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Album review: Fabolous' 'Loso’s Way'

July 28, 2009 |  8:48 pm

Fabolous240Fabolous’ new album of noirish, relatively orthodox Brooklyn rap, “Loso’s Way,” has a telling line in the hook of the third track, “Imma Do It.” Over a nervous little synth shiver, guest vocalist Kobe sings, “I’d don’t know what I’mma do but I’mma do it.” With that, he sums up the predicament of most popular rappers today.

Fabolous is one of the few MCs on the pop charts who’s still primarily interested in rapping, a commitment to craft that has durably served him. But in today’s Wild West of hip-hop sonics and ethics, what to make of such a positively vintage gesture as a Jay-Z-adjacent concept album (with feature-film accompaniment) about an imperiled hustler-turned-rapper?

The answer is to trust Fabolous to take the wheel.

There is little filler across the 16 tracks of “Loso’s Way,” and Fabolous is almost always up to something interesting.

“Everything, Everyday, Everywhere” rides a trashy 8-bit sample to an always-welcome Keri Hilson chorus turn, and “The Fabolous Life” mines Zapp-era funk squig-gles.

While the consumption-porn single “Throw It in the Bag” is boilerplate, the immersive Mellotron samples of “Pachanga” riffs on Nas lyrics with a rueful observation — “Love changes, a thug changes, best friends become strangers.”
Though “Loso” isn’t quite his opus, Fabolous knew what he was doing here, and did it well.

—August Brown

“Loso’s Way”
Def Jam Records
Two and a half stars