September 11, 2001

Album Review

From out of nowhere, Fabolous swooped onto the hip-hop scene in summer 2001 with this big-money debut album and a sure-fire hit ("Can't Deny It"). It also didn't hurt that Fabolous' rhymes happen to fit right in the with the zeitgeist of the moment, exhibiting somewhat of an East Coast variation of the bling bling style synonymous with Southern rap. Besides Jay-Z's occasional departure into materialism and/or hedonism à la "I Just Wanna Love U," the East Coast didn't really have a young, icy player -- at least not since the popular downfall of Bad Boy following the Notorious B.I.G.'s death. So if all this sounds a bit calculated, that's probably because it is. The flagship for DJ Clue's Desert Storm label, Fabolous is targeted at a specific niche, and he's well positioned. You know this before even hearing the music, just by glancing over the credits: big-money, of-the-moment producers like the Neptunes, Rockwilder, and Timbaland drop beats, and big-name, all-over-the-airwaves rappers/vocalists like Ja Rule, Lil' Mo, Jagged Edge, and Nate Dogg contribute some hooks -- these are can't-miss artists capable of propelling an unknown like Fabolous to overnight stardom. And that's exactly how it worked, thanks to the Rick Rock-produced, Nate Dogg-graced "Can't Deny It," a song that conveniently lifts a trademark 2Pac line for its hook ("I can't deny it, I'm a f*ckin' ridah," from "Ambitionz as a Ridah"). As calculated as it may be, it's an irresistible hook; unfortunately, the remainder of the album isn't nearly as alluring.
Jason Birchmeier, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Click and Spark
  2. Keepin' It Gangsta
  3. Young'n
  4. Get Right
  5. Ride for This
  6. One Day
  7. Trade It All
  8. Right Now and Later On
  9. Take You Home
  10. Get Smart
  11. Can't Deny It
  12. Ma' Be Easy
  13. We Don't Give a
  14. The Bad Guy
  15. [Untitled Track]
  16. [Untitled Track]
  17. [Untitled Track]
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