Who Is Fabolous?

On a constantly-on-the-brink Brooklyn rapper and perils of undersharing

Loso's Way is meant to correct the mistakes of the hidden self. And in places, it does. "Stay," featuring a funereal Marsha Ambrosius singing the hook, laments lost opportunities with his father and offers a dedication to his own son. Fab's recent admission of a long-term romantic relationship with a woman he would not name also gives the spooky "I Miss My Love" some heft. And "Pachanga," a swooning suite of betrayal, adds a haunting dash of paranoia, named after a duplicitous character from the 1991 Al Pacino–as–Latino gangster vehicle Carlito's Way. The album is modeled after it, too, much like Jay-Z's American Gangster from 2007. But Fab lacks Jay's cinematic sense and commitment to self-mythology, and too often, Loso's Way sounds more like The Record Label's Way. Fab albums—perhaps due to the fear that he alone cannot carry things—have always overwhelmed by r&b singers crooning hooks, beyond the typical fare. This is no different. We get The-Dream, Keri Hilson, Jeremih, Kobe, Songz, Ne-Yo, and Ryan Leslie twice. More girl tracks. The album, ultimately, is no different from any of his previous efforts: brilliant occasionally, frustrating mostly.

Accompanying Loso's Way is a 30-minute short film helmed by the gifted video-directing duo BBGun. Inspired by Fabolous's own experience, including the shooting and a friend's incarceration, it's a beautiful, aimless collection of excuses to show Fab looking pensive and rapping hard into a microphone. Just like all of his albums.

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