Fite's new album, Over The Counter Culture, is quite a musical shift when compared to his debut album, Gone Ain't Gone. His alt-rock-country sounds and the Beck comparisons have taken a vacation for this one. This time he has gone totally hip hop, with just a hint of the folksy drawl that we are familiar with. With an album that attacks consumerism this aggressively, he would have been a hypocrite to actually sell it. Therefore, he has decided to give the album away for free on his website starting on February 20. Hey, at least he practices what he preaches.
From the opening seconds of track one, "Place Your Bets," it is obvious of Fite's drastic shift in genres for this album. In fact, his familiar drawl doesn't even appear until the end of the song. Complete with mini-song skits used to set up the tracks, such as "Good Evening" which leads into the title track "Over The Counter Culture." Over a reggae beat, he raps about addictions, marketing and lust.
One of the more jaw-dropping moments comes on "I've Been Shot," where he directly attacks the imaging and marketing of corporate hip hop. As he spits out "My exit wounds make record exec goons swoon," you can't help but wonder if 50 Cent is going to kick Fite's ass anytime soon. "If I hadn't been shot I wouldn't never gotten laid, would've never got signed would've never got paid." Zing!
Tim Fite isn't going to make any new friends in the hip hop community as he puts Kanye in the same product list as Hamburger Helper and Kaopectate on the album closer, "Soup Of The Day." You do have to give the guy credit for taking a proactive stance against issues that have been rubbing him the wrong way.
This firecracker of an album is one of the first must-hear records of 2007. His alt-rock-country roots may be temporarily gone, but his thought provoking experiment in rap is definitely worth a listen.