Album Track Listing
Release Date: 8 November 2004
Reviewed By: Melisa Tang
1. Exodus - ft, Black Ice
2. Don't Stop Won't Stop
3. Real Talk (123)
5. Tit 4 Tat - ft, Pharrell
6. Baby - ft, Mike Shorey
8. Church - ft, Charlie Murphy
9. Can You Hear Me
10. Do The Damn Thang - ft, Young Jeezy
11. Holla At Somebody Real - ft, Lil Mo
12. It's All Right - ft, Sean Paul
14. Young Sext - ft, Pharrell, Mike Shorey
15. Round & Round
16. In My Hood
17. Ghetto - ft, Thara
18. Po Po - ft, Paul Cain, Nate Dogg
- Street's Disciple
Fabolous is back on the scene with his third full-length LP, filled to the brim with brand new material. Hot on the heels of the street single ‘Breathe’, the F-A-B-O-L-O-U-S drops what he claims to be the best album he’s made so far… The jury’s out.
‘Real Talk’ begins with ‘Exodus’, where we hear some straight talking from Black Ice, who really sums up the industry when he says: ‘Contracts is confusing, but don’t worry/ They’ll appoint the lawyer for you, whore you/ Loan you funds to f*** your soul/ Make you pay it back and still maintain/ Control of your stroll, your tracks and your hot ass.’
This truthful episode leads onto ‘Don’t Stop, Won’t Stop’, where Fab rhymes about the perils of the rap game, and displays the kind of flow that has grown to be his trademark: slick, witty lyrics to rival the best of them. Jovonn ‘JV’ Alexander produces the beat, which is pretty hollow on this track, but it works well with Fab’s rhyme pattern.
The title track see Fabolous blast other “fake” rappers, but he’s smart enough not to mention any names when he spits lines like: ‘Every sentence you write is far from the truth/ You wanna be that n*gga you are in the booth/ But you ain’t got the heart, the scars, or the proof.’ Even some of Fab’s weaker disses will have you laughing at his victims: ‘Dog, how the f*** you gon’ have keys in ya house/ When ya moms won’t even give you keys to the house, loser.’
Fabolous made a name for himself with the hot singles ‘Young’n’ (Holla back young’n, whooo whooooo!), ‘Keepin’ It Gangsta’, and ‘Can’t Deny It’ featuring Nate Dogg way back in 2001. Fab tries to replicate this care-free feeling on ‘Gangsta’, but it just doesn’t measure up to the high standards the ‘Prince of New York’ set himself with his earlier releases.
There aren’t many disappointments on this LP, but ‘Do The Damn Thang’ is one of them. The Reefa beat is nothing special, and Fab and Young Jeezy waste their talent rapping about getting money and buying jewels. Jeezy does manage to throw in a couple of funny lines, but that’s about all that makes this song worth listening to. ‘Ghetto’ is the same – an average beat from Scott Storch, and only half-decent rhymes from the Brooklyn young’un.
Despite these low points on ‘Real Talk’, there are plenty to keep your head nodding as Fab raises the standard of flow on cuts like ‘Church’, the street anthem ‘Breathe’, and the anti-police track ‘Po Po’, featuring Desert Storm’s Paul Cain and the vocals of Nate Dogg.
The second single lifted from the album is ‘Tit 4 Tat’, the track with the really addictive underlying ‘Tit, tit tat, tit, tit tat/ Tat, tat tit, tat, tat tit…’ No surprises who the geniuses are behind the beat… yes, it’s The Neptunes, once again producing a hot, hot, hot single!
‘Girls’ is also a club-orientated track, and although it sounds quite similar to The Neptunes’ contribution, it’s actually produced by The Trackmasters. Sean Paul makes a guest appearance on ‘It’s Alright’, keeping it poppin’ with Fabolouso and keeping clubs across the world bumpin’ with Just Blaze behind the decks.
While Fabolous seems to be the street personality, the real John Jackson comes across to me as being more of a ladies’ man, and with tracks like the gorgeous ‘Young & Sexy’ featuring Mike Shorey and Pharrell Williams, and the smooth ‘Holla At Somebody Real’ featuring Lil’ Mo, 23-year-old Jackson has made sure his female fans are well looked after. Fab also shows us a more sensitive side on the soulful ‘Can You Hear Me’, where he raps about a fallen brother close to his heart.
Fabolous has come a long way from his debut set ‘Ghetto Fabolous’, and his distinctive flow, although it tends not to differ much, does make Fab stand out from the rest. Three albums deep into his career, Fabolous has grown and matured into a fine lyricist. If he learns how to vary his flow a little more, he’ll be able to ride any beat thrown at him. In the meantime though, ‘Real Talk’ will keep the true fans happy. Well, at least until Fab drops his next LP!
Top Three Tracks:
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