From Nothin To Somethin |
Release Date : June 12 2007
Label : Def Jam Records
Dub Quotable: From Nothin’ To Somethin’ will undoubtedly entertain
those keen to hear more punchlines explaining how rich the record’s creator
is...those seeking a comfortable, cohesive
collection of brooding bars and ‘dime’ dedications won’t be so satisfied.
Much like his young, fly, and flashy peer, Cassidy, Fabolous has straddled the
fine line between aggressive and accessible. Problems have arisen when the
young rapper leans too heavily on either his street or sultry persona. Last
album Real Talk brought solemn nods of approval for cuts like the bleak,
hyperventilating “Breathe,” yet failed to yield mainstream recognition.
Up-tempo hit singles like “Can’t Let You Go,” meanwhile, were too sloppy in
their female-orientation for the gentlemen to approve. On From Nothin’ To
Somethin’ Fab continues attempts to align the two contrasting identities.
F-A-B-O finds it easiest catering to his boastful side on “Change Up.” Hinting
at menace in his first verse, Fab warns, “You don’t want to see me jump
back in the streets/So be happy that I ride through, slumped back in the
seat.” The artist’s tone is equally pompous when he declares, “They
can’t say that nothin’ changed but my clothes/ Oh, I’m lying, I do change up
my hoes.” Unfortunately, “Change Up” is riddled with a bland Akon chorus
and hollow, unenthused horns.
Such problems are the total opposite of those that hinder cuts like first
single, “Make Me Better.” Timbaland continues an impressive winning streak
with his silenced drums and somewhat eerie, twirling strings. Over the
wallowing cry, however, Fab’s commonplace rhymes are as sickly sweet as the
confectionary he references: “Why have the cake if it ain’t got the sweet
frosting?” Once again, Fab’s coos will register with the ladies, but leave
some of his loyal male fans disappointed.
Later tracks confirm that Fab delivers his strongest material as the frankly
arrogant youngster, and not when performing like a character from Shakespeare
or Scarface. The rousing chants of “Brooklyn” bring out the MCs most complete
and listenable stance. At his unaffected best, Fab brashly spits about
altering the NYC area code, while name-checking several infamous BK dwellings.
As the definitive “Diamonds” attests, Fabolous is essentially a vain,
materialistic artist. That could go some way to explaining why his numerous
love songs and ‘soldier’ anthems can fail to ring true. The listener is
frequently given the impression during such tracks that Fab would rather chirp
about his own greatness – something he does pretty well. From Nothin’ To
Somethin’ will undoubtedly entertain those keen to hear more punchlines
explaining how rich the record’s creator is. Those seeking a comfortable,
cohesive collection of brooding bars and ‘dime’ dedications won’t be so