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"PackFM "whutduzFMstand4?" (4/5 Stars)"


Artist: PackFM
Title: whutduzFMstand4?
Rating: ****
Reviewed by: Andrew Kameka

Subterranean vet answers doubters with well-rounded broadcast.

The call for rappers to return to their New York sh*t is growing louder, but not everyone wants to answer. Emerging from Hip-Hop's Mecca with his own ambitious style is the cocksure (pause) PackFM. The Brooklyn-native avoids the labels placed on NYC's current MC's, but there is one brand he can't escape-his own. Even before his group Extended Famm debuted with 2002's Happy F*ck You Songs, PackFM's on-stage moniker has raised more questions than The Da Vinci Code. Fans and journalists keep asking what the last two letters in his name mean, but inquiring minds will be at ease after hearing his appropriately-titled debut album, whutduzFMstand4? (QN5/Avatar).

Mr. FM packs the confidence and lyricism that New York MC's are known for, but he does not subscribe to any other notion of how he should sound. The mystery man treads his own path and seems uninhibited on the literally ground-breaking "Stomp". His boastful lyrics and hard-hitting punchlines over a Middle-Eastern influenced beat should connect with both backpackers and club-goers alike. Forget being on his New York sh*t; PackFM is on some other sh*t.

The QN5 stable of in-house producers, including Elite, Deacon the Villain, Domingo, Kno, and Tonedeff, gives whutduzFMstand4? a balance between consistency and variety. Tone channels the upbeat swing of Cab Calloway on "Suzie", while the graffiti-appreciative "Click, Clack, Spray" features a shadowy setting courtesy of Deacon. "I Can't Win" is one of the rare occasions that the MC-producer combination fizzles. Elite's dramatic creation deserves more than predictable rhymes about struggling to escape industry politics. Topic woes also appear on "Excuses" when iCon the Mic King and FM try to justify being late for work, dates with girlfriends, and studio sessions. The song is neither clever nor funny, so the duo should come up with a few reasons to explain this misstep.

Listeners will continue speculating about what "FM" stands for because Pack refuses to answer the question. On the title track, he asks why people focus on his name rather than his message, rapping, "I find it hard to do better when I'm giving you my heart and all you ask about is two letters." The display of vulnerability is a respectable change from the battle MC that listeners mistakenly assume him to solely be.

whutduzFMstand4? shows PackFM as an MC capable of capturing both the audience's attention and imagination. Overall, the mix of pensive and cocky rhymes mesh well with the stirring beats, making this debut an intriguing riddle. Hip-Hop fans may not discover what "FM" stands for, but at least they will know what the man behind the name represents. The album proves that the search for an answer can be more rewarding than finding one. -


- whutduzFMstand4?
:: LP - QN5 Music [2006]

- Happy Fuck You Songs w/ Extended F@mm
:: EP - QN5 Music [2002]

- "Click Clack & Spray"
- Ecko Unlmtd/Traffic [2006]

- "STOMP" w/ The Last Emperor and Many Styles
:: QN5 Music/Freshchest Records [2005]

- "Basix" w/ Tonedeff and DJ JS1
:: Bomb Hiphop/Ground Original [2004]

- "Forevershine" w/ J.U.I.CE., DJ JS1 and Substantial
:: QN5 Music/Third Earth Music [2003]

- "Extra" w/ Kwote Scriptures and iCON the Mic King
:: The Lost Link [2003]

- "Most High - Live From New York" w/ The Plague
:: (French Release) [2002]

- "Soul Searchin" w/ Dutch Massive
:: Game Plan Records (UK Release) [2002]

- "Arrogant" w/ Substantial, Tonedeff and Rise
:: Fat Beats Records [2002]

- "This Means War" w/ iCON the Mic King
:: Indieground Rekkids [2002]

- "Freestyle Marathon" w/ Wordsworth and Rise
:: Bronx Science Records [2001]

- "Lifestyles of the Poor wit' a Fortune" w/ Chris Dubbs, O*Asiatic and Benjamin Hooks
:: Ope Entertainment [1998]

- Most Underrated w/ Slug and Brother Ali
(Project also features Non Phixion, Immortal Technique, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Canibus)
::QN5 Music/Koch [2006]

