Street Dreams

Artist: FabolousTitle: Street DreamsRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Odienne Chisolm

F-A…B-O...yep, Fabolous is back with his sophomore album Street Dreams on Elektra/Desert Storm records. Go Clue, it’s your birthday! Street Dreams moved 180,000 units it’s first week according to Soundscan. Pretty impressive numbers for week one, but can this platinum-selling artist do for this album what he did for the first album (Ghetto Fabolous)—go platinum? And more important than silver and gold, is the album any good? Executive produced by Clue, Duro and Skane (Just Blaze, The Neptunes, Kanye West are a few producers on the album as well) Street Dreams contains 20 songs and out of that, well I know we ain’t playing spades but let me put it like this “give me 4 books, and a possible”. 4-5 tracks are decent and those are the ones most of us have already heard. Undoubtedly, the hottest track is the currently radio rotation resident and Just Blaze produced, “Can’t Let Go,” featuring Mike Shorey and Fabolous’ R&B partner in crime, Lil’ Mo.

Your probably already heard “Trade it All” (from The Barbershop Soundtrack) featuring Jagged Edge & P. Diddy and “Keeping It Gangsta” remix with Styles, Jadakiss and M.O.P. “Not Give a Fuck” is a strong possible club hit. Heavy bass and clever opening lines like “I’m something like a phenomenon, but still thumping whenever the drama’s on, y’all hustlers can’t eat fit meals and it feels something like when it’s Ramadan” keep you listening and bopping. A lot of the lyrics are decent, but the beats just don’t cut it. Most of the beats start off with only that one added instrument or weak hook, the entire record is thrown off, for example—“Respect.” With a tired hook like “ I don’t wanna kill no one, but I ain’t no motherfuckin’ punk, I don’t wann kill no one, but I ain’t no motherfuckin’ chump, I don’t wanna kill no one, but I ain’t no motherfuckin’ clown, cause I’m a have to kill someone just to get some respect”, yeah right Fab. This song is knowhere near believable coming from Fab in the first place. He better stick to his women, occasional street hustles and throwbacks—he’s nobody’s gangster killer and stick to his winning formula, slick flows.

With collaborations with Ashanti, Missy Elliot and Mary J. Blige there will be more hits on the CD. One video with anyone of the aforementioned ladies will have the 106th and Park crowd all over it. But ultimately, although he is a good rapper—Fab could have stepped up his game a notch. The lyrics are cool, even clever and cute (“I’m not Superman I didn’t jump out a phone booth, to remember where I come from I just look at my own tooth”). He does however need to work on more suitable beats for each song and stronger hooks. Fabolous is a hip hop main-stay, but no critical acclaim will be earned from this album.