The Young OG Project
I don't know what a young OG is. It's an oxymoron, but it somehow fits Fabolous. He's a veteran yet still looks like that Brooklyn kid in an oversized throwback jersey. He doesn't go by Fabolous Sport anymore, but he's still that same clever punchline rapper from the Clue? tapes. The Brooklyn rapper hasn't dropped a classic album, but he's had his fair share of hits. Something that he's still managed to do, at least marginally.
His last official album—Loso's Way—was released in 2009 on Def Jam. After that, he noticed the climate changing, and instead of dealing with label drama, he chose to go the indie route for a bit by hopping onto the trend of making money from releasing free music. He's kept himself relevant in recent years with his impressive S.O.U.L. Tape mixtape series in which he flipped pop culture references into nimble punch lines, in turn making them hip-hop quotables.
Raps about La Marina, Twitter Honeys, and Instagram are prevalent in much of his recent music, working against the art's potential timelessness. The same can be said about this record (he has a song named "Cinnamon Apple" featuring Kevin Hart on here), however, that doesn't mean the music isn't good.
The 37-year-old veteran dropped a solid album, and the proof is in the numbers. Released on Christmas Day, the album moved 71,000 units. Even more impressive is that it was released as a digital-only album. The Young OG Project has been marketed as a throwback New York release, and the material doesn't disappoint. Odes to Jigga, Biggie, Lauryn Hill, and Nas are sprinkled throughout. Lines are recycled in the form of homage, songs are sampled, and old beats are flipped.
The album is short, sweet, and doesn't waver from its concept. Loso delivered with one of his best albums to date.
"Lituation" plays into his propensity to ride trend waves, with the word "lit" and variations of it becoming mainstream and timely bars like "Team plastic like the ass shots." But it still has the makings of an anthem. Its D.O.C.-esque patois hook, vibrant piano loop, and the "Lost One" sample make up for whatever faults you may find. "We Good" with Rich Homie Quan has the potential to be a hit. Rich Homie approaches a song with the beat in mind, and you'll be hard-pressed to hear a rapper today that's as melodic and skillful as he is. The song is so smooth and soulful, it's something you can slide into DMs too. Just tell her "we good" and attach a pic of you on a money phone. The French Montana-assisted "Ball Drop" and "Rap and Sex" are heat rocks, as well. The former will be played at tri-state New Year's Eve parties from now until infinity with its vintage Dick Clark intro and Frenchie's beautiful vocals over a buttery beat. The latter is a song about having a studio in the crib complete with a sample of bed springs, which works because the beat is bouncy as hell. Fab channels Jay with a sped-up flow and then goes the screwed up route toward the end while incorporating various ad-libs from NYC rappers.
He starts "Rap and Sex" off with a Hova line from "Jigga What, Jigga Who" and follows it up with:
"Shawty came through just to hear the mixtape (Soul Tape)/Ended up starring in a sex tape/With a player from New York no Knicks Tape (swish)/Might need your bitch for my next day/I come upstairs then I come get them drawers/Come back downstairs then I come up with bars/Shit feels so good it might come out tomorrow."
The highs outweigh the lows. Even the aforementioned "Cinnamon Apple" isn't bad. Unfortunately, Fab's tendency to be timely holds this project back a bit. I'm also not a fan of the "Oochie Wally" remix "She Wildin'." Not even Chris Brown can save that one.
Loso delivered with one of his best albums to date. It's short, sweet, and doesn't waver from its concept. Whether you have a hooptie or an "88 Saab with gold BBS," this is a project you can navigate NYC potholes to. Fabolous has proven that he can adapt to the music industry's changing climate like a true hustler. His first-week sales say that people will support the music if you deliver consistently. We're looking forward to more projects like this.
Angel Diaz is a Staff Writer for Complex Media. Follow him @ADiaz456.