Tum Tum - Eat or Get Ate

Posted July 2, 2007
Tags: Tum Tum,

Everything is bigger in Texas, including appetites. Extra-large MC Tum Tum has emerged as...

Eat or Get Ate Album Review

Everything is bigger in Texas, including appetites. Extra-large MC Tum Tum has emerged as Dallas’ chosen representative to join Houston on the national scene with the release of his album Eat Or Get Ate (guess which side of the equation Tum Tum’s on). The album’s full of riding percussion and booming bass that sounds closer to Atlanta’s trap music than Houston’s screwed n’chopped style. It’d be ignorant of me to say Eat Or Get Ate has a Dallas sound, the airport’s the extent of my time in Dallas, but to a non-Texan ear there’s not much to distinguish it from Southern hip-hop in general. Regardless of which direction Tum Tum’s musical influence is coming from he’s given us a full plate, let’s sit down and dig in.

The Appetizers

We start off our culinary journey with Anthem, a track made for Tum Tum’s hometown folks to rep their city to the fullest. The beat’s huge and it’s impossible to deny the head nodding that will grip your spine. I can see a Dallas club absolutely goin’ off to this. Tum Tum’s deep and swaggering flow is best described as one part Rick Ross and one part Young Jeezy, though the resulting mix isn’t as sharp or gripping as the originals. Anyone who’s ever listened to the Snowman will be familiar with the lyrical content, getting money and surviving on the streets. There’s not a lot of substance, but it’s enough to get you hungry for more.

The next offering on the plate is one of the lead singles off the album, Square Bizzness. There’s an even more undeniably ATL sound on Square Bizzness, it’s got a definite snap flavor. This is like trying to compare Coke and Pepsi. Loyal drinkers will have a preference, but in a blind taste test could you really tell the difference? With that in mind you have to wonder if Tum Tum is influenced or imitating, it’s always a fine line. Either way Square Bizzness isn’t enough to satisfy, let’s bring on the main course.

The Entrée

The title track Eat Or Get Ate is the closest Tumzilla (his name) comes to givin’ us a full meal. The beat’s got some bouncing off-kilter percussion setting the pace for a blasting horn section, and for his part Tum Tum puts together a memorable performance. He says he’ll take the food out your mouth and I don’t doubt it. If he’s gonna break out of Texas and catch the ear of heads from L.A. to Brooklyn, this is the single that will do it. Unfortunately, the albums 18 tracks long and there’s plenty of empty calories on the table. Tracks like You Ain’t Hungry and Talk Shit are bland, and the juvenile She’s A Go should leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Anybody got a mint?

The Desserts

If there’s some sugar on Eat or Get Ate it’s the ridin' anthem Caprice Music. It’s got a minimal bass-heavy beat and Tum Tum drops his aggressive style to a near whisper, think David Banner’s Play if he was rappin about cars instead of booty. It’s enough to make me want to candy-paint my VW Jetta (don’t worry, I won’t). Even more syrupy is the piano-laced ballad Better Days featuring some inspirational crooning by Reyes. Tum Tum shows some surprising range on the track, touching on everything from Bush’s presidential failings to solidarity for Mexican immigrants. Don’t let the bangin’ beats lull you to sleep, Tumzilla can bring some serious musical nutrition too.

Time to Pay The Bill

Not everybody can be a CEO. For every multi-millionaire there are 20 store managers who show up to work, put in their time, and feed their family without making a lasting impact in the game. If T.I.’s the King of the South, than Tum Tum’s a Duke, or an Earl, or whatever’s lower than a King but higher than a farmer. Tum Tum should never miss a meal again, and I can’t hate on that. Stay hungry.

DJBooth Rating - 3 Spins

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Posted July 2, 2007
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