Fabolous. He has been making stops around the R&B circuit, dropping guest appearance rhymes on songs from Lil' Mo and Mary J. Blige. All of this to build up anticipation for his debut album "Ghetto Fabolous," an album that seems all too engineered and planned out -- almost an attempt to satisfy anyone looking to purchase the disc.
DJ Clue fittingly opens the album with his usual shouting; it was Clue who put Fabolous, known then as Fabolous Sport, on "The Professional," Clue's first legit mix-tape. From there Fabolous talks a big game over some of today's most sought-after producers.
The Neptunes bring their then-tired sound on "Young'n." Rockwilder lays down the track to "Get Right" and Clue and Duro lend in-house production to five of the disc's 14 tracks. The heavyweight beat makers should spell hits but instead they sound like recycled toss-away tracks, while Fabolous doesn't do much with the mic to make the tracks any better. The only exception is "Right Now & Later On," produced by Timbaland. While the beat isn't up to par by Timbaland standards, the hook and above average lyrics make the song one of the best here.
Unfortunately, if you've heard the single, "Can't Deny It," you've heard the other great song on the album. The Rick Rock production and the chorus by the always on-point Nate Dogg make this song far better than the rest. Fabolous is also at the top of his game on the track, with lines like "The kid pull the four out a little quicker / you might end up the reason, ya homies / will have to pour out a little liquor."
While nobody else shares time on the mic with Fabolous, there are some who lend their hand in the chorus. Ja Rule is useless on the hook of "Ride for This," Jagged Edge pop up on "Trade it All" and Lil' Mo returns the guest-shot favor on "Take You Home." None of these tracks are particularly great, just decent. The only songs one can really salvage among the rest are the introspective "One Day," the suspect at times "Ma' be Easy" and the closer, "The Bad Guy."
Also included are Fabolous' songs on the two DJ Clue CDs, without Clue's yelling, thankfully. Overall, Fabolous' debut is anything but fabulous. The groundwork is set for the chance of dropping a quality disc, but go back to the drawing board before the follow-up.