Can the east coast rapper still find that perfect balance of contagious and cool?
Elle J Small 2009
Time flies. Eight years since catapulting his New York self in to the rap/pop mainstream, Fabolous is back. This fifth album yields the same swagger that he's famed for, but can the east coast rapper still find that perfect balance of contagious and cool?
Inspired by infamous gangster flick, Carlito’s Way, Fabolous' latest offering has already spawned blinging single, Throw It In The Bag. Featuring accomplished R&B singer/songwriter The-Dream (whi penned Rhianna's Umbrella smash), the track hears Fabolous profess his shopaholic ways with lines like, ''Look at price tags? Where they do that at?'' and blatantly endorse designers Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Catchy? Yes. Cool? Sadly no.
Fortunately, Fabolous quickly regains his street credentials with bumpy, hard-hitter and album highlight Everything, Everyday, Everywhere and contagious ghetto cut, Feel Like I'm Back. In fact, if Fabolous completes a 'clean' version (i.e. minus the profanities) of the former, this could just become that oh-so crucial hit.
Rap honcho Jay-Z pops up on head-nodder Money Goes, Honey Stay, with its hip-swishing beats and gorgeously hazy melodies. And the 808 comes out to play on army cadet-inspired Salute as Fabolous gets raw-to-the-core with his grimy lyrics. There He Go also embraces the gangster lifestyle with its ghetto lyrics and firing, dance-floor-friendly production.
Overall, Loso's Way comes complete with numerous killer cuts but when it comes to future classics, it's sad to say that tricky balance between ghetto and pop hasn't been unearthed this time around.
A heady back catalogue of anthems like Can't Deny It and Young'n (that genius ''Holla back/ ooh-ooh'' hook) - both from the rapper’s ‘Ghetto Fabolous’ debut - was always going to be hard to beat, though. And let's not forget the brilliant Can't Let You Goand Into You from Fabolous' classic 2003 Street Dreams LP.
This is the price you pay for unleashing so many hits so early on… the bar may have been set unrealistically high.