Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Fat Tony: MacGregor Park [First One Up, 2017]
For a half hour that feels effortless, a respected alt-rapper who chooses his spots rolls out eight songs whose affability evokes Ice Cube's "It Was a Good Day." Since realism is Fat Tony's religion, there are hassles galore, but the cops let him off with a warning, his phone woes resolve, and hey, there's "Legal Weed" in only "a few states," but with "a few more on the way," plus you can carry an ounce in your pants. The title finale spends six minutes celebrating his favorite hang, which is at its sweetest on a Sunday that rhymes with "fun day" even if there was that knucklehead who stepped to him and it came to blows--but not, notice, gunplay. MacGregor Park anchors Tony's Third Ward hang in Houston, and from NYC I get the impression it could pass for a safe space. On Monday, August 28, as Harvey battered Fat Tony's hometown, the University of Houston cross-country team took practice there. Afterward, many of them switched gears to go rip up carpet and lift furniture out of water's way. A-