Zack Fox may be a comedian but there is nothing funny about his new album. Honestly, if it was not for Twitter I wouldn’t have even known about the project. But in October, my timeline was abuzz with chatter about a Zack Fox album. And like anything you see on your timeline seven times (isn’t that the magic number in marketing?), I investigated.
The album is named shut the fuck up talking to me. It was released on October 15, 2021. It is an eclectic mix of drugs, sex, and rap. It feels like the rap version of The Hangover. Some things are happening that you won’t understand, but there is no way you’re gonna miss out.
F*** up your city, I whip it and ravage it
All of my n***** been down on some Brandy s***
I was so broke eatin’ oxygen sandwiches, goddamn
Now I’m pissed, we gon’ jump out the whip
Brand new Glock, got a dumb ass clip
Move out the way lil’ dumb ass b****
—Zack Fox, bane
So, who the fuck Is Zack Fox anyway? There is no easy way to decipher this unicorn. Zack is a man of many hats. He is a comedian, writer, actor, rapper, elite troll, and hall of fame tweeter. Zack was formerly known as “booty math” on Twitter. Later, took a more “elegant” approach and rebranded to Zack Fox.
Zack Fox was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He became known for his extreme over the top, but hilarious tweets. Zack is on a shortlist of the greatest tweeters of all time. He has also co-written the film “Kuso” about four mutated survivors of a Los Angeles earthquake. The survivors “broadcast” their stories on discarded televisions. The film was directed by Flying Lotus (a constant collaborator of Zack’s).
My first time hearing Zack Fox was in April 2019. He appeared on an episode of The Cave. A web-based series by Kenny Beats (who would go on to become the sole producer on many of Zack’s audio projects). The entire song was an improvisation. It went on to be named “Jesus Is The One (I Got Depression).”
The song currently has 15 million views. Zack told us he wasn’t a rapper but clearly, he’d found something. A burgeoning facility for rap and a passion he would later fully explore.
“F*** the beef, it’s crunch time, turn them n****s to a pack
Black and white diamonds, man, my wrist should be on Blacked
All my bracelets and watches on my arms, I look like Jax
Came up in Atlanta, me and Momma had to struggle
Nerdy n***** but I’m thuggin’, it’s the Zone 6 McLovin”
—Zack Fox, fafo
shut the fuck up talking to me is a vibe in every sense of the word. It’s chaotic and blistering with energy like drinking 10 Red Bulls going to the studio and giving it all to God. Throughout the album, Zack is The Joker from the Dark Knight series. The Joker sitting in the hospital with Two-Face tells him, “I’m like a dog chasing cars. If I catch one I wouldn’t even know what to do. I just do things.” visual representation of the album.
Zack’s previous music was entertaining but you could see the shtick. His early songs didn’t have much of a flow to them, because their foundation was improv. But on shut the fuck up talking to me Fox approached this album as a serious, bonafide rapper, and the distinction was as clear as day.
From the top of the album, Zack is sharp. Not so much as a technical rapper. Like Rakim, Eminem, or Kendrick Lamar, who possesses a vivid flow, lyrics, and delivery without compromising the authenticity of the music. While not being a technician, the pictures painted are still vivid. In part because his delivery is on point. He’s still light-hearted and humorous but there’s aggression doused with clarity that suits him surprisingly well.
His timing and phrasing are impeccable and he has a keen sense of when to let the instrumental breath. Did Zack Fox go to rapper school? This isn’t a project you go to for high-level lyricism or substance. If you came to a Zack Fox album looking for bars, then I have a beachfront property for sale in Harlem.
Look no further than the album cover art–it is simply a pair of feet, one foot holding a cigarette with its toes while the other foot stands catacomb to a paper plate filled with chicken bones. We have reached peak Zack Fox. Your sense of humor may have to be “unique” to fully appreciate it.
I could see how some people would be turned off. It kinda feels like one of those things where you either get it, or you don’t. Sort of like pineapple on pizza. (Delicious by the way.) For my taste, it works. It contains metaphors and farcical bars about doing hoodrat s*** with your friends—my type of party.
The Kenny Beats immaculately produced “Fafo” short for “fuck around and find out” is the star of the show. The beat drops and Zack comes in talking that shit,
“Got Anita Baker booming out the ’87 Buick
Steppin’ in some Pumas but this Molly got me booted
Hanging with my money, talking to it like it’s human”
This verse sent me immediately down an Alice in Wonderland-like hole that is this album’s nine-song journey. Fafo is all about spending money, chasing women, ending smoke with imaginary enemies, and kicking it with your homeboys. I can dig it. There is even a “The Secret World of Alex Mack” reference for all my Nickelodeon heads. The chorus simply repeats the phrase “fuck around and find out” but it’s hypnotizing. Driving down I-10 felt like I was in a trance. It gives 36 Mafia vibes with ATL twist.
“Hop out the Ghost while you flyin’ Spirit
I’m Paris in the mirror, tryna check my appearance
Gettin’ head while I’m starin’, singin’ Marvin lyrics
You with your dusty ass b****, runnin’ errands
Don’t get embarrassed tryna snatch my carats
My n***** barbaric, shit could get ugly as f*** like Ed Sheeran
Catch you on your off day like Ferris, shoot you in your larynx
Kick your baby out the carriage, then I flee the scene
Hop up in that big body b*** like it’s Gundam Wing
Then go and do a speech like Doctor King
Walk to the mic and scream”
—Zack Fox, shut the fuck up talking to me
Fam, did you read those lyrics?
Can’t remember the last time I was given so many pop culture, Civil Rights, and obscure anime (Gundam Wing is an anime series that debuted in 1995) references in one song. The best part is Ed Sheeran catching strays for no reason. I love it.
With song titles such as “bane”, “menace”, “boy I’m on your ass”, “mind your business” and “get off my dick,” it’s clear Zack came to start a riot. Clocking in right at 20 minutes it’s a quick but rich, satisfying listen.
The album was independently released by Fox under his Parasang imprint. If more examples of Zack being a mad scientist are needed, parasang by definition is a historical Iranian unit of walking distance, the length of which varied according to terrain and speed of travel. Who names their company that? Better yet, who knows what a parasang is? Ladies and gentlemen, Zack Fox.
Come for the anarchy, leave with a morsel of knowledge. Or also leave with an acapella version of slob on my knob. Booty math forever.