From Nothin' to Somethin' Review
On his fourth album, Fabolous seems to be saying, "If it ain't broke, don't stop till it breaks." Nothing on From Nothin' to Somethin' shows that the Brooklyn-bred rapper has evolved as an MC since the last time we heard from him. He's still walking the fine line between turf talk and tough love. The hedonistic chatter is intact. The comical metaphors are still here.
Same Ol', Same Ol'
Rehashed topics aside, From Nothin's main catch-22 is the litany of guests that seem to overwhelm Fab's presence. 13 out of the album's 15 tracks (counting the intro) spot guest appearances, forcing Fab to compete for spotlight on his own Red Carpet.
Hit and Miss Collaborations
Akon delivers on "Change Up," while Fab's favorite collaborator Lil' Mo helps make "What Should I Do" a memorable track. But not all the collaborations yield memorable moments. Not even T-Pain's vocoderic vocals could redeem "Baby Don't Go" from the pit of hip-hop cliches. Thankfully, many of the album's abortive cuts are sequenced in sudden succession, so you can skip them all at once.
In our interview with Fabolous, he declared his admiration for new boss Jay-Z, so it's no surprise that the two Brooklynites teamed up with Roc-A-Fella rookie Uncle Murder on "Brooklyn." It's a geographic 101 on Crooklyn that even non-New Yorkers can appreciate.
The Bottom Line on From Nothin' to Somethin'
From Nothin' to Somethin' taught me everything I already knew about Fabolous. He has plenty of cars. He flies private. His breath smells like marijuana. He smiles in his mug shots. Ladies love him. And he will not hesitate to shoot me.
Like Ludacris, Fabolous is a talented rapper who's never managed to streamline enough dedication and focus to craft a great album.