- Asterisk Four
(Project also feature: Masta Ace, Sean Price, Copywrite, Poison Pen, Supastition, Pumpkinhead)
::QN5 Music/Koch [2006]
- Marc Ecko's Gettin' Up Soundtrack
(Project also features Talib Kweli, Rakim, Pharoah Monche, Rhymefest and RJD2)
::Atari [2006]

- Drugs Liquor Sex and Cigarettes w/ Jean Grae
(Project also features: MF Grimm, Slug, C Rayz Walz and Breez Evahflowin)
:: Parallel Thought/Day By Day Entertainment [2005]

- Dub-L's Day of the Mega Beast w/ Professor X, Jemini the Gifted One, MF Grimm Wind and Breeze, Bash and more.
(Project also features: C Rayz Walz, Rahzel, DJ JS1 and Breez Evahflowin)
:: Day by Day Entertainment [2004]

-Audio Technician w/ Tonedeff
(Project also features: Immortal Technique, Akrobatik and Rahzel)
:: Bomb Hip-Hop/Ground Original [2004]

- A League of Their Own Vol.2 w/ Tonedeff, CunninLynguists, Mecca and Session
(Project also features: Camp Lo, Planet Asia and Evidence)
::Grit Records [2004]

- Asterisk Thtee
(Project features: Last Emperor, Bad Seed, Cunninlynguists, Tonedeff and Wordsworth)
:: QN5 Music [2004]

- Featured Material Vol.3
:: Independent Release - FMaina iNc.[Summer 2004]

- Asterisk Two
(Project also features: CunninLynguists, Tonedeff, Bad Seed and Pumpkinhead)
:: QN5 Music [2003]

- Back To School w/ Breez Evahflowin
(Project also features: KRS-One, Wordsworth and Esoteric)
:: TD3 Productions [2003]

- Featured Material Vol.2
:: Independently Released - FMania iNc.[2003]

-Eddie Ill & DL "A Long Rhyme Coming" w/ Tonedeff, Substantial, Ocean and Rok One [2003]

- Designated Hitlist
(Project also features: Pacewon, Mobb Deep, and Jedi Mind Tricks)
:: Elemental Magazine [2003]

- Gang Green w/ The Plague
(Project also features: Inspectah Deck, Talib Kweli, Bad Seed, Pumpkinhead and Jin)
:: Independently Released [2003]

- Ground Origina Level 1 w/ Substantial, Tonedeff and Rise
(Project also features: KRS-One, Royce Da 5'9", C Rayz Walz, Masta Ace and Planet Asia)
:: Fat Beats Records [2003]

- Live From New York Vol.1
(Project also features: Rakim, Talib Kweli, Freeway and Jin)
:: (French Release) [2002]

- DJ Kool Kid Hood Legends Vol.6 [2002]

- DJ Kool Kid Hood Legends Vol.7. w/ Poison Pen [2002]

- The Spice w/ Uncle T, Tonedeff and iCON the Mic King
:: Arrakis Records [2002]

- Asterisk
(Project also features: Tonedeff, KRS-One, Wordsworth and Rise)
:: QN5 Music [2002]

- Hyphen w/ Substantial, Wordsworth, Rise, A.L. Skillz, Wiseguy and Tonedeff
:: QN5 Music/Yosumi Records [2001]

- Featured Material Vol.1
:: Independently Released - FMania iNc. [2001]

- StrongHoldin w/ Tonedeff, Lou Cipher, and Manifest
(Project also features: C Rayz Walz, Breez Evahflowin, Poison Pen, Rise and Akrobatik)
:: StrongHold [2001]

- The Next 24
(Project also features: Royce Da 5'9", Ali Vegas, Wordsworth and Tonedeff)
:: 24HourMC/Essential Entertainment/Adidas [2000]

- Eddie Ill & DL "The Time Has Come" w/ Eddie Brok, Esoteric and Rok One [1999]

-Fuk Dat
:: Schack FIlms [2003]

- Freestyle (The Art of Rhyme)
:: Palm Pictures [2005]

-Underground Masters Vol.1
:: BHP [2005]

-End of The Weak DVD
:: EOW [2005]

- FMakalishus DVD
:: QN5 Music [2006]

I F*cking Hate Rappers w/ Domingo
EP - QN5 Music [Spring 2008]

Man vs. Machine w/ DJ JS1, Rahzel, Tonedeff, Mecca and Session
(Project also features: Aesop-Rock, C Rayz Walz, Everlast, J Live, and Masta Ace)
Compilation LP - Fat Beats Records [Summer 2008]



Futuristic Mastermind? Female Magnet? Fairly Magnificent? Freestyle Majesty? While the world ponders the meaning behind the initials attached to the end of PackFMs moniker, after the release of his debut solo album, whutduzFMstand4?, FM will stand for Finally Makin it.

