Before he dropped his 2001 debut, Ghetto Fabolous, New York rapper Fabolous rhymed on remixes of songs by Lil’ Mo and Mary J. Blige, and last year he duetted with Missy Elliott on Tweet’s “Oops (Oh My).” Now it’s payback time.
The new Fabolous album, Street Dreams, which comes out March 7, will feature these artists as well as Ashanti, Snoop Dogg and Paul Cain, according to the rapper’s label (see “Fabolous Readies New LP, Plays With Nelly And NBA Stars” ). And the LP sports an equally strong roster of producers: Timbaland, Trackmasters, DJ Clue, Precision, Fingaz, Just Blaze, Rick Rock, Kanye West and Chad Elliott.
Like its predecessor, Street Dreams is a soundtrack for activities that are deliriously fun, but not necessarily healthy. The Fingaz-produced first single, “This Is My Party,” one of the few guest-free tracks, is a toast to the 1963 Leslie Gore hit “It’s My Party,” and features the lyrics, “This is my party/ So get fly if you like to/ And get high if you like to/ ’Cuz I know you like to.” The song is constructed around a celebratory slappy beat with snare shots at the end of each phrase and a keyboard line that ascends then descends.
The second single, “It’s Alright,” features Lil’ Mo, with whom Fabolous shares a long relationship. Fab first gained mainstream exposure on her 2001 hit “Superwoman Pt. 2,” and recently teamed with Mo for “4Ever,” the first single from her new album, The Girl Next Door (see “Lil’ Mo Nabs A Fellow Lil’ And Fabolous For The Girl Next Door” ). The cut, produced by Just Blaze, includes flamenco guitar, hollow-sounding percussion, a pulsing bedroom R&B rhythm and lyrics about adultery and stalkers.
“Into You,” the likely third single, has a vocal by Ashanti, and was produced by DJ Clue. One of the more sultry and seductive tracks on the record, the ballad includes the line, “I’m so into you/ You know I wanna be more than a friend to you now.”
The Mary J.-powered “My Life,” produced by Kanye West, is colored with jazzy piano, slinky horns and percussion that sounds like a pencil tapping on a thin sheet of metal.
The Missy track, “Sickalicious,” produced by Chad Elliott,” has a straightforward beat and some classic rock guitar samples; and “Damn,” a tune about adventurous love which was manipulated by the Trackmasters, has a Latin vibe, booming bass and a rhythm reminiscent of the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil.”
Other song titles include “Wild, Wild West,” which features Snoop, “Wake Up,” produced by Timbaland, “Forgive Me Father,” “Why Wouldn’t I,” “To Not Give a F—,” “Call Me” and “Bad Bitch.”