This week’s local album review is The Pookey Tape from local emcee Stik Figa. First off, I’m going to be a little bit bias. Why? Because Top city is where I grew up and I’m going to support anyone coming out of my hometown! With that said, Stik Figa is one of the illest emcee’s to come out of Top city! Stik is so descriptive with his verses and can easily set up the scene!
So, I’ve been listening to this album solidly for about 2 weeks now. I pop it in on the way to work and listen to it on my iPhone. It usually takes me a couple times around before I can really soak it in. First off, shout out to Tony Gaines and Reggie B! Those dudes definitely know how to mix an album down. It sounds crisp, clean, and dynamic. Hard to find producers around here that mix albums down like this!
The first track is called Charlie’s Liquor. The beat comes in with a nice quote from a sample. Good to hear my man Irv da Phenom as a feature! You can tell Stik has made this a personal album from this track alone. Stik reminisces about his youth while making a solid effort to explain the disparities of Top city and his environment. It’s a good positive message and Stik easily gets it done on the hook!
The second track called Knowhere is crazy! Surgeon General produced the track and it’s got that boom-bap Jazzy sound often missing from Hip-Hop today! It’s a laid back track with Stik flowing in the pocket. The hook is nice too. You can tell Stik has improved with his detail within the rhymes. It’s funny that he talks about Topeka in this way: might not ever know where it is, but it’s home to the people that live there.
Back of Ya Neck is crazy funky! Reggie B always making those funky beats though. This is a fun song for the most part. Don’t always have to be serious on a song and you can tell Stik is just having fun. Sly word play makes this a feel good track. The hook isn’t as infectious as some of the others on the album, but it really doesn’t matter when you got that beat!
November First is another Jazzy track. Tony Gaines is bringing the goods on the beat! Stik sets up the scene fast, talking about getting that cash while avoiding the negativities. Feezi Cash, the feature on this song, sounds refreshing to hear. His flows meld nicely with Stik. The hook is what really makes this track work so well. It’s so infectious and makes the track ride along nicely.
Back to a Reggie B beat! Let Me Know beat isn’t quite as infectious as Back of Ya Neck, but Reggie is killing it with his voice! It’s nice to hear him featured on the hook. This is a song for the ladies, and Stik definitely shows off his game. I’d like to hear Stik rhyme a little more on this track, but I can’t be mad when Reggie B is singing!
The Book of Chad has a real thematic sound to it. Which is perfect because Stik is really bringing his own personal experiences to the table. This to me is his most personal track and you can tell he has a lot of emotion. It’s sort of a track for those haters out there, but it’s much more than that. He gets deeper on ya and puts you up on what he’s been through to get where he is.
Chicot County Summer is an interesting beat. It’s got that high-pitched sample with a soulful feel to it. The hook is killing it on this track! Stik is reminiscing on the verses while also comparing injustices of the world. It’s a little on the long side and the track at times seems to go all over the place with structure. But overall, Stik keeps it together with a nice flow.
Which gets me to the last track, Pookey’s Theme. This beat is funky, Jazzy, and has some Rock elements to it. At times the beat almost seems too energetic for Stiks verse. Stik still got that unmistakable flow though. He’s really showing off on this as he describes his personality in a nutshell. Good way to end the album though with this type of energy!
This is what true Hip-Hop is about! Stik represents Top City and the Midwest nicely on this project. The Pookey Tape is almost too good to simply be a mixtape. I said that right, with a few more tracks this could have been a commercial album for Stik. But, he’s willing to let us download for free. Can’t wait to hear what he has in store for his next project. The album is definitely worth listening to and I would put it up against any mainstream mixtape coming out right now. Stik is in his own lane and doing what he does best: being creative!
I give this album 4/5!