Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing new and emerging MP3s from local talent.
Poison Pen is the type of rapper that other rappers love–an indie hustler with a major-ready, street-hewn wit. The esteemed Bed Stuy rapper has been dropping 12″s and guest spots non-stop for over a decade–his 2001 Landspeed effort “Top Of The Food Chain” b/w “Triskaidekaphobia” is an unstoppable document of early-’00s underground rap, full of lightning-quick boasts and post-Rawkus headbanger beats–and his first proper full-length, The Money Shot (Gold Dust/Red), dropped last Tuesday. The single, “BK’s Fat Boy,” with its push-and-pull DJ Static beat, finally ushers Pen into the Kanye-era. No, he’s not wearing a keffiyeh, but he is trading space with a luscious soul sample ready for its ringtone closeup. He keeps every atom of his gritty rhyme style–a mix of Freeway and UGK–intact. And he’s clearly not scared of the new generation of blog-rappers and their internet game: “Little dudes better get protection from me/Little dudes confuse the internet for the streets/We dole out beatings, can’t control-alt-delete us/When we start poppin’, blockin aint an option.”
How did you come up with the title and concept for “BK’s Fat Boy”?
Honestly, that was pretty much a no-brainer. I’ve never been ashamed of my weight, regardless on how unhealthy it may be. I’m a very confident guy. “Fat Boy” is a term I’ve been hearing since childhood. I have a slew of nicknames. That just happens to be another one.
Tell me about shooting the video.
We just wanted to show the two major things the Poison Pen character is known for: Bedford Stuyvesant and drinking! I didn’t want to do the typical “I’m from the hood” video standing in front of the projects with a bunch of guys looking real menacing for no apparent reason. I showed brownstones. I live in a brownstone. Brownstones are one of the main attributes that give my neighborhood its individuality. As far as the Double Down Saloon in the Lower East Side, well let’s just say I’ve stumbled out of that spot many an evening. I had to give them the plug.
What’s your least favorite thing about promoting music in the internet age?
The internet has made it so easy for any and everyone to make forays into music. It really crowded the game. It makes it more difficult for artists that really work to position themselves correctly. Now consumers have to wade through so much garbage just to get to something remotely decent. In that aspect, the internet has hurt us. Youngsters also use the internet as a conduit to get themselves in all sorts of legal trouble. You go on sites and see these guys talking about crimes they committed and showing guns and all sorts of ridiculous things. Then they say “stop snitching.” You snitched on yourself on YouTube. This is not the street. The street doesn’t have a “www.” in front of it.
What’s your favorite thing about Brooklyn?
That’s an unfair question! The turkey heroes on Nostrand Ave, the house parties in Flatbush, the dice games in Cypress Hill, The Lo-Lifes, Mermaid Ave, Caesar’s Bay, the Wonder Wheel, Broadway Junction, Labor Day, Sunset Park, the cobblestone roads behind the BQE, the projects, the brownstones, the tenements, Bed Stuy. The list can go on for years. It’s home.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 11, 2009