July 4, 2016

Playa Fly - Movin' On (1998)

By 1998, Three 6 Mafia was already through two gold albums and backpeddling for another swing at domination. Playa Fly left the posse in 1995 because he felt Paul and Juicy were becoming corrupt with money and power. Even though he did a great job in proving he was about his own thing and nothing else, there was probably some bitterness festering. I can't tell you what was going through the man's head, but any normal human being would be pissed when old friends who were fake with you see such amazing success. Whatever it was, Fly only seemed to sound more motivated on the mic with each album he released. In his 1993-1995 Triple 6 days, Fly would heavily rely on his unique voice and monotone drawl, but by the time Movin' On was released, he was an expert at varying inflections, the volume of his voice, and the speeds of his flow. Unfortunately, many people don't recognize Fly for his very legitimate skill as a rapper because by the time he fully matured, the production behind him was dwindling. Movin' On was a decent success at the time of its release, but in my generation of Memphis rap fans, it seems to be slept on for what it is.

The album is produced by Blackout with help from another oldschool Memphis legend, Psycho, but I hate to report that these beats are pretty disappointing. I don't think Blackout was exactly on the top of his game for Fly Shit either; not sure why he didn't have much success with Fly and Super Sigg. He definitely hadn't run out of juice because the Mayz Road Kartel and Snubnoze albums from this time (as well as Under The Influence) were sweet. The general atmosphere on Movin' On is undeniably Memphis with the typical melancholy Blackout vibe, but the beats are strangely and a little unsuccessfully reaching for a Cash Money sound. It's a shame Super Sigg and Blackout couldn't deliver for Fly this time because he was really kicking some hard lyrics. The best songs are those with Gangsta Blac features or Three 6 Mafia sample biting. Movin' On is probably not as disappointing as I'm letting on, but great potential was squandered here.