On their newly released LP, The S.O.S. Project, ( Amazon | Bandcamp | Google Play | iTunes | Spotify | Tidal ) the well-paired duo of Phat Kat & DJ Dister offer up a punchy and streamlined store of boom-clap bravado tracks that is focused, unencumbered by prevailing rap trends, and decisively aimed at capturing a particular “raw to the core” juju. Centering an album in such a way – regardless of the reason – can be a risky play, as it can lead to creating solid but ultimately one-dimensional music. The fact that Phat Kat & DJ Dister are able to avoid this trap is in a large part due to Phat Kat‘s ever likeable, Detroit street-dude appeal and gruff voice, but DJ Dister‘s well-curated and artfully morphing production also plays a big part in advancing the duo’s cause. So while The S.O.S. Project probably won’t be winning over a large cross-section of Lil Uzi Vert or Gucci Mane‘s fanbase, it’s clear that it was never meant to, and instead it excels at doing its own thing in its own lane. Standout cuts include the consequential anti-police state track “Revolt For Change” and the aptly titled, Eastern-tinged instrumental “Smoke” which follows it, the nostalgic head-nodding album opener “S.O.S (So Old School)”, and the grit city crime-funk single “D.F.W.M (Don’t Fuck With Me)” (featuring A Minus).