Return of the Hustle


Fabolous will forever remain a second-tier rapper, and what of it? He’s a true rapper’s rapper: There’s no one in the country better at appropriating someone else’s song for 16 bars and making it his own. And that he is not a star has ceased to surprise—few MCs thrill in the mechanics of the art; even fewer listeners do. But last year’s From Nothin’ to Somethin’—which featured the scientifically engineered hit “Make Me Better,” with Ne-Yo—was a reminder that Fab can be a reliable rainmaker on his own (well, if you don’t count Ne-Yo, Jay-Z, Young Jeezy, T-Pain, and the whole roster of guests he’s carrying along with him, that is). Sometimes hosting the party is as much an art form as the party itself.

Wed., April 30, 9 p.m., 2008