label traction, usually just pushing free mixtapes to keep show prices up.
One exception to that rule was Project Pat's brother, Juicy J. Can't say his recent output is a mark on classic Three 6 Mafia, but nonetheless he's maintained commercial relevance while his peers have become known primarily on the underground circuit. What would it take for Project Pat to follow in his footsteps?
Hopefully, this Mike Will Made It-produced single is the first step. The video dropped last week to little fanfare, but folks need to catch up. With hammering kick drum, Taylor Gang-era Juicy J cosign, Pat's timeless flow, and a Pat-influenced Doe B verse, the song hits harder than basically any commercially feasible rap in 2014 and deserves to make Pat a star once again.