Its not everyday that an artist can release his debut solo album already embracing the title of legend. PackFM has set stages on fire in the fierce New York battleground and beyond for over to a decade. With his off-the-top tactics and knack for clever punchlines, PackFM became the MC to battle and the MC to lose against. Who would have thought his career of impromptu metaphors began 15 years ago in front of his television?

"I saw A Tribe Called Quests Check the Rime and just literally copied Q-Tips entire verse and just put my name in his place", he fondly recalls. "From then on I just started writing my own rhymes." Spitting lyrical graffiti by day and Krylon-induced tagging by night, the name PackFM was born. Having attended the Fame-renowned LaGuardia High School, PackFM, then a rookie to Hip-Hop, used his mic skills to win his classmates over in ciphers. Worthy opponents were scarce, yet everyone wanted to witness his raw talent. A rebellious spirit with a genius IQ, PackFM cut unchallenging classes to focus on his music and ultimately received his G.E.D. Pack then attended Brooklyn College, where the focus of his career changed. "I wasnt focused on rapping, I had a radio show. I got a lot of connects through the people whod send me records to play, he recounts. I knew a lot of people at labels." PackFMs record show led him to establish a relationship with 88HipHop that brought him back to the battleground face-to-face with friend-of-a-friend, Poison Pen.

"I was thinking I was so nice", he jokes, so yeah I lost that battle. Despite his defeat, independent label mogul O-Asiatic saw the potential in Pack and thus began his recording career. The first song released by PackFM, Hit List was submitted to Hot 97s Home Jams show and was immediately put into rotation. Its always a good sign in the career of an MC when his first recorded single reaches the top Hip-Hop radio station in the tri-state area. Still, PackFM continued to establish his career as a battle MC.

Driven by justified ego, Pack attended every Hip-Hop show he could find and battled for either free admission or an opportunity to perform. Lyrics became his currency, which left him a verbal millionaire. One such witness was fellow battleground kingpin Tonedeff, who met PackFM at the 2000 Fat Beats Battle. Unbeknownst to the both of them that they would become business partners, the two battled for the first and last time at the Source Unsigned Hype battle that same year. The genesis of QN5 Music began.

The baby blue family ties that bound the independent label QN5 Music marked a milestone in PackFMs journey. PackFM and Substantial had a former group named PackyStan, Mr. Mecca knew both Tonedeff and Pack, Session met Pack on the underground circuit. It was more than just six degrees of separation. QN5 became the musical family that nurtured PackFM and allowed him to hone his skills beyond the platform.

In 2003, the crew collectively released Happy F*ck You Songs under the name Extended Famm and received countless critical acclaim. Despite the slim record sales, the most important aspect of not only EFamm, but QN5 Music, was the chemistry on stage. Anyone who witnessed a QN5 show saw the artisan army in their own world, with PackFM at the center of the universe. "Everyone knows when Im on stage, its the only time Im truly happy", he explains. After the success of Extended Famm, the individual members began penning their solo efforts. PackFM did the same, but took it a step further.

Reflecting on his accolades as a battle MC: Braggin Rites champion, 24 Hour MC Battle winner (featured in XXL), a spot on MTVs Hip-Hop Week, among many others, PackFM made a life-changing decision. He decided to walk away from the battleground, proudly donning his crown, and elevate his craft to the very next level.

Days before the QN5 Megashow in 2005, PackFM twisted his ankle and performed at the show in the center of the audience with a cane. The passion and the fire caught the ears and eyes of label executives, and a bidding war ensued with a number of labels, both independent and major. The winner was Avatar Records, and PackFM inked a distribution deal. So why did PackFM turn down a major label deal? "I knew that if I fucked with them Id be shelved," he advises. "My main goal was to put a record out." In the midst of the bidding, PackFM was handpicked by none other than P. Diddy to appear on the videogame Marc Eckos Getting Up with the remixed track Click Clack and Spray. PackFMs hardwork was beginning to finally pay off.

After years of funding, hand delivering, self-promoting and booking, PackFM is delivering his s